NOT BLADE PHOTO Enlarge
A Port Clinton man has been convicted of several wildlife violations in connection with a rare deer that he poached last December and then boasted to local media.
Brian K. Sims, 39, shot the deer, a hermaphrodite - an animal having both male and female reproductive organs - while hunting on private property in Sandusky County on Dec. 19 during Ohio's extra deer gun weekend, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
Sims later sent photos of himself and the deer, which had an unusual set of thick velvet antlers, to several area newspapers, some of which published the photos along with related news stories.
State wildlife officers Josh Zientek, of Huron County, Brian Bury, of Sandusky County, both were alerted to violations associated with the deer. A state wildlife investigator followed up, leading to Sims being cited for seven violations.
Wildlife lawmen served a search warrant on Sims' home and discovered that he 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.
He permanently tagged the hermaphrodite deer in Huron County, claiming it had been killed there. A second buck was permanently tagged in Ottawa County by Sims' fiancee 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 away.
The 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 plus $500 in restitution. Sims was placed on probation and his hunting privileges in Ohio were revoked for two years.
The rare deer was perhaps one in a thousand, or one in 1,500, said Mike Tonkovich, state deer biologist. Those, he explained, are the chances for female deer to develop antlers. Such deer have hormonal imbalances.
Tonkovich said it is impossible to confirm that the deer was a true hermaphrodite with both sets of sex organs or some related oddity without doing an autopsy of the whole carcass, which was not possible.
Drawings for controlled waterfowl hunts at several state hunting areas this fall are upcoming. Here are the details:
Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area, Ottawa County, teal and early goose season, drawing 12:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at Magee, 13229 West State Rt. 2, Oak Harbor. Drawing held in conjunction with 28th annual Lake Erie Waterfowlers Festival.
Register 10 a.m. to noon at Division of Wildlife display tent near boardwalk/wildlife beach parking area, drawing on deck at west entrance of the boardwalk; hunt conducted during the teal season only; applicants must present a 2009 or 2010 hunting license or wetland stamp.
Other controlled hunting opportunities at Magee or other state wildlife areas available on-line at ohiodnr.com/wildlife or call 800-WILDLIFE.
Pipe Creek State Wildlife Area, Erie County, plus East Sandusky Bay Metro Park layout hunt to be drawn immediately after Pipe Creek drawing, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at Osborn Metropark, 3910 Perkins Ave., Huron; registration begins 6 p.m., drawings for the entire waterfowl season including teal/early goose and the statewide youth seasons; adult participants to present a 2009 or 2010 Ohio wetland stamp or resident hunting license, youth hunters to bring 2009 or 2010 resident youth hunting license; permits transferable.
Pickerel Creek State Wildlife Area, Sandusky County, lottery-card drawing for first two hunt days of teal/early goose season, opening day morning drawing and morning and afternoon drawings of the second day for all applicants with opening day afternoon drawing youth only. Applicants to mail in four-by-six-inch index card with name, address and phone number, designated at the top (Youth Teal or Adult Teal), postmarked by Aug. 12, to: Wildlife District 2, 952 Lima Ave., Findlay, Ohio, 45840; permits are not transferable.
Also, lottery-card drawing for opening day of regular waterfowl season at Pickerel Creek, morning drawing all applicants, afternoon drawing youth only, ages 17 and under; mail four-by-six card name, address, and phone number, marked at top Youth Waterfowl or Adult Waterfowl, postmarked by Sept. 16 to District 2 as above; permits not transferable; limit one card per drawing. Successful permits to be mailed, adult hunt results to be posted online at wildohio.com; call District 2 for youth hunt results 419-424-5000. Results for teal hunt drawings after Aug. 22. Results for the waterfowl hunt drawings available after Sept. 27.
Additional controlled waterfowl hunting opportunities will be available through a daily drawing at the Pickerel Creek check-station. Hunt days will be Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday during the waterfowl seasons as well as both Saturday and Sunday of the statewide youth season.
Morning hunt drawings will be held at 5:15 a.m. and afternoon hunt drawings will be held at
11 a.m. All permits not used in the drawings will be available through a self-serve system. Procedures will be posted at the check station. For questions call District 2 above or the Pickerel Creek at 419-547-6007.
Upcoming- Night hike, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 14000 West State Rt. 2, Oak Harbor, tonight 8:30, exploring sounds and signals made by nocturnal creatures, meet at refuge Visitor Center; call the refuge 419-898-0014.
Inaugural gun blast benefit, Wednesday, 6 to 10 p.m., Swanton American Legion Post, 200 South Hallett St., Swanton, by Maumee Valley Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation for the Wheelin' Sportsmen program; ticket price $25 includes dinner and chance on a Thompson Center Encore Pro Hunter; big board raffle with minimum of 10 shotguns, rifles and pistols; other raffles and silent auction; call Skip Markland 419-769-6983 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, Jeff Wright, 419-467-4187, or Brad Christensen 419- 466-5257.
Contact Steve Pollick at: