ATHENS, Ohio – John B. Williams, 31, of Monticello, Florida, was recently convicted of nine charges related to poaching deer in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

In late November 2016, Williams and two other individuals were reported to be loading a freshly killed white-tailed deer into the back of a truck in Muskingum County during restricted hunting hours. An attempt was made to contact Williams, but he eluded officers while traveling into Morgan County. A short time later Williams was stopped by a Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy. State Wildlife Officers Roby Williams, Jerrod Allison, and Brad St. Clair were called to the scene. The officers observed blood and hair in the back of the truck, but no deer. Williams admitted to the officers that he had dumped an 8-point buck near Maple Grove campground and offered to take Officer Williams to the site.

During the interview about his poaching activity Williams also admitted to shooting a buck from his vehicle on The Wilds property in Muskingum County several days prior, and also admitted to shooting a 12-point buck in Morgan County in November 2015. The 12-point buck mount was seized from his residence by a wildlife officer from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Williams was found guilty on one charge in Morgan County for failure to permanently game check a deer, and eight charges in Muskingum County, including failure to attach a valid game tag to a deer, two counts of hunting without permission, taking more than one antlered deer in a license year, shooting across a public road, two counts of shooting a deer from a motor vehicle, and possession of untagged deer parts. He was ordered to pay $500 in fines, $3,630 in court costs, and $4,749.68 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 90 days in jail with 60 days suspended. The mount and all equipment seized was forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife encourages anyone observing or suspecting that wildlife violations are occurring to report illegal activity by calling the Turn-In-A-Poacher (TIP) hotline toll free at 1-800-POACHER (762-2437) or submitting information online at wildohio.gov. All information received by the TIP program will remain confidential.

ODNR mission is to ensure a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.