Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 10, 2019
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
During the 2018 two-day deer gun season, state wildlife officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, received a phone call from a landowner. The landowner was calling about hunters who were on an adjacent property. Officer Smith later met with the hunters on the adjacent property after they finished their evening hunt. The hunters informed officer Smith that the neighboring landowner had fired two shots from a gun while they were hunting, and was also running a chainsaw. The group of hunters thought that the man was doing this to make noise to scare away deer and interfere with the hunt. Officer Smith met with the initial caller, who confessed to firing two shots from a rifle onto his property to scare any deer away from the hunters on the adjacent property. The man was found guilty in the Bellefontaine Municipal Court on a charge of hunter harassment and paid $210 in fines and court costs.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
While conducting sport fish enforcement on Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie, state wildlife officers observed a group of nine men cleaning a limit of walleyes after a morning fishing trip. The officers later observed five members of this same group return to the lake to go fishing. When the group returned from the second trip, they were contacted by state wildlife investigator Kelsey Brockman, assigned to the Lake Erie Unit. Further investigation revealed that they had caught a limit of walleyes in the morning, and they were in possession of an additional 24 walleyes from the second trip. Each individual was cited for exceeding the daily bag limit and received a one-year fishing license suspension, $150 fine, and 10 days of jail suspended. A total of $1,200 in restitution for the extra walleyes was also collected.
State wildlife officer Austin Dickinson, assigned to Williams County, was conducting enforcement activity at Lake La Su An Wildlife Area in February when he observed a vehicle with two occupants stopped along a roadway. He observed them cutting firewood from state property and loading it into their vehicle. After contacting the two individuals, officer Dickinson discovered the bed of their truck was filled with firewood taken from the wildlife area. Officer Dickinson issued both individuals a summons for the violation, and had the firewood returned to the area. Both individuals were found guilty and paid more than $250 in fines and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
During the deer archery season, state wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, received information from a caller who observed an individual dump a deer carcass at an old oil well site. The caller provided a vehicle description and a license plate number. Officer Frank traveled to the site and located the deer carcass. He discovered evidence leading him to believe that the deer had been killed by a firearm instead of legal archery equipment. Officer Frank contacted the suspect later that day. The investigation revealed in addition to dumping the deer carcass, the deer had been shot at night with a firearm and was not game checked. The deer meat was seized, and the suspect charged. The man appeared in court, was convicted, and paid more than $330 in fines and costs. He also was ordered to complete eight hours of community service and his hunting privileges were suspended for one year. The deer meat was forfeited to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
While patrolling Lorain County during the statewide deer gun season, state wildlife officer Randy White, assigned to Lorain County, and state wildlife officer supervisor Dave Shinko received a request for assistance from the Oberlin Police Department. Officers were attempting to assist hunters track an injured deer that had run into the city limits. During the interaction with the hunters, officer Shinko noticed fresh blood on the ground and questioned the men. The investigation revealed that one of the hunters had killed a deer earlier in the day, had not properly tagged it, and was continuing to hunt without a valid deer permit. The man was issued summonses for the offenses and paid $200 in fines and costs in Oberlin Municipal Court.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
During the fall of 2018, state wildlife investigator Travis Abele and natural resources officer Trent Scott used surveillance equipment to identify individuals operating motor vehicles off-road at Tar Hollow State Forest. During a six-week period, eight individuals were identified operating vehicles on the area and causing extensive erosion damage. The officers located the suspects and issued summonses to each for operating a motor vehicle on a non-designated area. The suspects paid more than $1,600 in fines and court costs.