Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 14, 2020
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, was on patrol and observed a subject taking several game fish with a cast net below the spillway at Indian Lake. Officer Smith contacted the individual and issued him a summons for the violation. The fish were all returned to the river alive. Officer Smith informed the man that if he failed to take care of his summons, a warrant would be issued for his arrest. A few months later, officer Smith observed the same man fishing in the same area. He had not responded to the summons. Officer Smith arrested him on the outstanding statewide bench warrant, and he was transported to the Logan County jail. He pleaded guilty to his previous charge and was ordered to pay $350 in fines and court costs.
While checking fishing licenses at the Deer Creek Lake spillway, state wildlife officer Josh Elster, assigned to Pickaway County, observed an individual fishing from the rocks. Officer Elster approached the individual and asked to see a fishing license. The individual stated he was only practicing and not fishing. Officer Elster asked the individual to show him what they had tied to end of the line. The individual lifted the line out of the water and produced a small crankbait. Officer Elster advised the individual the item he was practicing with could catch a fish. Officer Elster informed the individual he was fishing and would be receiving a citation. The individual was issued a citation for fishing without an Ohio resident fishing license and ordered to pay a fine through Circleville Municipal Court.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
State wildlife officer Austin Dickinson, assigned to Defiance County, responded to a call from the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office regarding a hunting without permission complaint during the weeklong deer gun season. During the investigation, officer Dickinson discovered that one of the hunters involved in the dispute had already harvested two deer in Defiance County during the 2019 season, and the hunter was attempting to take a third deer. The hunter was issued one summons for attempting to take three deer in a county with a season bag limit of two deer. The hunter was found guilty in court and ordered to pay $182 in fines and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
During the 2019 waterfowl hunting season, state wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, contacted two duck hunters. While he was inspecting their licenses and stamps, officer Brown noted that one of them did not have his HIP survey completed. This individual looked familiar to him and he asked if he had been checked by him in the past. The individual stated that he was contacted by officer Brown last season and was given a warning for failing to complete his HIP survey, as required by law. The individual was issued a summons for the violation. He appeared in court, was convicted, and paid fines and costs totaling $138.
During the deer archery season, state wildlife officer Jason Warren received information that two individuals were hunting deer after legal shooting hours from a blind in Ashtabula County. The next day, he conducted surveillance of the site and observed two men enter the blind before sunset. Shooting time ended and officer Warren had not observed the subjects leave. Officer Warren continued to watch the blind and heard deer grunt and bleat calls coming from inside. An hour after shooting time had ended, the men had not left their location. Officer Warren approached the blind and contacted the individuals. He found crossbows, a spotlight, and deer calls inside the blind. The two men were issued summons for hunting deer after legal shooting time and ordered to appear in Ashtabula Municipal Court. They were convicted and paid $285 in fines and court costs.
On opening day of the 2019 waterfowl hunting season in the north zone, state wildlife officer Brian Baker and state wildlife investigator Brian Bury, both assigned to the Lake Erie Law Enforcement Unit, went to Edgewater Park in Cleveland to contact waterfowl hunters on Lake Erie. Twenty-four hunters aboard nine different boats were contacted on the water while they were hunting. Four hunters were found in possession of lead shot. One hunter had his shotgun fully loaded with pheasant-hunting shells. He attempted to avoid detection by unloading the shotgun before he was contacted, but one round was left in the magazine. A summons was issued to the four hunters found in violation. All were found guilty in Cleveland Municipal Court.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
State wildlife officer Matt VanCleve was on patrol in Pike County with state wildlife investigator Heath Horn when they received a call from state wildlife officer Bob Nelson in Ross County. Officer Nelson had spoken to a waterfowl hunter about a hunt that seemed unusual. Officer Nelson said a waterfowl hunter was on the way to the Piketon boat ramp to pick up a second hunter and a boat. Officer VanCleve and investigator Horn parked near the boat ramp and observed a hunter sitting on the deck of a boat with a duck blind. About 30 minutes later, a pickup truck hauling a boat trailer pulled down the ramp. After the driver of the truck and the hunter briefly conversed, the hunter walked away from the boat carrying two drake mallards. The hunter returned a short time later no longer carrying the ducks. Officer VanCleve and investigator Horn contacted the two hunters and discovered that one was over his daily bag limit. He was issued two summonses and paid a $460 bond to the Pike County Court.
State wildlife officer Jeff Berry, assigned to Muskingum County, was on patrol during the 2019 deer-gun season when he received information from the Turn In a Poacher hotline that an individual was hunting at Tri-Valley Wildlife Area without wearing the required hunter orange. Officer Berry responded to the area and observed an individual hunting in a treestand wearing full camouflage. Officer Berry asked the individual if he shot a deer, and the individual confirmed that he did. He walked with officer Berry to a deer that was field dressed and covered with leaves. Officer Berry issued summonses for failure to validate a deer permit and for failure to wear hunter orange. The individual appeared in Muskingum County Court where he was ordered to pay $250 in fines, was ordered to spend three days in jail, and had his hunting privileges revoked for three years.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
In November 2019, state wildlife officer Gus Kiebel, assigned to Clermont County, received information that a large buck deer had been harvested in Warren County before the individual had purchased his hunting license and deer permit. Officer Kiebel contacted state wildlife officer Jason Keller, assigned to Warren County, and informed him of the information. Officer Keller led the investigation with help from officer Kiebel and state wildlife officer Brad Turner, assigned to Preble County. After obtaining numerous documents and pictures regarding the violations, the suspect was contacted. He admitted to killing the trophy buck before purchasing his hunting license or deer permit. The suspect also admitted to supplying false information to the game check system to cover up his illegal acts. The defendant was found guilty of three violations in Warren County Municipal Court. He was ordered to pay $5,813.93 in restitution as well as $315 in fines and court costs.