Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 15, 2019
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
After the deer season, state wildlife officer Matt Teders, assigned to Madison County, was examining Madison County landowner harvest records in the harvest database. Officer Teders was able to identify several individuals who had harvested deer and game checked animals as landowner harvest but were not listed as property owners within the county. Officer Teders conducted multiple interviews, and it was determined that several of the individuals interviewed during the course of the investigation had harvested deer and checked the animal as a landowner harvest, but did not meet the definition of landowner or landowner’s child. These individuals were educated on the landowner regulations. In several of these interviews, secondary violations were discovered, and charges are pending in Madison County Municipal Court.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
During Labor Day weekend, state wildlife investigators Kevin Good and Brian Bury, assigned to the Lake Erie Unit, were working the lake and saw a single man trolling more than two rods from his boat. The officers contacted the man and investigator Good recognized him as an individual that had been charged multiple times for being over the limit of walleyes. When the investigators looked in the man’s cooler, they could see that there were more than six walleyes. Investigator Good found that the man was in possession of nine whole walleyes and an additional five walleyes caught that day that the man had already filleted, for a total of 14 walleyes, eight over the daily bag limit. The man also admitted to littering by disposing of the filleted walleye carcasses in Lake Erie. The man was charged with being over the daily bag limit of walleyes, trolling more than two rods, possession of fillets on Lake Erie, and littering. The man’s fish, boat, and fishing tackle were all seized. He was found guilty of all charges and paid significant fines and restitution. All the items seized were ordered forfeited to the DNR Division of Wildlife.
During the 2018 deer gun season, state wildlife officer Eric VonAlmen, assigned to Wood County, responded to a hunting without permission complaint. When officer VonAlmen arrived at the location, two hunters were waiting for him. One of the hunters explained that he had shot and injured a deer on property he had permission to hunt, but the deer had run onto an adjacent property. The second hunter, who was the other hunter’s grandfather, knew the property owner and believed he had permission to hunt there. The hunters had entered the property to retrieve the injured deer. After hearing the hunter’s story, officer VonAlmen spoke with the landowner who stated he did know the grandfather but did not want anyone hunting on his property. The landowner did not want to press charges and allowed the hunters to take the deer. After officer VonAlmen departed, he checked the deer harvest database for that morning and noticed the grandfather had checked in a buck. Officer VonAlmen contacted the grandfather, who admitted to checking in the buck for his grandson so he could continue to hunt. The buck was seized and forfeited to the state. The grandson was issued a summons for providing false information during a game check and paid $190 in fines and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
While following up on a tip, state wildlife officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, heard about a large 26-point buck that had been killed by a man in Holmes County. Officer Turner knew that the buck had lived near the Coshocton/Tuscarawas county line because he had seen several trail camera photographs of the unique animal. Based on photographs of the animal posted online, officer Turner and state wildlife officer Michael Budd, assigned to Knox County, were able to determine where the individual had taken the 26-point deer to be mounted. They arrived at the taxidermist’s shop and obtained the deer harvest confirmation number. Using the DNR Division of Wildlife’s deer harvest database, they discovered that the deer was checked in as an 8-point buck. Later that day, they met with the suspect. The results of the investigation revealed that the man had harvested an 8-point buck in the morning and then killed the 26-point buck later that afternoon. The man then used the confirmation number for the 8-point to attach to the 26-point to make it appear legal. A few days later, the man checked in a “phantom” doe to obtain a confirmation number to attach to the 8-point deer. With the help of additional information gathered by state wildlife officer Jerrod Allison, assigned to Coshocton County, the man was issued several summonses and ordered to appear in court. He was convicted and paid $837 in fines and court costs, as well as $27,904.46 in restitution for the 26-point buck that scored 2287⁄8 inches. In addition, the man’s hunting privileges were revoked for one year.
During the deer gun season, state wildlife officer Scott Denamen, assigned to Geauga County, received information involving misuse of a deer permit. Officer Denamen arrived at the suspect’s residence and discovered a button buck that had been game checked by an individual who had not killed it. The man was issued a summons and the deer was seized as evidence. The man appeared in court, was convicted, and ordered to pay $230 in fines and court costs. The deer was forfeited to the state and donated to a charitable organization.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In November 2018, state wildlife officer Darin Abbott, assigned to Lawrence County, received a tip that a suspect from North Carolina had taken two deer with a rifle. Officer Abbott received an address in Scottown and was informed that the suspect already had the deer quartered and in 60-quart coolers in the back of his truck. Officer Abbott responded to the address and interviewed the suspect. After speaking with the suspect, officer Abbott seized two deer carcasses that had not been properly tagged or game checked and issued the suspect two summonses for possession of untagged deer. The defendant paid $530 in fines and court costs, and the deer meat was forfeited to the DNR Division of Wildlife.
During the 2018-2019 deer gun season, state wildlife officer Ryan Donnelly, assigned to Washington County, noticed an individual driving an ATV down the side of a road in Wayne National Forrest. The hunter was wearing a hunter orange coat and had a rifle on a sling on his shoulder. Officer Donnelly watched the hunter from a distance as it appeared he was scanning the hillside as he drove down the road. When the hunter realized officer Donnelly was behind him, he quickly attempted to unload the gun. The hunter was issued a summons for hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle. He was found guilty and paid $250 in fines and court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
After receiving information from the Turn-In-a-Poacher hotline about a father and son who were hunting without licenses and not checking in deer they were harvesting, state wildlife officer Gus Kiebel, assigned to Clermont County, and investigator Joel Buddelmeyer, assigned to southwest Ohio, located the hunters. One of the individuals did not have a deer permit. After further questioning, it was discovered that the pair had taken multiple deer over several years and neither hunter had game checked a single deer. The officers went to the suspects’ residence and seized all the untagged deer meat and antlers as evidence. The suspects pleaded guilty to hunting without a deer permit, possession of untagged deer parts, and failure to game check a deer. The deer parts were forfeited to the DNR Division of Wildlife and the suspects were ordered to pay $400 in fines and court costs. One of the men lost his hunting privileges for a year.