Ohio’s hunting, fishing scofflaws learn expensive lessons

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Ohio’s hunting, fishing scofflaws learn expensive lessons

With deer season underway, it’s probably time to reflect on the fact that while virtue might bring its own rewards, the rewards of detected vice usually go to the legal system.

It was an out-of-season wood duck that the hunter shot in the Delaware Wildlife Area, not the in-season doves he said he had been aiming at.

It was an out-of-season wood duck that the hunter shot in the Delaware Wildlife Area, not the in-season doves he said he had been aiming at.

  • The hunter said he’d been shooting at doves in the Delaware Wildlife Area, which was not illegal early this month. Attracted by the gunfire, the wildlife officer found a freshly dispatched wood duck nearby, after which he advised the hunter to be sure his target is in season and handed him a ticket for a court date.
  • The pop-up blind conformed to regulations, but the nearby feeder filled with corn did not, the wildlife officer informed the married couple hunting wild turkeys in Harrison County. The judge, finding the couple guilty of hunting over bait, ordered the pair to forfeit $880 in fines, costs and restitution; revoked their hunting privileges for a year; and suspended their 20-day jail sentence.
  • Two men attempting to celebrate Independence Day by angling without a license below Griggs Reservoir dam were reminded that freedom just might be another word for nothing left to lose in a society looking for screw-ups. One of the men refused to offer identification to wildlife officers after being informed of his apparent trespassing violation for climbing onto the publicly funded dam. Lack of cooperation brought out the handcuffs, and after about a 20-minute wait Columbus police arrived. Later, the trespasser was prohibited entry for five years to Columbus parks.
  • Three persons fishing at a private lake in Morrow County not only didn’t have permission, as they claimed to wildlife officers on the scene, but the landowner denied knowing who they were. An added insult, the three strangers were found casting about in the landowner’s boat and using his equipment. The trio’s cost for brazenness and regulatory flouting was about $225 each in fines and costs.
  • The walleye hanging from the stringer near the Maumee River measured 14.5 inches, one-half inch less than the legal limit. The angler assured the wildlife officer the fish matched the notch he’d put on his fishing rod to determine whether a questionable walleye was of legal length. The wildlife officer measured the distance to the notch: 14.5 inches.
  • Smoking pot in Fairfield County wildlife areas led to citations and a major buzz kill for an undisclosed number of mellow nature lovers and fishermen espied by the county wildlife officer during June and July. Any yin involving marijuana’s medicinal and/or psychic benefits were counterbalanced by the yang of court costs, fines and six-month driver’s license suspensions.
  • A vehicle about 300 yards from the road at Delaware Wildlife Area got stuck. Then a second vehicle trying to get the vehicle unstuck got stuck. A tow truck was called. The tow truck got stuck. Another vehicle arrived and got the tow truck unstuck. A passing citizen got his tractor and got unstuck both the original stuck vehicle and the stuck rescue vehicle. Each driver of the bogged vehicles was issued a summons for operating a vehicle off a designated road and got stuck with more than $350 in towing and storage fees.
  • A state-threatened Blanding’s turtle walking on a sidewalk in Toledo attracted attention, first of the public and then of an alerted wildlife officer. Suspected of being an escaped illegal captive, the rescued turtle, with the help of Toledo Zoo personnel, was tagged with a transmitter and released to a nearby marsh for further adventures.

Originally posted by Dave Golowenski for The Columbus Dispatch
Sunday September 25, 2016 12:03 AM

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