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Published: Friday, 12/13/2002

Hunter is charged over deer shot on ice


NAPOLEON - A Swanton hunter accused of fatally shooting two female deer that were stranded last week on the ice-covered Maumee River faces criminal charges in the case.

William Robinson, 30, faces a third-degree misdemeanor in Napoleon Municipal Court for shooting a doe out of season. If convicted, he faces up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The incident occurred near Texas, Ohio, on Dec. 6, when Mr. Robinson allegedly walked onto the ice and shot both of the animals. The shootings took place just after Sheriff John Nye had arrived to see whether he could do anything to help the deer.

His office had fielded numerous calls about the two does that were on the ice struggling to get up.

The shootings violated hunting laws because doe season had passed, authorities with the state's Division of Wildlife have said. The shootings outraged some animal-rights leaders as well as hunters, officials said yesterday.

“I really hated to hear that someone would look at hunting that way. That doesn't seem to be what hunting's about,” said Connie Jones, executive director of the Henry County Humane Society. “[Hunters] said it was an embarrassment.”

The humane society referred an initial call last week about the stranded deer to the Division of Wildlife, Ms. Jones said. A wildlife officer then responded to the scene, state officials said.

The local humane society did not take an official stance on the matter, but some local representatives yesterday praised prosecutors for taking action in the case.

“As an individual, I'm certainly pleased to see that the laws pertaining to hunting are being followed,” said Robin Weirauch, board president of the county humane society. “It's always good when the laws are consistently enforced. Those are there for a reason.”

Ms. Weirauch said she hoped the court would look seriously at the charge throughout the case.

After the deer were shot, Mr. Robinson allegedly left the ice with one of the animals. He could not return for the second after Sheriff Nye threatened to arrest him because of unsafe ice conditions.

David Grahn, Napoleon's law director, said Mr. Robinson will not be allowed to post bond in lieu of making an appearance in court. He is to be arraigned Dec. 19. The hunter could not be reached for comment.

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