Ohio DNR Catches Shutterbug Poacher

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A Port Clinton man was recently convicted of several wildlife violations in connection with a rare deer that he illegally killed in December of 2009, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife

Brian K. Sims, 39, shot a hermaphrodite deer, an animal having both male and female reproductive organs, while hunting on private property in Sandusky County on December 19, 2009 during Ohio's extra deer gun weekend. Sims later sent photos of himself and the deer, which had an unusual set of thick velvet antlers, to several area newspapers who in turn published the photos along with related news articles. Huron County Wildlife Officer Josh Zientek and Sandusky County Wildlife Officer Brian Bury were both alerted to violations associated with the deer and a Wildlife Investigator followed up on the case which lead to Sims being cited for a total of seven violations in three different court venues.

Division of Wildlife Officers served a search warrant on Sims' home and discovered that Sims had killed two antlered deer, including the hermaphrodite, on the same day after already harvesting his limit of deer in Sandusky County earlier in the year. Sims permanently tagged the hermaphrodite deer in Huron County, claiming it had been killed within the county. The second buck was permanently tagged in Ottawa County by Sims' fiancée as one that she killed in Ottawa County. In addition, several sets of untagged deer antlers were discovered both in Sims' home and at a storage facility he rented just a few miles from his residence.

Sims' convictions included providing false information to a deer check station, over limit on deer, possession of untagged deer parts, over limit on antlered deer, and hunting without a deer permit. He was ordered to pay fines and costs totaling $755.00 plus $500.00 in restitution. Sims was placed on probation and his hunting privileges in Ohio were revoked for two years.

To report a hunting violation, contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife Turn-In-A-Poacher (TIP) hotline, 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437). Callers may remain anonymous. Citizens who provide accurate information that result in a criminal wildlife conviction of the guilty party may be eligible for a monetary reward once the case is settled in court.