Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
During the 2017 Ohio Deer gun season, State Wildlife Officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, received information from the Turn In A Poacher (TIP) hotline that someone had shot and killed a deer from a vehicle with a muzzleloader. Officer Smith had the description of the suspect’s vehicle and after an investigation he identified the suspect, who was charged with shooting deer from a roadway, hunting by the aid of a motor vehicle, and hunting without permission. The man paid approximately $350 in fines and court costs, and the deer and his muzzleloader were forfeited to the State of Ohio. The caller received a cash reward from the TIP program.
While following up on potential violations found while investigating the online game-check database, State Wildlife Officer Patrick Muldovan, assigned to Licking County, spoke with an individual about a deer the man had harvested earlier in the season. While speaking with the individual, it was discovered that the man had harvested an antlered deer prior to purchasing an either-sex deer permit. The man was issued two summonses, one for hunting without a valid deer permit and one for using a deer permit that was purchased after the deer had been harvested. The man appeared in court and paid $475 in fines and court costs.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two
In February 2018, State Wildlife Officer Reid Van Cleve, assigned to Ottawa County, was working the spring walleye run along the Sandusky River. During this time, there are a lot of walleye in the river and occasionally, an angler may snag one accidently. If this occurs, the fish must be released immediately. Officer Van Cleve observed a fisherman reeling in a walleye that was snagged in the back by the dorsal fin. The fisherman removed the jig but instead of letting the fish go, placed the jig into the mouth of the walleye. The fisherman then retrieved a pair of needle nose pliers and removed the hook from the mouth and placed the walleye on a stringer and continued to fish. Officer Van Cleve contacted the fisherman and issued a citation for keeping a snagged fish. The man paid a $140 fine.
In early spring, Lake Erie Investigators Kevin Good and Kelsey Brockman conducted a patrol on Lake Erie after receiving complaints of anglers trolling too many rods. While on patrol, they observed four boats fishing with more rods than the number of people on board allowed. As the officers approached the boats, the anglers attempted to reel in the extra rods. Upon contact, the individuals on the boats admitted they knew there was a two rod per angler limit. Six citations were issued for fishing with too many rods, and each individual paid $90 in fines and court costs through the Ottawa County Municipal Court.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three
During the deer gun season, State Wildlife Officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, received a call from a landowner who had observed an individual shoot a small doe and drag it to the edge of a woodlot without attaching a game tag to the animal. Officer Porter went to the farm, located the deer, and seized it as evidence. While on site, he contacted a few members of the hunting party who indicated they would speak to the individual responsible after he returned to camp in the evening. Later that night, Officer Porter met the suspect outside a local restaurant and issued him a summons for failing to attach a temporary game tag to the deer. He was convicted in court and paid $330 in fines and court costs. The deer was forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four
State Wildlife Officer Roy Rucker, assigned to Gallia County, received information concerning a subject who had killed a deer and checked it in as a landowner even though the deer was harvested on property the hunter does not own. Officer Rucker contacted the hunter and discovered that the deer had been killed on another person’s property. In addition, the hunter did not have a valid hunting license or deer permit at the time of the harvest. The subject was issued two citations for the offenses and paid $355 in fines and court costs.
In early April 2018, State Wildlife Officer Darin Abbott, assigned to Lawrence County, was on patrol at Wayne National Forest when he witnessed an open fire violation. When he stopped to contact the suspect, Officer Abbott observed drug paraphernalia in plain view. Officer Abbott searched the suspect’s vehicle and located more drug paraphernalia, six knives, an axe, and a spray paint can that had recently been used to vandalize the roadway and parking area. The suspect was out on parole from prison and was arrested on parole violation per the probation officer’s direction. Charges are pending in Ironton Municipal Court.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five
Last spring turkey season, State Wildlife Officer Ryan Schock, assigned to Hamilton County, received a call from a Hamilton County park ranger who informed him of rifle shots that had been reported near one of the county parks. Upon arrival, Officer Schock met with the park ranger and shortly thereafter, they contacted a nearby hunter. The man was turkey hunting and had decoys set at the edge of a woods. He stated that he was hunting turkey and had shot at a bird and missed. The hunter was illegally using a .22-250 rifle as his hunting implement. When Officer Schock asked for the hunter’s license and turkey tag the man stated that he was hunting as a landowner and did not need a license or turkey tag. The Hamilton County park ranger had already learned that the hunter was not the landowner and did not have permission to be on the property. Officer Schock contacted the landowner who did not want to pursue charges due to the other violations the hunter was being cited for. Officer Schock seized the .22-250 rifle as evidence and cited the man for hunting without a license, hunting turkey without a turkey tag, and hunting turkey with a rifle. The man reached a plea agreement with the Hamilton County Municipal Court and paid a $50 fine plus court costs.