ALLEGED ILLEGAL HARVEST OF A TROPHY BUCK EARNS UTICA MAN SEVERAL WILDLIFE-RELATED CHARGES
COLUMBUS, OH – William C. Freitag, 59, of Utica has been charged with 26 misdemeanors related to the alleged illegal taking of a trophy white-tailed deer in Knox County during the 2008 deer archery season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Freitag allegedly killed at least two bucks this past fall in violation of Ohio’s deer hunting regulations, which allow for a hunter to take only one antlered deer per season.
Wildlife investigators said Freitag harvested an antlered deer on November 7, then killed a second antlered deer on November 28.
Wildlife officers conducted a three-month investigation after receiving a tip on the Turn In a Poacher (TIP) hotline. A search warrant executed on Freitag’s residence revealed numerous additional charges which were filed in Mount Vernon Municipal Court. The charges filed include taking more than one antlered deer per license year, hunting without permission, failure to temporary tag a deer, failure to check in a deer, possession of untagged deer parts, providing false information to a check station, aiding another in a wildlife violation, and possession of a bobcat hide.
A first-time wildlife offense involving the taking or possession of deer could result in fines of up to $500 and a maximum of 60 days in jail, along with restitution for each illegally taken animal. Firearms or bows used in the violations, as well as any animal parts, may be forfeited.
The investigation is ongoing, and additional parties may face misdemeanor charges.
Anyone observing wildlife violations may report illegal activity by calling the TIP hotline toll free at 1-800-POACHER.