Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 26, 2019
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
In October 2018, state wildlife officer Austin Levering, assigned to Knox County, and state wildlife officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, spoke with a suspect in Knox County about an error in the Division of Wildlife’s licensing system. Upon entering the driveway of the suspect, the officers observed a white-tailed deer in a truck bed. Upon further investigation, it was determined the man had harvested the antlered deer before purchasing an Ohio hunting license and deer permit. The individual was issued one summons for hunting without a valid deer permit and hunting license. The deer was seized as evidence. The individual was ordered to pay $355 in court costs and fines in Mt. Vernon Municipal Court.
While working in Knox County, state wildlife officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, identified a potential deer hunting violation involving a deer checked in as a landowner. A hunter had checked in a deer as the tenant of the landowner, but the property did not have a residence on it. Officer Grote spoke to the hunter and his family about the potential violation. The hunter admitted that the property belonged to his grandfather. Two other family members were also checking in deer as either landowners or tenants of the landowner. Officer Grote explained to them who was exempt from purchasing a hunting license or a deer permit and issued each of them a summons for hunting or taking a deer without a valid deer permit. They were found guilty in Mt. Vernon Municipal Court and paid $675 in fines and court costs.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
During the 2018 deer gun season, state wildlife investigator Jason Parr was contacted to assist in an investigation involving someone shooting from the road in Richland County. A witness had observed a garbage truck stop in the middle of the road, and a few minutes later had heard a shot fired from the truck. After speaking with the business that owns the truck and confirming the identity of the employee, investigator Parr identified a suspect. The suspect admitted to being on the road where the road shooting had occurred, but denied any involvement. Permission was granted to investigator Parr to search the cab of the truck, and he found two spent shell casings. Two witnesses then identified the suspect in a photo lineup as the man they had seen driving the garbage truck. The suspect was found guilty of discharging a firearm on or over a public highway and paid $858 in fines and court costs. He also received 60 days in jail with 55 days suspended, was placed on probation for one year, and the firearm was forfeited.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
In January, state wildlife officer Brennan Earick, assigned to Ashland County, received complaints of individuals hunting Canada geese past legal shooting hours. It was well after dark when officer Earick arrived at the location and identified himself to the four hunters. He checked the group for hunting licenses, wetlands stamps, and required plugs in the firearms. The men had killed 27 geese, 15 over the daily bag limit. Only one individual had the required licenses and stamps, and one individual was hunting with an unplugged shotgun. The individuals also admitted to hunting after hours. The firearms and the illegal geese were collected as evidence. The following morning, officer Earick and state wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, returned to the scene and recovered two more geese. The individuals were charged with hunting after legal hours and possessing more than the daily bag limit of geese. The four individuals appeared in court, pleaded guilty to the charges, and were convicted. The men were ordered to pay a combined $4,923 in fines and court costs, and their hunting privileges were revoked for eight years. The men were also ordered to serve 10 days in jail and complete 400 hours of community service. The judge placed them on probation for four years with the condition that they cannot hunt any state within the U.S. during this time. The geese were forfeited to the Division of Wildlife.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
While on patrol in Pike County, state wildlife officer Matt VanCleve and state wildlife investigator Heath Horn discovered several trash bags along a roadside. The officers investigated and were able to identify a suspect. They contacted a local man who admitted to dumping the trash. He was cited for litter and appeared in a Pike County court. The defendant pleaded guilty and was found guilty. He was ordered to pay $80 in court costs and received 120 hours of community service.
A man was captured dumping trash on video by cameras placed on O’Dowd Wildlife Area. State wildlife officer Chris Dodge, assigned to Hocking County, and state wildlife investigator Travis Abele placed the cameras there to target illegal off-road activity and littering. In May 2018, the suspect appeared on video four times over the course of two days. The suspect had driven past signs stating no vehicles beyond this sign with truckloads of brush and household debris, and then dumped them. Officer Dodge contacted the man. The man admitted to the violations. He was issued four summonses and paid $660 in fines and court costs in Athens Municipal Court.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
State wildlife officer Jeff Wenning, assigned to Darke County, received an anonymous complaint that a man was using poison to kill wild animals. The caller found a dead skunk, which had vomited a blue substance onto the road. The caller also found a blue substance in a plastic bowl. Officer Wenning arrived at the location and found the bowl containing the blue substance, but not the skunk. Officer Wenning contacted a suspect. The suspect admitted that he was using fly bait to poison groundhogs, and that he removed the skunk before officer Wenning drove through the area. The suspect was cited for unlawful method of take for the skunk. He was found guilty and ordered to pay fines and court costs.