Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
In January 2018, State Wildlife Officer John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, heard gun shots coming from a private quarry. The quarry is leased for waterfowl hunting, and at the time the quarry was one of only three areas of open water in the county. The shots continued as the end of legal shooting time approached. Officer Coffman went to the quarry and began watching the hunters. The group shot three volleys after legal shooting hours as geese came back to the quarry to roost. The two adults in the group were charged with hunting after hours and were found guilty. The men paid $155 in fines and court costs.
After the close of deer season, State Wildlife Officers Maurice Irish, assigned to Delaware County, and Tyler Eldred, assigned to Morrow County, received a report that a man had allegedly killed two bucks during the 2017-2018 deer season. Officers Irish and Eldred interviewed the man at his home. During the interview, the man eventually told officers he had killed a 7-point buck and a button buck in Richland County without a valid deer permit. He also admitted to falsifying his report of the 7-point buck and not checking in the button buck. In addition, the man admitted to later killing a doe, which was also not checked in, and an 11-point buck from Delaware Wildlife Area. It was discovered that the man threw away the antlers from the 7-point buck to dispose of the evidence. The officers seized the man’s shotgun and antlers from the 11-point buck. He received several summonses to Mansfield Municipal Court and Delaware Municipal Court.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two
State Wildlife Officer Josh Zientek, assigned to Fulton County, was contacted by a concerned sportsman who had found a butchered deer and several beer cans which had been disposed of in a creek. Upon further investigation, Officer Zientek was able to identify a suspect who had recovered a deer from a motor vehicle crash. Officer Zientek made contact with the suspect and determined that he and a friend had disposed of the deer and beer cans in the creek. Officer Zientek issued both suspects summonses for stream litter. Both suspects were found guilty and paid a total of $450 in fines and court costs.
In late January, State Wildlife Officer Ryan Kennedy, assigned to Hardin County, received a report of a possible trapping violation. The information suggested that a raccoon was caught in a trap and had been held longer than one day. Upon responding to the area, Officer Kennedy located a live raccoon caught in a trap. With snow on the ground, Officer Kennedy did not observe any evidence that the trapper had checked the trap recently. Officer Kennedy contacted the landowner, who admitted that he had set the trap and had not checked the trap in five days. The subject was issued a citation for failing to monitor his trap every calendar day. He was fined $115 in fines and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three
During the deer gun season, State Wildlife Officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, State Wildlife Officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, and Wildlife Officer Supervisor Scott Angelo responded to a hunting without permission complaint in Jefferson County. The officers arrived on scene, located the suspect’s vehicle and spoke to the complainant. Officer Angelo and Turner entered the woods while Officer Porter waited at the vehicle. A short time later, Officer Angelo located two individuals hunting on the property. The results of the investigation revealed that the men had hunted the farm two consecutive days and harvested an antlerless deer. In addition, one of the individuals was hunting without a valid deer permit. The men were issued three summonses and ordered to appear in court. They were convicted and paid a total of $990 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four
During deer gun season, State Wildlife Officer Eric Lane, assigned to Perry County, and District Law Supervisor Jay Abele were on patrol when Officer Abele noticed an individual standing behind a residence holding what appeared to be a deer rack. Officer Lane and Officer Abele made contact with the individual and asked the hunter if he had harvested this deer, which he confirmed. After inspection of the deer, Officer Lane was unable to find where the deer had been temporary tagged. The hunter told Officer Lane that he did not have a pencil so he was unable to fill out the tag. Officer Lane asked the individual if he would walk back to the vehicle and fill out a statement. After a few questions from Officer Lane, the individual stated that the deer was his second buck and that he thought it was a doe when he shot it. Officer Lane seized the deer as evidence and issued two summonses – one for failure to temporary tag a deer and one for harvesting a second buck. The individual paid fines and court costs.
On opening day of the 2017 deer gun season, State Wildlife Officer Ted Witham, assigned to Jackson County, and Wildlife Officer Supervisor Lee VanAllen were on patrol in Jackson County. Officer Witham received a phone call from a concerned deer hunter who stated that he had just witnessed two individuals jump out of a pickup truck and shoot at a deer from the roadway. Officers Witham and VanAllen headed toward the location. On the way, they contacted the Jackson Police Department and a patrolman headed toward the location of the violation. The police department contacted Officer Witham a short time later and informed him that they had stopped the vehicle in question and had two suspects. Officers Witham and VanAllen arrived and questioned the suspects. Both individuals admitted to shooting at the deer from the roadway. Additionally, the officers found a loaded shotgun inside the vehicle. Each individual was charged with hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle and shooting from the roadway. The driver was also charged with the illegal transportation of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. Both suspects were found guilty in Jackson County Municipal Court and ordered to pay $1,020 in fines and court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five
One cold, January morning, State Wildlife Officer Jeff Wenning, assigned to Darke County, was reviewing deer harvest data when he noticed some inconsistent data concerning deer that had been harvested by three brothers. Based on the inaccuracies, Officer Wenning set out to meet with the brothers. Officer Wenning met with two of the brothers, who each told different stories. After further questioning about the discrepancies in what they were telling the officer, the two admitted to Officer Wenning that they each had checked a deer for the third brother who had killed all three deer on the same day. Officer Wenning then met with the third brother who admitted to killing all three deer and asking his brothers to check them in. The three men were found guilty in the Darke County Municipal Court and ordered to pay fines and court costs. They were also ordered to forfeit any deer meat from the unlawful harvests.