Concerned citizens helped area wildlife officers to catch men who tried to shoot a deer from inside his home and another who intentionally fished past twice the legal limit of fish.
State Wildlife Officer Jason Warren, assigned to Ashtabula County, received a complaint alleging that an individual shot at a deer with a shotgun from inside his residence during the closed season.
Aided by snow cover on the ground, the investigation revealed that the man had shot at the deer but missed. Officer Warren charged the subject with hunting deer in the closed season and ordered him to appear in court. He pleaded guilty in the Ashtabula County Municipal Court, was convicted, and fined $295.
In another case in June, Lake Erie Investigator Kevin Good was contacted by a concerned citizen who had overheard a man state that he had caught his limit of walleye very quickly and intend to go back out and catch more. The citizen provided a license plate and a good vehicle description to Investigator Good.
That evening, the man and his son came in from their second fishing trip and Good contacted the men. After questioning them about the days catch, both men admitted that they had each caught their limit of walleye in the morning then gone back out in the afternoon, catching a second limit of walleye.
Both men were issued summonses and each man paid over $500 in fines, court costs, and restitution. Both men also had their fishing license suspended for one year.
In other ODNR wildlife patrol news...
Central Ohio, Wildlife District One
On a day in July, State Wildlife Officers Josh Shields, assigned to Union County, and Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, contacted 16 anglers at Indian Lake using their patrol boat. Four summonses were issued to anglers for fishing without licenses and fishing with more than two rods per person. The violations resulted in a total of $720 in fines and court costs paid by the anglers.
During the 2018 spring turkey season, State Wildlife Officer Josh Elster, assigned to Pickaway County, was dispatched to Deer Creek Wildlife Area regarding the theft of a pair of chest waders. Officer Elster arrived on scene and spoke with the victim who stated they used the waders to cross the creek to turkey hunt. After changing out of them, the victim placed them under a fallen tree and left them there while hunting.
Upon returning to get the waders, the victim realized they were gone. The victim walked up to closest parking lot and could see the waders through the back glass of a vehicle along with an empty gun case. Using the information from the vehicle’s registration, Officer Elster was able to locate a telephone number for an individual matching the vehicle’s registration. Officer Elster contacted the individual and asked them to meet him at the parking lot. Once the individual arrived at the parking lot, Officer Elster asked them about the waders. The individual stated they picked up the waders thinking they had been left there as trash.
Officer Elster advised the individual the waders belonged to someone and who discovered them in the suspect’s vehicle. The waders were returned to their owner and the individual who found them was advised to contact an officer in the future if they come across a similar situation.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three
On occasion, offenders fail to appear in court and those cases become bench warrants. Recently, State Wildlife Officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, was comparing information listed on each summons with the Ohio Bureau of Motor vehicle records. One individual who had failed to appear in the Struthers Municipal Court for a fishing violation had obtained a new drivers’ license which provided a different home address in Trumbull County. Officer Frank arrived at the residence, observed the man enter the house, and knocked on the door. The individual answered the door and was arrested for the fishing violation which had occurred five years earlier. The man spent several days in jail until his court appearance. He was convicted and paid fines and court costs of $148.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four
State Wildlife Officer Eric Lane, assigned to Perry County, received information from a landowner stating that someone had harvested a deer on his property during deer season without permission. With the information provided by the landowner, Officer Lane was able to contact the suspect. During the interview, Officer Lane was able to determine that a buck had been harvested in the area. Officer Lane seized the buck as evidence and issued a summons for giving false information to check in a deer. The individual paid fines and court costs, and the deer was forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five
While on patrol along Buck Creek in the city of Springfield, State Wildlife Officer Byron Rice, assigned to Clark County, observed two individuals along the creek who appeared to be fishing. As he drove past their location, Officer Rice could see that one man was fishing but the other wasn’t. He also noticed two fishing poles in the water and decided to drive to the other side of the creek to observe the men a little while longer.
Shortly after he had left the area, Officer Rice observed both men beginning to fish. He went back to their location and contacted them to check for valid fishing licenses. Only one of the men had a license. The other man received a citation for not having a valid fishing license. He was later found guilty in the Clark County Municipal Court and fined $150.