Ohio Man Guilty of Poaching, Will Pay $24,000 Fine

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A Logan County man pled guilty to three wildlife violations stemming from the illegal taking of a trophy white-tailed deer in the Bellefontaine Municipal Court on Monday, January 3. As a result, he will be required to pay $23,816.59 in restitution, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

James C. Alspaugh, 39, of West Mansfield pled guilty to three charges including hunting by the aid of a motor vehicle, shooting from a roadway, and hunting without permission. The Honorable Judge John Ross presided over the case and ordered Alspaugh to pay $400 in fines, an additional $151.50 in court costs, and to forfeit the deer. Alspaugh was ordered to spend 48 hours in the Logan County Jail.

In addition, Alspaugh will lose his hunting privileges for two years. He will be entered into the Wildlife Violator's Compact and most likely will lose hunting rights in 36 other states.

The Division of Wildlife is also imposing restitution for the deer in the amount of $23,816.95. This is in accordance with Ohio's revised restitution law for illegal taking of white-tailed deer. The law went into effect March 2008 and allows the Division of Wildlife to seek an increased recovery value on all illegally harvested wildlife.

The non-typical trophy deer, scored according to Boone & Crockett (B&C) guidelines, netted an impressive 218 7/8.

A concerned citizen contacted Ohio wildlife officers Adam Smith and Jeff Tipton about the questionable shooting of the trophy deer in December 2010. Officers were able to recover the deer and determine that it was unlawfully taken.

The Division of Wildlife is encouraging citizens to report any illegal activity they observe by contacting the TIP line. Tips may be phoned anonymously to 1-800-POACHER.


hunter25's picture

I see a lot of these cases

I see a lot of these cases with huge fines imposed and often wonder how many of them get paid and what happens later. Most of these guys don't make a lot of money and would not be able to pay up. It would be nice to get an update as to what happens when they don't make good. Other than the big fine the rest of the penalty was not that severe and he can be out hunting again in two years.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Very nice!  That is a hefty

Very nice!  That is a hefty sum of dough.

Glad to see them follow through with it.  Even if it may not have been as much if it wasn't a "trophy" animal, I still like it.

Funny thing though, when I saw the title of the thread, I thought it said he received a $24.00 fine.  I was all set to go off... lol

jaybe's picture

Now, this IMHO, is a

Now, this IMHO, is a reasonable sentence for a person who had obviously set out to violate not one, but several laws in order to take a trophy animal. On another thread there was a discussion of whether or not a person who "made a mistake" and killed an animal illegally should be charged to the maximum extent of the law. While it's true that the animal is dead and removed from the herd where someone else might legally take it, the fact remains that in our culture, while we do have laws, but we also make a difference between "levels" of crimes.

  Someone might say that "murder is murder", since the victim is dead, no matter how it occurred. But we do distinguish between the attitude of the one responsible for the death, as well as the manner in which the killing took place. We have established such parameters as Premeditated Murder, Voluntary and Involuntary Homicide and others, which take many factors into account. It seems reasonable to do the same with our wildlife laws.

  The responsibility for assessing the sentence resides with the judge - and that can be where people disagree. From the charges that this man was found guilty of, he could have just been driving along when he saw this trophy deer on private property (and it was indeed a trophy!). He then could have reached into the back seat, uncased his rifle, loaded it, and shot the deer out the window. Or, he could have chased the animal down with his vehicle, grabbed his already-loaded rifle from the seat behind him and .... you get the idea.

  Hopefully, this will send a message to all of us that following the established laws, no matter what the temptation may be, is what separates us from other societies where people do whatever they can get away with, and the person with the fastest gun wins.