Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Nov. 8, 2019
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, contacted a hunter to discuss harvest information of a white-tailed deer that was reported during the 2018 firearms season. It was determined that the man had committed multiple violations during the deer harvest. It was further discovered that the hunter had used a stolen firearm to harvest the deer. The man was issued a summons for the tagging violation and the shotgun that he used to take the deer was seized. The man paid $360 in fines and court costs. The seized firearm was transferred to the agency that reported the firearm as stolen so that it could be returned to the owner.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
In November 2018, state wildlife officer Craig Barr, assigned to Allen County, was asked to assist the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office with investigating a white-tailed deer that was discovered because of a jacklighting complaint. Officer Barr was able to find a bullet wound on the deer and multiple rifle casings scattered in the cab of the truck; however, no firearm was present. With the assistance of a local meat processor, officer Barr located a rifle bullet inside the body of the deer. The bullet matched the caliber of the casings found in the truck. Several other state wildlife officers were also on scene and searched 10 miles of road but were not able to locate the firearm. The following day, additional information was obtained from the suspect on where the rifle was thrown out the truck window, but officers were unable to locate it. During the investigation, it was also discovered that one of the suspects had used a deer permit in Williams County that was invalid for that county. The suspects were charged with hunting deer with illegal means, no deer permit, and using an invalid tag. The suspects paid $1,443.12 in fines, court costs, and restitution in the Paulding County Court. Additionally, each suspect was required to complete 20 hours of community service, had their hunting privileges revoked for two years, and had 30 days of jail suspended pending no further wildlife violations. The deer was processed locally and provided to the Caring and Sharing Food Pantry for distribution after the case was completed.
State wildlife investigator Jeremy Payne and state wildlife officer Ethan Bingham, assigned to Seneca County, were working at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area during the September teal hunting season. After hearing complaints about early shooting, they decided to enter the area prior to legal shooting time, which is sunrise for this season. The officers observed ducks land in the wetland and determined they were juvenile wood ducks. No shooting occurred before sunrise; however, the officers observed one group of hunters shooting at the wood ducks. The officers contacted the hunters, and two were cited for shooting wood ducks out of season. One hunter paid $275 for shooting one wood duck and the other paid $325 for shooting two wood ducks.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
During the spring wild turkey hunting season, state wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, obtained information that individuals were illegally hunting with the aid of bait. State wildlife officer supervisor Dave Shinko and officer Brown arrived at the site and located a blind and a corn feeder. In front of the blind were two turkey decoys. Shortly thereafter, the officers contacted the individuals inside of the blind and determined they were hunting turkeys. Both men had purchased a hunting license and turkey permit. The individuals were cooperative while the officers explained why it was considered a baited area and why it was unlawful to hunt over it. The men were issued summonses for hunting turkey over bait and appeared in court. They were convicted and paid fines and costs totaling $440.
State wildlife officer Matt Madgar, assigned to Cuyahoga County, responded to a call involving an individual who shot a Cooper’s hawk. The man stated that he was fearful that the hawk would attack his dog. The man did not kill the bird, which was taken to Lake Erie Nature and Science Center. There, it was rehabilitated and released back into the wild. The man was charged and convicted of a first degree misdemeanor in the Parma Municipal Court and ordered to pay $362 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In August, state wildlife officer Jared Abele, assigned to Vinton County, received multiple tips about individuals harvesting ginseng and yellow root illegally on Wayne National Forest property. Officer Abele patrolled the area during a two-week period and arrested multiple individuals. Violations included harvesting ginseng out of season, harvesting ginseng without permission, harvesting yellow root without permission, and deterring a state wildlife officer. Another individual was arrested on a nonrelated warrant on a drug charge. Charges are pending in the Vinton County Court.
In January, state wildlife officer Mark Basinger received a call that a vehicle was stuck on Fox Lake Wildlife Area in Athens County. A suspect from a theft case had driven a car to the dam to unload unwanted items from the robbery. After getting stuck, the suspect called several other individuals to help retrieve the vehicle, including the vehicle’s owner. During their recovery effort, a second vehicle also became stuck and a third vehicle came close to getting stuck on the entry into the wildlife area. The owner of the vehicles was charged with operation of a vehicle in an undesignated area, curfew violations for being on the wildlife area after hours while not fishing, hunting, or trapping, as well as payment of restitution for the removal of the vehicles. The driver was charged through the Athens County Sheriff’s Office for violations related to the theft.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
State wildlife officer Trent Weaver, assigned to Montgomery County, was provided information about an individual who harvested a white-tailed deer in Montgomery County and then checked it in as a Miami County harvest. Officer Weaver was familiar with the suspect and collected deer DNA from the field location where the deer was harvested. He then contacted the suspect. The account of the deer harvest details contained discrepancies, so officer Weaver submitted the DNA sample for laboratory testing. The results showed that the deer was harvested in Montgomery County, not Miami County. The suspect later admitted to falsely reporting the deer harvest location and was convicted of the violation.