Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Jan. 3, 2020
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer Jeff Tipton received multiple complaints about someone using a spotlight at night in Champaign County. Many of the nearby residences were concerned about poaching activity. In Ohio, it is unlawful to cast the rays of an artificial light into a field or woods for the purpose of locating a wild animal while in possession of a hunting device. This is called jacklighting. Officer Tipton shared this information with a Champaign County sheriff’s deputy. Soon thereafter, a call came in about someone jacklighting in the complaint area. The sheriff’s deputy responded and observed a vehicle using a light to shine the fields and woods. He stopped the vehicle and spoke to the driver and a passenger. The information was passed on to officer Tipton. Officer Tipton then went to the suspect’s residence. Officer Tipton determined that this person had been spotlighting in Champaign County. The suspect was charged with jacklighting. The suspect was found guilty, was fined $250 plus court costs, sentenced to 10 days in jail that were suspended on the condition that he serve one year of community control, and he lost his hunting privileges for one year.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
State wildlife officer Austin Dickinson, assigned to Defiance County, was conducting enforcement activity at Lake La Su An Wildlife Area in September along with several other wildlife officers during the opening day of dove hunting season. The officers observed a group of men leaving trash in the dove fields. The men were contacted after leaving the field and checked for valid hunting licenses and HIP requirements. The men admitted to leaving the trash in the field, and three summonses were issued for litter on state property. One of the men had an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, and was issued a summons for the violation. All four men were found guilty and paid $500 in fines and court costs.
In March, state wildlife officers Ethan Bingham, assigned to Seneca County, and Reid Van Cleve, assigned to Ottawa County, were checking walleye anglers returning from Lake Erie at the Catawba State Park boat ramp. Two boats returned from the lake at the same time, and officer Bingham asked to see their fishing licenses and catch for the day. The four anglers stated that they had caught their limit, but upon further investigation it was found that each angler had taken six walleye each, two over the legal bag limit of four. The four anglers were each issued a summons for overbag on walleye, and the walleye were seized for evidence. Each angler paid $118 in fines and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
State wildlife officers Jeremy Carter, assigned to Holmes County, Randy White, assigned to Lorain County, and Matt Madgar, assigned to Cuyahoga County, were patrolling Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area late one evening when they observed a vehicle driving recklessly along the rural road. The officers initiated a traffic stop and discovered the driver had a suspended driver’s license because of previous convictions. The man was subsequently charged and convicted in Wayne County Municipal Court. He spent three days in jail and paid more than $900 in fines and costs.
During the deer-gun season, state wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, located a vehicle with two deer strapped to the roof. Initial inspection of the deer revealed that the deer were not properly tagged. Officer Brown contacted wildlife officer supervisor Brennan Earick, who responded to assist. The owner of the automobile then arrived. He stated that he was hunting with three of his friends, and two of them had killed the deer on top of his vehicle. Three other men returned to their location. The two men who had killed the deer had valid hunting licenses and deer permits. The third individual did not possess a hunting license. The men who had killed the deer were charged with failing to attach a game tag to the animals, and the third individual was issued a summons for hunting without a valid license. The officers assisted the men with filling out a game tag to place on the deer for transportation. The men appeared in court, were convicted, and paid more than $585 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
During the 2019 deer season, state wildlife officer Wes Feldner, assigned to Monroe County, received information about an individual placing corn on Wayne National Forest property for the purpose of hunting deer over it. Office Feldner located the area and confirmed the presence of corn, and also found fresh ATV tracks from the corn pile to a nearby road. Officer Feldner then contacted an individual hunting deer over the corn pile. The individual admitted to putting out the corn and to driving an ATV in a nondesignated area on Wayne National Forest property. The individual received two summonses, one for deer hunting over a baited area on public hunting ground, and another for operating an ATV in a nondesignated area. The individual posted the bond amount in the Monroe County Court and paid $185 in fines and court costs.
In November, state wildlife officer Chris Gilkey, assigned to Meigs County, received a message from Turn In a Poacher that a buck had been killed with a rifle during the archery season. Officer Gilkey contacted the suspect, who admitted to killing the deer without a permit, but claimed he shot it with a crossbow. The suspect showed officer Gilkey the treestand where he was when he shot the deer. Officer Gilkey had his K-9 partner, Mattis, run the area where the deer was shot, and Mattis discovered a rifle casing near the treestand. The suspect confessed to shooting the deer with the rifle. The gun and deer were seized, and three summonses were issued for the violation. Charges are currently pending in Meigs County Court.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
State wildlife officer Eric Lamb, assigned to Brown County, received an anonymous tip from the Brown County Sheriff’s Office regarding two individuals who were hunting deer without permission. One of them was hunting under a weapons disability. The next day, investigator Joel Buddelmeyer, assigned to southwest Ohio, was on patrol when he observed the same two men dressed in camouflage and wearing hunter orange walking across the field. As he got near them, he noticed that one was carrying a shotgun. The second individual was not carrying a firearm. Investigator Buddelmeyer asked to see their hunting licenses and deer permits. One of the individuals claimed he had shot a doe at the same property the day before. Investigator Buddelmeyer then discovered that one of the suspects had a warrant out of Brown County. State wildlife officer Gus Kiebel, assigned to Clermont County, state wildlife officer Trent Weaver, assigned to Montgomery County, and wildlife officer supervisor Rick Rogers arrived to assist. Further investigation by the officers revealed the individual had shot the deer on another property where he did not have permission to hunt. The suspect was charged with having weapons while under disability and hunting without permission. The defendant pleaded guilty to both charges in Brown County Common Pleas Court. He was sentenced to two years of community control, courts costs, and forfeiture of the firearm.