Hillsboro, OH - Two men received fines and license revocation in Hillsboro Municipal Court for wildlife violations including taking deer with a rifle and hunting without permission according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
During January of 2010 Highland County Wildlife Officer James Carnes received information from a concerned landowner on possible deer hunting violations. Officer Carnes and a fellow Wildlife officer followed up on the lead that resulted in multiple charges related to the illegal harvest of deer by two local men.
The investigation found that after illegally shooting several deer on private property during the night of January 8, 2010. Cody Patton, 20, of Hillsboro and Matt Leisure, 20 of Sabina got the pick-up truck they were shooting from stuck in a crop field while trying to retrieve the downed deer. Mr. Patton then attempted to have the landowner pull his truck from the muddy field. The landowner refused and reported the activity to Officer Carnes. Upon further investigation two deer carcasses were discovered in the bed of Mr. Leisure's truck and a search of Mr. Patton's residence produced five more carcasses. While being interviewed by officers Mr. Patton stated that he had shot the deer with a rifle while Mr. Leisure held a spotlight on them.
Cody Patton pled guilty to seven charges of taking deer with a rifle and hunting without permission. He was ordered by Judge David McKenna to pay restitution on the six whitetail does and one buck totaling $5,122.00. The buck scored 143 4/8 exceeding the 125" limit and the restitution price of the deer, $3622.00, was determined under the 2008 revised restitution laws. His sentence also included a one year hunting license revocation, forfeiture of the rifle used to kill the deer and the antlers of the deer. Patton was also ordered to pay $358.00 in court costs.
Matt Leisure pled guilty to seven charges of taking deer with a rifle and hunting without permission. He was ordered by Judge David McKenna to pay $500.00 in fines for his part in the poaching. His sentence also included a two year hunting license revocation and $358.00 in court costs.
Under Ohio's new law, the restitution value for individual white-tailed deer is derived from the formula listed in 1531.201 of the Ohio Revised Code. The value is determined by measuring the antlers and using a mathematical formula plus the value derived for wildlife. The formula for white tailed deer will be applied to all individuals whose gross score exceeds 125 Boone and Crockett (B&C) inches.
To report a hunting violation, contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife Turn-In-A-Poacher (TIP) hotline, 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437). Callers may remain anonymous. Citizens who provide accurate information that result in a criminal wildlife conviction of the guilty party may be eligible for a monetary reward once the case is settled in court.