Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 5, 2019
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
During the 2018 hunting season, state wildlife officer Jeff Tipton, assigned to Champaign County, received a phone call from a landowner who was having trouble with a man hunting rabbits on his property without permission. The landowner had confronted the man in the past, but the illegal hunter continued to return. The bulk of the activity occurred during the first and second weeks of November, and it was disturbing the landowner’s deer hunting. On one such occasion, the landowner captured an image of the rabbit hunter, with shotgun in hand and beagles on a leash, as he walked past a trail camera. Officer Tipton was able to locate an address for the trespassing hunter and went to speak with him. The hunter admitted that it was him in the trail camera picture. After reviewing the case with the prosecutor, charges were filed against the man for hunting without permission, his second offense for the same violation. The man appeared in court and was found guilty. He paid $723.50 in fines and court costs and was given a 30-day suspended jail sentence on the condition that he not have any hunting violations for 12 months.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
State wildlife investigator Brian Bury, assigned to the Lake Erie Unit, was recently reviewing deer harvest records when he found a deer that had been checked in by a woman who claimed to be the landowner of a property, but did not have a property listed by her name. In addition, she had no history of hunting or fishing. Investigator Bury went to the residence and requested to speak with the woman, who was not home. Her husband and son were both home and the husband admitted to shooting the deer and having his wife check it in. He did not have a hunting license or deer permit when he shot the deer. In addition, the son had shot a buck on the same property, also without a hunting license or deer permit. The son had also shot two antlerless deer on a different property and did not check them in. Both men were charged with numerous deer hunting violations. The son paid more than $800 in fines, court costs, and restitution, as well as lost his hunting license for three years. The father paid $250 in fines and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
State wildlife officer Matt Madgar, assigned to Cuyahoga County, and state wildlife officer Randy White, assigned to Lorain County, contacted an angler along the Lake Erie shoreline in Cuyahoga County who did not have a valid fishing license. When asked, the man refused to provide personal information. The officers explained to the man that if he did not identify himself, he would be arrested and taken to jail. The man eventually agreed, and the officers issued him a summons for the violation. He appeared in Cleveland Municipal Court and was convicted. The judge ordered him to pay $242 in fines and court costs.
While patrolling Pymatuning Lake, state wildlife officer Ryan Pawlus, assigned to Lake County, and state wildlife officer Jason Warren, assigned to Ashtabula County, observed two individuals fishing from shore. The officers contacted the men and asked to see their fishing licenses. Both individuals provided licenses: one was expired and the other was a West Virginia lifetime fishing license that he believed was valid in Ohio. Both individuals were issued summonses and ordered to appear in Ashtabula County Eastern Court. The men were convicted and ordered to pay fines and court costs totaling $240.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
State wildlife officer Eric Lane, assigned to Perry County, received information during the 2018 deer gun season that someone was hunting deer over bait on Wayne National Forest. The caller gave officer Lane the location of the baited area. Officer Lane was able to locate the baited area, and then contacted the individual hunting there. After speaking with the individual, the man admitted to baiting the area. Officer Lane informed the individual that it was not legal to bait on an area under agreement with the Division of Wildlife. Officer Lane issued the individual a summons for placing bait on an agreement area. The individual paid fines and court costs.
State wildlife officer Ted Witham, assigned to Jackson County, was on patrol at Cooper Hollow Wildlife Area on Memorial Day weekend 2019 when he located a car parked near one of the area’s many small ponds. Officer Witham found three individuals fishing. Officer Witham checked for fishing licenses and asked the anglers if they were having any luck. The group had caught a couple of catfish and had placed them on a stringer. Officer Witham noticed a second stringer in the water and checked it to see if there were more fish on it. The second stringer held a large, recently deceased, snapping turtle. Officer Witham issued a citation to the individual who had caught and killed the snapping turtle during the closed season. As officer Witham was explaining the citation to the individual, he smelled the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and observed marijuana paraphernalia inside it. The individual who had taken the turtle admitted to having marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia in the vehicle. He was subsequently issued two additional citations, one for possession of marijuana and one for marijuana paraphernalia.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
State wildlife officer Tim Rourke, assigned to Shelby County, received several complaints concerning an individual fishing at Lake Loramie and keeping undersized crappies. Concerned anglers had called about the individual, but officer Rourke had difficulty locating him. Persistence paid off, eventually, as officer Rourke located the man fishing underneath a bridge. Officer Rourke performed a license check, and the man had no fish in his bucket. Officer Rourke then conducted surveillance on the fisherman’s vehicle. Confirming officer Rourke’s suspicions, less than five minutes elapsed before the suspect walked to his vehicle, removed a cooler from the bed of his truck, and carried it over to the water’s edge. Just as officer Rourke approached the man, he dumped the contents of the cooler into the lake. In his hurry to rid himself of the illegal fish, the violator didn’t quite get the fish into the water. Officer Rourke retrieved four fish and measured them. He found two of the fish were under the required length of 9 inches. The suspect received a summons for possession of undersized crappies and paid a fine of $155.