Two Ohio Men Guilty of Poaching Trophy Whitetail Buck

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Two La Rue men pled guilty to six wildlife violations in Marion County Court and were ordered to pay $12, 845.71 in restitution, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Willard E. Fassler, 56, of La Rue, pled guilty to four charges including hunting without permission, hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle, shooting at a deer from a public road, and tagging the deer of another. He was ordered to pay $400 in fines, an additional $233 in court costs, and to forfeit the firearm used in violation and an illegally tagged deer. His hunting license is suspended for a minimum of one year, or until restitution for the trophy deer is paid in full.

Willard L. Fassler Jr., 32, of La Rue, pled guilty to two charges including hunting without permission, and hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle. He was ordered to pay $200 in fines, an additional $131 in court costs, and to forfeit the trophy deer and the firearm used in violation. His hunting license is suspended for the minimum of one year, or until restitution for the trophy deer is paid in full.

The Division of Wildlife is also imposing restitution for the deer in the amount of $12,845.71 to be paid between the two men. The trophy deer scored 186 4/8, which is the basis for the restitution values assigned under a March 2008 revision to the restitution law for the illegal taking of white-tailed deer. The law now allows the Division of Wildlife to seek an increased recovery value on all illegally harvested wildlife.

A concerned sportsman contacted Ohio Wildlife Officer Chad Grote in January with information regarding the illegal shooting of a large deer on private property. The sportsman was able to identify the vehicle used in the illegal shooting and knew who it belonged to. Officers were able to determine that the deer had been taken illegally, and also confiscated another deer that was untagged.

Anyone observing or suspecting that wildlife violations are occurring may report illegal activity by calling the Turn-In-A-Poacher (TIP) hotline toll free at 1-800-POACHER.

The recovery 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 the following 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. The formula is:

Recovery Value = [(gross score - 100)" x $1.65] + the value derived in the Wildlife Value Formula ($500 as of 3/08).