State gets tougher on wildlife laws

AKRON -- The Ohio Department of Natural Resources district office here wants the public to know it's serious about laws governing deer hunting.
Five Ashtabula County men have been convicted of violating wildlife laws during the primitive deer hunting season.
Tim Britton, 29, of Jefferson; Isaac M. Sirrine, 18, of Rome; Arnold Smith, 37, of Jefferson; Anthony O. Smith, 26, of Andover; and Derick Fetters, 21, of Williamsfield were apprehended by an Ashtabula County wildlife officer while hunting in New Lyme Township Dec. 29.
Some of the hunters were carrying center-fire rifles, which cannot be used for hunting deer.
During primitive deer hunting season, Dec. 27-30, hunters can use only muzzle-loading shotguns or muzzle-loading rifles, .38-caliber or larger.
The men were convicted of several violations, including hunting deer by illegal means, failure to wear hunter orange, possession of untagged deer and hunting without a special permit.
Judge Robert Wynn of Ashtabula County Court ordered the men to pay a total of $1,450 in fines and court costs. In addition, Britton and both Smiths lost hunting privileges for one year, and all three were to spend at least a day in jail.
The judge also ordered one of the rifles to be forfeited to the state division of wildlife.
Anyone who is aware of possible hunting violations can call state authorities at (800)-POACHER. All calls are confidential.

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