Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 10, 2020
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer Brad Kiger was on patrol in Franklin County when he observed a subject walking through a field during white-tailed deer muzzleloader hunting season wearing a hunter orange hat but not the required hunter orange vest. The hunter walked into the woods and sat down by a tree. Officer Kiger contacted the hunter and he stated that he did not have a hunter orange vest, which is required during the muzzleloader season. The hunter was issued a citation for not wearing the required hunter orange vest and paid $176 in fines and court costs.
In December, state wildlife officer Austin Levering, assigned to Knox County, received information about hunting violations involving a buck deer. Officer Levering was informed that the buck was harvested on private property by a suspect who did not possess a valid hunting license or either-sex deer permit. Officer Levering and state wildlife officer Tyler Eldred, assigned to Morrow County, contacted the suspect. The suspect admitted during the interview that he did not have a valid hunting license and deer permit at the time he harvested the buck in October 2019. The suspect game-checked the deer as a landowner harvest in the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System. The violator was issued summonses for providing false information when game-checking a deer, and for hunting without a valid deer permit. The violator was ordered to pay $355 in court costs and fines in Mt. Vernon Municipal Court, and was placed under a one-year hunting license revocation. The deer was forfeited to the state.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
On the opening day of the deer-gun season, state wildlife officer Matt Smith, assigned to Henry County, received a phone message from a concerned hunter who stated he had witnessed another hunter harvest two bucks at Turkeyfoot Wildlife Area. Officer Smith headed to the wildlife area and was met by three men, including the caller. The man advised that the hunter and both harvested bucks were nearby. Officer Smith thanked the man for the information and contacted the suspect. The suspect admitted that he had harvested two bucks, one more than the season limit. The second buck was seized and eventually donated to a local food pantry. The man was issued a citation for harvesting a second antlered deer and ordered to pay $300 in fines and court costs. A few days later, officer Smith responded to a complaint of hunters pursuing deer with the aid of a motor vehicle and shooting from the roadway. Officer Smith contacted the driver and found it was the hunter who had called about the bucks. Both the driver and the passenger were cited and ordered to pay $941 in fines and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
In July 2019, state wildlife investigators Matthew Fisher and Jason Hadsell, assigned to the Lake Erie Unit, were checking anglers on Lake Erie when they saw a boat returning from the lake with four people onboard. The investigators contacted the anglers. After an inspection of their fishing licenses and fish, investigator Hadsell counted 27 walleyes in the coolers, three over their daily bag limit. One person received a summons for a bag limit violation. The individual appeared in Willoughby Municipal Court, was found guilty, and ordered to pay $219 in total fines and court costs.
While conducting deer investigations, state wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, contacted an individual who had allegedly harvested a deer without first obtaining a valid deer permit. As officer Frank was speaking with him, the man’s eyes glazed over and he fell to the ground. Concerned that he was experiencing a medical emergency, officer Frank relayed the situation to emergency medical personnel. As officer Frank was examining him for injuries, the man quickly recovered and was able to sit on the tailgate of the patrol vehicle. At that time, the suspect acknowledged that he had committed the violation and was faking the medical emergency. The individual was eventually charged and ordered to appear in court. He was fined $50 plus court costs.
While patrolling during the deer gun season, state wildlife officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, and wildlife officer supervisor Eric Bear received information that a group of individuals were hunting on private property without permission. The officers responded to the area and located a suspect’s truck parked on the property. After a short search, the officers were able to locate four men hunting on the property. Two of the men were hunting without deer permits, and two men were not wearing the required hunter orange clothing. Appropriate summonses where issued to the violators, who all appeared before a judge in Harrison County. The men were convicted and paid $650 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In February, state wildlife officer Jared Abele, assigned to Vinton County, received a complaint about individuals illegally shooting at wild turkeys. The caller had witnessed two individuals in a truck driving through his neighbor’s pasture. He stated the driver stopped the truck and the passenger exited the vehicle with a firearm, ran a few steps, then appeared to shoot at a flock of turkeys in the field. The passenger then returned to the truck and the individuals left. Officer Abele identified two suspects, and further investigation found they were driving across the pasture without permission while looking for a place to rabbit hunt. They saw a coyote running across the field. The passenger jumped out of the vehicle and shot at it. The suspects did not see the turkeys until they flushed after the shot was fired. Officer Abele issued summonses to the passenger for hunting without permission and for hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle, and he issued a summons to the driver for aiding a wildlife offender.
State wildlife officer Mark Basinger, assigned to Athens County, was made aware of a hunter from Pennsylvania who attempted to game-check two deer with the same either-sex permit during the 2019-2020 archery season. The hunter had successfully harvested a buck deer and checked it in, and then later shot an antlerless deer with the intention of checking it in using the same permit. When he couldn’t do that, he returned to the license agent where he had bought the first permit and bought a second permit to check in the antlerless deer. The hunter admitted he had not read the hunting regulations or the information on checking in a deer or turkey. Officer Basinger contacted the hunter and explained that it was not possible to correct the second deer harvest without making more issues. The additional permit that was purchased could be used to continue hunting, but could not be used to game check the antlerless deer that was harvested without a valid permit. The hunter was issued a citation and paid $140 in fines and court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
During a holiday weekend, state wildlife officer Matt Hunt, assigned to Greene County, received a call from state wildlife officer Matt Roberts, assigned to Clinton County. Officer Roberts was checking a nearby quarry for trespassers fishing without permission. Officer Hunt responded to assist, and observed two fishermen from a distance while officer Roberts attempted to get closer. The fishermen then vanished into the surrounding bushes. Officer Hunt then called in state wildlife officer Jason Keller, assigned to Warren County, and his partner, K-9 officer Scout. The two fishermen eventually emerged from the woods carrying their fishing poles. Somewhere along the way they discarded some buckets. K-9 officer Scout arrived just as officer Hunt and officer Roberts were contacting the men. The two men denied fishing and carrying the buckets. K-9 officer Scout quickly located the buckets hidden nearby. The containers held more than 50 bluegills, 12 crappies, and several bass. The two men were subsequently cited for trespassing and the fish were confiscated. Each man paid $155 in fines and court costs.