ODNR: DNA Used To Convict Ohio Deer Poacher
Poacher to pay fines and restitution, lose hunting privileges for two years
COLUMBUS, OH - The use of DNA evidence in an investigation by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife, has resulted in the conviction of a deer poacher in Preble County.
Steven S. Booso of Lewisburg was convicted in Eaton Municipal Court on August 31 of four misdemeanor wildlife violations, including taking a deer with a shotgun during the closed season, possessing an untagged deer, temporarily tagging a deer of another, and deterring a wildlife officer from performing official duties.
Last fall, the division received a complaint concerning Booso through its Turn In a Poacher (TIP) line. Based on the tip, wildlife officers contacted Booso and found on his property the untagged carcass of a deer he claimed to have killed in Indiana.
This discovery led wildlife officers to search search an area the suspect had been known to hunt and found evidence of a recent deer kill and ATV tracks leaving the area to a nearby road.
The blood and hair samples collected at both the residence and hunting scene were submitted to a DNA laboratory for analysis. The results confirmed that the untagged deer in Booso’s possession and the remnants found at the hunting site were from the same animal.
As a result of the conviction, Municipal Judge Paul Henry fined Booso $1,000 with $800 of that amount suspended. Bosso was also ordered to pay $450 for the DNA analysis, a $95 processing fee, and $400 in restitution to the Division of Wildlife for the white-tailed buck he illegally killed. A 30-day jail sentence was suspended and Booso was ordered to forfeit the 12-gauge shotgun he used in the crime. The judge also suspended Booso’s hunting privileges for two years and placed him on two years probation.
Booso’s brother Mark W. Booso, also of Lewisburg, pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of tagging a deer killed by another person. He was fined $200 and instructed to pay $400 in restitution to the Division of Wildlife. He was also given a 30-day suspended jail sentence.
“Once again, concerned citizens of Ohio have shown that they will not tolerate abuse of the state’s wildlife resources,” said Daniel T. Schneider, law enforcement administrator for the Division of Wildlife. “As Ohio’s various hunting seasons get in full swing, we encourage people to contact our 1-800-POACHER line if they witness a wildlife violation. Callers can remain completely anonymous.”