Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Nov. 22, 2019
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer Josh Elster, assigned to Pickaway County, was contacted by Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers to assist with a traffic stop. Troopers informed officer Elster they had stopped a vehicle and discovered a deer head underneath marijuana plants in the trunk. The driver of the vehicle stated they were scouting for squirrels and located the marijuana plants in the woods and took them. After finding the plants, the individual located a dead buck lying in a field. They cut the head off and placed it in the trunk with the plants. An inspection of the vehicle revealed two rifles, loaded handguns, a portable spotlight, and a knife. Officer Elster advised the driver of the vehicle they would be charged for the possession of the untagged deer parts. The individual was also charged by the Ohio State Highway Patrol with multiple felony charges, including improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, carrying a concealed weapon, and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. The results of the case are pending.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
In July, state wildlife officers Nathan Cass, assigned to Crawford County, Nathan West, assigned to Wyandot County, and Nathan Kaufmann, assigned to Huron County, were on patrol and observed three individuals pulling a boat out of Willard Reservoir. Once the boat was on the trailer, the driver pulled up the boat ramp. The trailer then came off the hitch and rolled back down the boat ramp into the reservoir. The trailer went into the water and the boat began to drift away. Officer West was nearby and helped them retrieve their boat. Several hours later, officers Kaufmann and Cass saw a light on the Willard Marsh Wildlife Area, which had closed at dusk. The officers contacted a man who was identified as one of the individuals from the boat incident at Willard Reservoir. Officers located the two other individuals and found that they were training a hunting dog on state-owned property, which is prohibited from May 1 to Aug. 31, except on designated dog training areas. All three individuals were issued summonses for trespassing on a wildlife area during restricted hours and were given warnings for training dogs during the restricted period. They paid $500 in fines and court costs. Two of the individuals had prior wildlife violations and each received an additional 10 days in jail, with 10 days suspended and two years of probation.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
State wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, discovered information about a possible deer violation while searching the harvest database. The suspect had checked in two deer in one day and it appeared that the permits were purchased after the animals had been killed. The woman stated that she was not a hunter and indicated that she had typically purchased deer permits for her son to use. Officer Brown spoke with the woman’s son and confirmed the information. However, he had created an account under his mother’s name without her knowledge. In addition, officer Brown learned that the individual had killed three deer on the same day but had not checked the second animal. Officer Brown issued summonses to the man for providing false information to the Division of Wildlife’s game-check system, and for hunting without a valid deer permit. The individual was convicted in court and ordered to pay fines and costs of $215.
State wildlife officer supervisor Dave Shinko and state wildlife officer Matt Madgar, assigned to Cuyahoga County, were checking anglers along the Lake Erie shoreline at dusk when officer Madgar noticed a pickup truck and trailer that was also there earlier in the day. Shortly thereafter, the officers contacted two men in a boat returning to the ramp after dark. The results of the investigation revealed that they caught their limit of walleyes in the morning, and then returned to the lake to catch a second limit later in the day. Both men appeared in Cleveland Municipal Court, were convicted, and ordered to pay $1,064 in fines and restitution. In addition, their fishing privileges were revoked for one year.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In January, state wildlife officer Brad St. Clair was notified of an illegal trash dump site in Noble County. The trash included furniture, televisions, and other household items. Wildlife officers identified four individuals who were responsible for dumping the trash. While conducting the litter investigation, wildlife officers also identified and contacted two additional individuals who committed other violations on the property where the dump site was located. Six individuals received citations for their involvement in the various violations, including littering, theft, criminal trespassing, and possession of untagged deer parts. All individuals appeared in the Noble County Court and were found guilty of all violations. They were ordered to pay $2,620 in fines, court costs, and restitution. In addition, five of the six individuals were ordered to serve a combined 28 days in the Noble County Jail.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
During the deer archery hunting season, state wildlife investigator Ryan Garrison received information that an individual was hunting deer in Clark County while he was suspended by the court from hunting in Ohio. Investigator Garrison recognized his name from a previous investigation in 2014, and determined where the suspect was hunting. State wildlife investigator Joel Buddelmeyer and state wildlife officer Tim Rourke, assigned to Shelby County, attempted to contact the suspect while he was deer hunting on the property. They found a deer stand, fresh bait pile, and trail cameras near a residence. The following evening, investigators Garrison and Buddelmeyer located the suspect’s vehicle parked near the same location. The investigators walked the property and observed the treestand from a distance. The hunter was gone but his hunting equipment remained in the tree. The investigators contacted the suspect as he exited the wooded area. The hunter admitted that he was deer hunting. The investigators seized his hunting equipment and trail camera. He was issued citations for hunting without a license and hunting without a deer permit. He was found guilty and ordered to pay $305 in fines and court costs. His hunting equipment was forfeited to the Ohio Division of Wildlife. He also lost his hunting privileges for an additional three years by court order.