Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Poaching Near $24,000 Trophy Buck

Largest restitution for a poached deer ever imposed in Ohio

BELLEFONTAINE, OH — A Logan County, Ohio man pled guilty to three wildlife violations stemming from the illegal taking of a trophy deer. As a result, he will be required to pay $23,816.59 in restitution, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.


James C. Alspaugh, 39, of West Mansfield pled guilty to three charges including hunting by the aid of a motor vehicle, shooting from a roadway, and hunting without permission. Judge John Ross presided over the case and ordered Alspaugh to pay $400 in fines, an additional $151.50 in court costs, and to forfeit the deer. Alspaugh was ordered to spend 48 hours in the Logan County Jail.


In addition, Alspaugh will lose his hunting privileges for two years. He will be entered into the Wildlife Violator's Compact and most likely will lose hunting rights in 36 other states.

The Division of Wildlife is also imposing restitution for the deer in the amount of $23,816.95. This is in accordance with Ohio's revised restitution law for illegal taking of white-tailed deer. The law went into effect March 2008 and allows the Division of Wildlife to seek an increased recovery value on all illegally harvested wildlife.


The non-typical trophy deer, scored according to Boone & Crockett (B&C) guidelines, netted an impressive 218 7/8.

A concerned citizen contacted Ohio wildlife officers Adam Smith and Jeff Tipton about the questionable shooting of the trophy deer in December 2010. Officers were able to recover the deer and determine that it was unlawfully taken.

The Division of Wildlife is encouraging citizens to report any illegal activity they observe by contacting the TIP line. Tips may be phoned anonymously to 1-800-POACHER.

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