Field reports from ODNR Division of Wildlife Officers highlight need to obey hunting regulations

Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
While on patrol at Quarry Park, State Wildlife Officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, observed three men taking turns fishing with one fishing pole. One would fish for about five minutes and then hand the pole to one of the other men. Officer Grote watched each of the men fish at least twice before he went and checked them for fishing licenses. None of them had a fishing license, and all three were issued a summons for fishing without a license. One man had a warrant for his arrest and he was turned over to the Marysville Police Department. All three men were found guilty and paid $188 each in fines and court cost.

State Wildlife Officers Patrick Muldovan, assigned to Licking County, and Tony Zerkle, assigned to Fairfield County, received a report that a red fox had been stuck in a trap for three days. Upon arriving to the area, Officers Muldovan and Zerkle located the trapped fox and verified that it had been there for multiple days. They released the live fox from the foothold trap and retrieved the trapper’s information. Upon interviewing the trapper, it was discovered that he removed all of his traps except for one because he thought it was frozen. The trapper received a summons for not checking his traps every calendar day. He pleaded guilty in the Licking County Municipal Court and paid $150 in costs and fines.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two
State Wildlife Officer Ryan Kennedy, assigned to Hardin County, was patrolling Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area during the archery season when something unusual caught his eye. He observed a truck parked on the area with a European-style deer skull wired to the hood. Officer Kennedy inspected it and could not locate a tag or check-in number attached to the antlers. Officer Kennedy contacted the owner of the vehicle. Further investigation revealed the man found the deer dead and cut the head off without contacting law enforcement agencies to obtain a receipt for the antlers. Officer Kennedy issued him a citation for possession of untagged deer parts. The man was fined $100 plus court costs.

During the deer-gun season, State Wildlife Officers Troy Reimund and Kevin Newsome were patrolling an area of Henry County where Officer Reimund had received numerous complaints of road hunting. The officers noticed a herd of deer running through a field, and a vehicle driving down the road in reverse trying to catch up to them. The vehicle turned around and drove quickly down the road in an attempt to catch up to the deer. The vehicle reached the deer just as they crossed the road. The officers witnessed the driver of the vehicle shoot at the deer several times while he was still driving. The officers stopped the vehicle and discovered that the driver was alone, and he had a shotgun next to him on the seat. The officers issued the driver summonses for hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle and shooting at a wild animal from the roadway. Officer Reimund later issued the suspect another summons for a felony charge of shooting from a motor vehicle. The suspect appeared in the Napoleon Municipal Court and was sentenced to serve 10 days in jail, had his hunting license suspended for five years, was ordered to pay fines and court costs totaling nearly $800, and forfeited the firearm used in the offense.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three
During the deer-gun season, State Wildlife Officer Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, received information that two hunters wearing only camouflage clothing were dropped off along the roadway and walked toward a woodlot. The informant met Officer Moore at the property and showed him the tracks in the snow. The tracks continued through the woodlot toward a residence on the adjacent property. Officer Moore walked to the house, knocked on the door, and was invited in. Three men were standing inside the home. Two of the men were dressed in heavy hunting clothes and wearing boots which appeared to be wet. Officer Moore asked the men if they had been hunting, and they replied that they were hunting earlier in the day but had just finished clearing snow from the driveway. The results of the investigation revealed that they were hunting deer without permission from the landowner and had failed to wear hunter orange clothing. In addition, one of the men was hunting without a deer permit. Both of the men were charged, appeared in court, convicted, and paid nearly $1,000 in fines and court costs.

While working migratory waterfowl enforcement in Trumbull County at Shenango Wildlife Area, State Wildlife Officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, contacted a hunter in the field and inspected his license and firearm. Unfortunately, the man had failed to acquire an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp as required by law. He was issued a summons, convicted in court, and ordered to pay more than $400 in fines and costs.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four
While on patrol in Pike County, State Wildlife Officer Matt VanCleve was driving on state Route 32 when he saw a vehicle pulled along the shoulder. As Officer VanCleve passed the vehicle he noticed a man leaning against the rear door. Officer VanCleve found a safe place to turn around and went back to the vehicle to conduct a well-being check. As Officer VanCleve spoke to the man, a female exited the vehicle. After speaking to both occupants, Officer VanCleve discovered the man was intoxicated. A short time later a state trooper showed up to assist. It was discovered that the man, who had originally provided a false identity, had two active warrants from Florida and Georgia. He was taken into custody.

State wildlife officers conducted several law enforcement projects in Vinton County during the fall of 2014. The projects were targeted to arrest individuals who were spotlighting and/or shooting wildlife from motor vehicles. During the projects, wildlife officers stopped five vehicles for wildlife-related offenses. Four individuals were issued summonses for spotlighting. Eight individuals where issued 14 other wildlife related summonses.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five
State Wildlife Officers Jim Carnes, assigned to Highland County, and Trent Weaver, assigned to Montgomery County, were on separate patrols in Highland County when Officer Carnes encountered a vehicle and pedestrian accident involving an Amish child. While emergency staff was administering medical treatment to the child, two other children recognized Officer Carnes’ patrol truck and approached him. The children asked Officer Carnes if he could help them find their horse and buggy so they could return home and let the child’s mother know about the accident. While Officer Carnes assisted the children in finding the horse and buggy, Officer Weaver was given the address information of the injured child’s mother. He was requested to contact the mother to inform her of the situation. Once the family’s horse and buggy was secured, Officer Carnes transported the two children home. Along the way, he was informed that the injured child was going to be flown from the scene to the hospital with her father. Knowing that the child’s mother did not have transportation of her own, Officer Carnes made arrangements for Officer Weaver to give her a ride to the hospital, where she was reunited with her child and the father. The child was treated and released into the care of her family.

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