14 Ohio Deer Hunters Slapped With Combined 122 Criminal Charges, Over $70K in Fines

by Megan Molseed
(Getty Images/ Angie Birmingham / 500px)

Ohio officials are closing a massive case regarding criminal activity surrounding one company’s white-tailed deer commercialization. These particular charges have named deer hunters in areas spanning multiple Ohio counties. Even stretching over state lines.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resource officials has announced that it has closed a case against 14 area deer hunters who falsified information in the commercialization of harvested white-tailed deer. These deer hunters are also facing multiple charges and tens of thousands in fines.

The 14 individuals are charged with 122 charges. These charges include various felonies and misdemeanors the Ohio Department of Natural Resource officials note. Among these charges are grand theft, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activities, falsification, and tampering with records. The deer hunters were also brought up on charges of possession of untagged deer parts. Charges also include hunting with an illegal implement, and complicity in illegal wildlife sales.

Ohio Officials Seized Multiple Records And Venison Processing Equipment During The Investigation

The defendants have been ordered to pay restitution fees and fines of $70,013.14. Furthermore, the defendants are facing hunting license revocations for as long as 63 years. They are also ordered to cover an additional $6.700 in court costs as a result of these investigations and the resulting charges.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources note that over one thousand items had been seized during the investigation. Some of these seized items include venison, venison processing equipment, and deer harvest records. The officials also uncovered deer mounts and antlers as well as hunting implements as a result of the investigation. Investigators also note that a stolen rifle, firearm suppressors, and moonshine were also uncovered in the investigation.

The Investigation Crossed State Lines And Looked At Deer Hunters Who Created False Records And Tages

The investigation focused on A & E Deer Processing in Gallia County Ohio. As many as five search warrants were executed in the area by the Division of Wildlife officials at the start of the investigation. Additional warrants in this investigation which came to a close in the winter of 2020 were executed in Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources began the investigation when area deer hunters were suspected of falsifying documents to illegally process the game. These tactics were also applied to illegally exceed the state hunting limits. Those accused were also investigated for stealing legally obtained venison from customers who brought their deer into the business for processing.

The officials behind the investigation have determined that the business operators and the criminals in these cases operated on multiple false claims. This includes falsely game-checking deer and creating false harvest records. The accused have also used these tactics in efforts to exceed state deer hunting limits.