Field reports from ODNR Division of Wildlife Officers


Sunbury News Staff Report

Central Ohio – Wildlife District One

In November 2017, State Wildlife Officer Maurice Irish, assigned to Delaware County, received a call from a landowner after a gut pile was discovered on the landowner’s property. The landowner told Officer Irish that no one had asked permission to hunt on the property. Officer Irish surveyed the area and discovered a crossbow bolt sticking out of the ground near the gut pile. A blood trail was tracked back to a tree stand near the property line. When checking the area during the statewide deer gun season, Officer Irish located a man hunting near the complainant’s property. During Officer Irish’s conversation with the hunter, the man originally stated he killed a large 8-point buck in early November, but in a different part of the county. After further discussion, the man admitted to pursuing the large buck onto the complainant’s property where he did not have permission to hunt and was cited for the violation. He appeared in Delaware Municipal Court where he paid a hefty fine and court costs.

During the opening weekend of the early goose and teal season, State Wildlife Officers Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, and Jeff Tipton, assigned to Champaign County, were patrolling Indian Lake by boat when they came upon a group of hunters in a blind. The officers contacted the group and asked to see their licenses and stamps, then asked to check the hunters’ guns to see if they had plugs. Before they checked the guns, the officers asked the hunters to point their guns in a safe direction and unload them. One of the hunters turned his back to the officers when he unloaded his gun, which seemed suspicious to both officers. When the hunter’s gun was checked, the officers determined the gun was capable of holding more than three shells. The hunter was issued a summons for hunting waterfowl with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shotgun shells.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two

State Wildlife Officer Brad Buening, assigned to Van Wert County, was checking an angler at Schoonover Lake in Allen County who seemed overly nervous. The individual was found to be fishing without a license, and Officer Buening also discovered the angler was using a fake ID to avoid getting a ticket. Officer Buening requested a second form of ID and the individual reluctantly provided his driver’s license. When Officer Buening searched the individual’s information on the computer database, an active warrant came up. Officer Buening attempted to put the angler under arrest, but the individual ran. After further investigation and pursuit, Officer Buening located and arrested the individual. He was summoned to the Lima Municipal Count on charges of resisting arrest, obstructing official business, deterring a wildlife officer, and fishing without a license.

During the 2017 statewide deer gun season, State Wildlife Officer Anthony Lemle, assigned to Williams County, was checking a group of deer hunters after they had just completed a deer drive, when he overheard one of the hunters telling another member of the hunting party how he had killed a deer on that same property on opening day of the gun season. A check of the hunter’s harvest record showed that he had killed a deer on opening day, but that he had reported the deer as harvested in Lucas County. A subsequent interview with the hunter revealed that the deer had been killed in Williams County but reported harvested in Lucas County. The hunter was issued a citation for providing false information to a check station. He was found guilty in Bryan Municipal Court and paid $125 in fines and court costs.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three

During last year’s statewide deer archery season, State Wildlife Officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, received information from the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission regarding a resident of West Virginia who had been convicted of numerous wildlife violations in both states and had his hunting privileges revoked. As a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact, the man’s hunting privileges had been suspended in Ohio as well. Several weeks later, Officer Porter was contacted by West Virginia Department of Natural Resources’ Officer Steve Haines stating that he believed the subject was going to hunt in Ohio that evening. Later that afternoon, Officer Porter met with State Wildlife Officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, and they were able to locate the subject’s truck. Shortly after dark, the man arrived back at his truck, dressed in full camo and carrying a compound bow. The officers identified themselves, determined that the man had been deer hunting, and checked his hunting license and deer permit. The officers discovered that the man had claimed residency in Ohio. The man was issued two summonses: hunting under revocation and hunting without a valid license. In addition, the compound bow was seized as evidence. The man was later convicted in court and paid $485 in fines and court costs. His hunting privileges were revoked for an additional two years and the $1,200 bow was forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four

During the statewide deer gun season, State Wildlife Officers Chris Dodge, assigned to Hocking County, and Mark Basinger, assigned to Stark County, received anonymous information through the Turn-In-a-Poacher (TIP) hotline. The caller stated that an Athens County resident had shot a seven-point buck around 11 p.m. the previous evening. When the officers arrived at the residence, the suspect was butchering his deer outside. The officers also observed a second deer being butchered, a button buck harvested by another hunter. When questioned about the seven-point buck, the suspect eventually admitted that he had shot the deer from an upstairs window of his home the previous evening, after legal shooting hours. The person who had harvested the button buck failed to tag his deer and failed to check in the deer before butchering the animal. Each suspect was issued two summonses. The seven-point buck and a 12-gauge shotgun were seized as evidence. The person who killed the seven-point buck pleaded guilty in Athens Municipal Court and was ordered to pay $399 in fines and court costs. The second suspect who killed the button buck failed to appear in court or pay his fines and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five

While on patrol in Butler County during the statewide deer gun season, District Wildlife Law Enforcement Supervisor Michele Welsh and State Wildlife Officer Aaron Ireland, assigned to Butler County, encountered a hunter in the field who was standing near a fresh deer carcass. The officers introduced themselves and conducted a hunting license compliance check. During the course of their conversation with the man, the officers discovered that the suspect had actually shot two deer and was in the process of making arrangements to get both deer transported back to his residence. By the time the officers had contacted him, the hunter had already moved one deer from where it had initially fallen, and he was preparing to field dress the other deer. Neither deer had been temporarily tagged with a game tag, as required by Ohio law. Officer Ireland issued the man a summons for failing to attach a game tag to his deer where it fell. The man paid $140 in fines and court courts.

Sunbury News Staff Report