A grand jury in Gallia County, Ohio indicted seven Thurman residents and one Brice resident of poaching and stealing whitetail deer meat from local hunters. The eight criminals operated the A&E Deer Processing which processed game meat. According to the findings of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources investigation, the company poached 30 whitetails from within the state and skimmed more than 700 pounds of deer meat from paying customers. The poachers then sold this extra meat for additional profit.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost commented on the illicit actions of the eight individuals. He also shared how poaching affects the hunting and wildlife community.
“Deer hunting is a deep-rooted tradition in Ohio, with generations having been taught the values of conservation, responsibility and discipline,” Yost said, according to 10 WBNS. “This level of corruption violates those tenets, and protecting and preserving this part of our heritage are important to all sportsmen and -women.”
The individuals responsible for poaching and skimming received a total of 91 combined charges. This includes counts of theft, possession of untagged deer meat, complicity illegal sale of wild animal parts and others. The ages of the criminals behind A&E Deer Processing and associates ranged from 23-years-old to 64-years-old.
Kansas Man Faces 14 Months in Prison for Poaching 60 Deer
Prior to the convictions of the eight Ohio residents, a man from Barber County, Kansas faced similar charges. During the trial, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) stated that John Blick, Jr. illegally hunted and poached a total of 60 mule and whitetail deer. According to KSNT, Blick pled guilty to 33 counts of the following misdemeanors:
- Criminal hunting
- Hunting with aid of a motor vehicle
- Criminal discharge of a firearm
- Felon in possession of a firearm
- Fail to purchase or to tag deer
- Exceed bag limits
- Hunt with artificial light
- Hunting without a valid license
- Taking trophy deer illegally.
In addition to his sentence of 14 months in prison, Blick will also have to pay $310,234 in restitution to the KDWPT. This does not include the $15,000 in fines and $17,407 in restitution for three trophy deer that he killed in 2019. Blick must also forfeit his hunting license for five years from the date of the conviction.
Now that the criminal is behind bars, KDWPT believes the information of the case could aid in the arraignment of future poaching offenders. The department thanked the responding officers for their work on the case in a Facebook post.
“KDWPT would like to thank Anthony PD Officer Becky Mendoza, the Barber County Sheriff’s office, and the numerous individuals in Barber and Harper County’s who provided the much needed information over the years in helping bring this individual to justice.”