Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 29, 2019
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, contacted two men who were filming a web video along a creek. The two men were trespassing on private property. They were drinking bottles of beer and assured their viewers they would pick up their trash when they left. The men finished their recording and threw their bottles into the creek. Officer Coffman contacted the men after he observed them littering. Each was issued a summons for stream litter, which carries a possible fine of $500.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
During the 2019 deer muzzleloader season, state wildlife officer Nathan Kaufmann, assigned to Huron County, was patrolling Willard Marsh Wildlife Area when he saw a vehicle drive down the road and stop in a parking area. Several individuals exited the vehicle. After watching and listening for a few minutes, officer Kaufmann began to hear shots fired from the same parking area. Officer Kaufmann had previously received numerous complaints about individuals target shooting at this location. When officer Kaufmann arrived at the parking area, one individual had a firearm. After speaking to the group, one summons was issued for target shooting on state-owned property at an undesignated shooting range. The individual was later found guilty and ordered to pay $185 in fines and court costs.
During the 2018-2019 deer season, state wildlife officer Reid Van Cleve, assigned to Ottawa County, received information of a person poaching deer. Officer Van Cleve searched the deer check records and noticed that the suspect did not have valid a hunting license or deer permit, and no deer harvest was reported. Officer Van Cleve contacted the suspect at his residence. The suspect stated that he had not killed a deer during the season. Furthermore, he was on probation and not allowed to have a firearm. Officer Van Cleve asked the suspect if he could look around his barn. The suspect agreed and told officer Van Cleve he had several deer parts from road-killed deer. In the barn, officer Van Cleve found four buck heads. Officer Van Cleve asked to see the documentation for the deer, and the suspect stated he only had one deer carcass receipt for a road-killed deer, and that was for a doe. The suspect admitted to killing two of the antlered deer and stated that one was given to him by a friend. Officer Van Cleve issued the man five citations and seized the deer heads as evidence. The suspect paid $1,316 in fines and court costs and his hunting license was suspended for four years.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
During the deer gun season, state wildlife officer Jesse Janosik, assigned to Columbiana County, was on patrol when he contacted a group of hunters at a deer camp. Officer Janosik spoke to the men and asked to see their licenses and permits. All of the individuals produced Ohio resident hunting licenses and deer permits. As officer Janosik was leaving, he observed a licensed truck from Indiana that was hidden behind the other vehicles in the camp. Further investigation revealed that one of the hunters was a nonresident who provided false information to obtain a resident hunting license and deer permit. He was issued summonses for both violations and ordered to appear in court. He was convicted and ordered to pay $385 in fines and court costs.
State wildlife officer Randy White, assigned to Lorain County, state wildlife officer Jeremy Carter, assigned to Holmes County, and K-9 officer Finn responded to a complaint of hunting without permission during the deer season. K-9 officer Finn led the officers to deer parts, a blood-covered arrow, and a trail camera. This evidence was later used to prove the suspect had killed a deer on property where he did not have permission. The man was contacted and the deer was seized as evidence. He was charged and convicted in Oberlin Municipal Court where he paid $350 in fines and costs. In addition, the deer was forfeited to the DNR Division of Wildlife.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In September 2018, state wildlife officer Jerrod Allison, assigned to Coshocton County, received several complaints about someone digging ginseng illegally. Officer Allison, with help from the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office, found a vehicle parked along a township road in the area of the complaints and set up surveillance. Two suspects soon exited the woods and went to the vehicle. Officer Allison and a sheriff’s deputy contacted the individuals and found they had been digging ginseng. Neither individual could provide permission to access the property. The ginseng they harvested was seized, and each individual was issued a summons for digging ginseng without permission. Officers later determined that both individuals had been digging ginseng on other properties in the area without permission. A search warrant was obtained for the residence, where officers discovered 7 pounds of dried ginseng, ginseng digging tools, and ginseng berries. The ginseng had been harvested in June, before the legal season opened on Sept. 1. Both individuals were charged with several counts of digging ginseng during a closed season, digging without permission, and failure to keep accurate records. The sheriff’s office issued additional charges for criminal trespass and theft. Both suspects appeared in Coshocton Municipal Court and were found guilty. They were ordered to pay fines and court costs, as well as to pay restitution to four landowners whose ginseng they had illegally harvested.
In January, state wildlife officer Bob Nelson, assigned to Ross County, responded to a complaint about spotlighting and shooting deer from the road in Scioto County. A landowner reported hearing a shot after seeing a vehicle spotlighting deer. The landowner recognized the truck and confronted two suspects who had just killed a deer. Officer Nelson collected evidence from the scene and contacted the two suspects. The driver admitted that he had been driving the vehicle while his friend had shot the deer from the passenger side of the truck. Officer Nelson and state wildlife officer Darin Abbott, assigned to Lawrence County, contacted the second suspect, who admitted to shooting the deer from the truck. The driver of the vehicle was charged with spotlighting and hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle. He was found guilty and assessed with court costs and received 10 hours of community service. The passenger was charged with hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle and shooting from a roadway. He was found guilty, ordered to pay $500 plus court costs, was placed on probation for two years, and was ordered to serve 60 days in jail, suspended. He also lost his hunting privileges for two years. All items seized as evidence, including a shotgun, were forfeited to the DNR Division of Wildlife.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
During the 2018 deer gun season, state wildlife investigator Ryan Garrison and state wildlife officer Brad Turner, assigned to Preble County, were on patrol and noticed a deer carcass hanging from a tree. They approached the residence and observed a man butchering a deer. The officers asked if the deer had been checked in as required by state law, and the man replied that it was not. The officers noticed it was an antlered deer, and it had been harvested with a rifle not legal for hunting deer in Ohio. While looking in the bed of a nearby truck, they located a second antlered deer and a rifle. That deer hadn’t been checked in, either. The officers then learned that two individuals from Florida were hunting on the property. The officers soon located them. The first was not wearing hunter orange and the second was carrying a rifle that is not legal for hunting deer in Ohio. Neither of the two had a valid nonresident hunting license or deer permit. Further investigation revealed the second hunter had shot the deer in the truck. The three suspects were charged with a combination of hunting without a license and deer permit, taking deer with a rifle, possession of deer without a valid tag, and failing to wear hunter orange. They were found guilty on 12 charges and ordered to pay $3,074 in fines and court costs, $1,000 in restitution, and incurred the loss of hunting privileges. Guns and all deer parts seized were forfeited to the DNR Division of Wildlife.