130th Ohio General Assembly
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(127th General Assembly)
(Amended House Bill Number 238)



AN ACT
To amend sections 1531.201, 1531.99, and 1533.99 of the Revised Code to revise provisions governing the restitution value of a wild animal that is unlawfully held, taken, bought, sold, or possessed.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That sections 1531.201, 1531.99, and 1533.99 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1531.201. (A) As used in this section:

(1) "Gross score" means the number derived by calculating the measurements of the antlers of a white-tailed deer in accordance with division (C)(2) of this section.

(2) "Point" means a projection on the antler of a white-tailed deer that is at least one-inch long as measured from its tip to the nearest edge of antler beam and the length of which exceeds the length of its base. "Point" does not include an antler beam tip.

(3) "Abnormal point" means a point that is nontypical in shape or location.

(4) "Normal point" means a point that projects from the main antler beam in a typical shape or location.

(5) "Inside spread of main antler beams" means the measurement at right angles to the center line of the skull of a white-tailed deer at the widest point between main antler beams.

(6) "Length of main antler beam" means the measurement from the lowest outside edge of the antler burr of a white-tailed deer over the outer curve to the most distant point of what is or appears to be the main antler beam beginning at the place on the antler burr where the center line along the outer curve of the beam intersects the antler burr.

(7) "Antler burr" means the elevated bony rim around the antler base of a white-tailed deer that is just above the skin of the pedicle.

(B) The chief of the division of wildlife or his the chief's authorized representative may bring a civil action to recover possession of or the restitution value of any wild animal held, taken, bought, sold, or possessed in violation of this chapter or Chapter 1533. of the Revised Code or any division rule against any person who held, took, bought, sold, or possessed, or exercised control over the wild animal. Except as otherwise provided by division rule, the following shall be presumed to be the minimum value to the state of wild animals illegally held, taken, or possessed:

(A) Each whitetail deer..........................$ 400.00

(B) Each fur-bearing animal....................... 50.00

(C) Each game bird ............................... 50.00

(D) Each nongame bird............................. 25.00

(E) Each eagle .................................. 1,000.00

(F) Each osprey................................... 750.00

(G) Each hawk or owl ............................ 100.00

(H) Each game quadruped.......................... 50.00

(I) Each fish................................... 10.00

(J) Each wild turkey ............................ 300.00

(K) Each endangered or threatened species........ 1,000.00

(L) Each other wild animal ....................... 200.00

The minimum restitution value to the state for wild animals that are unlawfully held, taken, bought, sold, or possessed shall be established in division rule.

(C)(1) In addition to any restitution value established in division rule, a person who is convicted of a violation of this chapter or Chapter 1533. of the Revised Code or a division rule governing the holding, taking, buying, sale, or possession of an antlered white-tailed deer with a gross score of more than one hundred twenty-five inches also shall pay an additional restitution value that is calculated using the following formula:

Additional restitution value = ((gross score - 100)² x $1.65).

(2) The gross score of an antlered white-tailed deer shall be determined by taking and adding together all of the following measurements, which shall be made to the nearest one-eighth of an inch using a one-quarter-inch wide flexible steel tape:

(a) Inside spread of the main antler beams, not to exceed the length of the longest main antler beam;

(b) Length of the right main antler beam;

(c) Length of the left main antler beam;

(d) Total length of all abnormal points;

(e) Total length of all normal points as measured from the nearest edge of the main antler beam over the outer curve to the tip. To determine the baseline for normal point measurement, the tape shall be laid along the outer curve of the antler beam so that the top edge of the tape coincides with the top edge of the antler beam on both sides of the point.

(f) Circumference taken at the narrowest place between the antler burr and the first normal point on the right main antler beam. If the first normal point is missing, the circumference shall be taken at the narrowest place between the antler burr and the second normal point.

(g) Circumference taken at the narrowest place between the first normal point and the second normal point on the right main antler beam. If the first normal point is missing, the circumference shall be taken at the narrowest place between the antler burr and the second normal point.

(h) Circumference taken at the narrowest place between the second normal point and the third normal point on the right main antler beam;

(i) Circumference taken at the narrowest place between the third normal point and the fourth normal point on the right main antler beam. If the fourth normal point is missing, the circumference shall be taken halfway between the third normal point and the tip of the main antler beam.

(j) Circumference taken at the narrowest place between the antler burr and the first normal point on the left main antler beam. If the first normal point is missing, the circumference shall be taken at the narrowest place between the antler burr and the second normal point.

(k) Circumference taken at the narrowest place between the first normal point and the second normal point on the left main antler beam. If the first normal point is missing, the circumference shall be taken at the narrowest place between the antler burr and the second normal point.

(l) Circumference taken at the narrowest place between the second normal point and the third normal point on the left main antler beam;

(m) Circumference taken at the narrowest place between the third normal point and the fourth normal point on the left main antler beam. If the fourth normal point is missing, the circumference shall be taken halfway between the third normal point and the tip of the main antler beam.

Antlers may be measured at any time; no drying time is required.

(D) Upon conviction of holding, taking, buying, selling, or possessing a wild animal in violation of this chapter, Chapter 1533. of the Revised Code, or a division rule, the chief shall revoke until payment of the restitution value is made each hunting license, fur taker permit, deer permit, wild turkey permit, wetlands habitat stamp, and fishing license issued to that person under this chapter or Chapter 1533. of the Revised Code. No fee paid for such a license, permit, or stamp shall be returned to the person.

Upon revoking a person's license, permit, or stamp or a combination thereof under this division, the chief immediately shall send a notice of that action by certified mail to the last known address of the person. The notice shall state the action taken, order the person to surrender the revoked license, permit, or stamp or combination thereof, and state that the department of natural resources will not afford a hearing as required under section 119.06 of the Revised Code.

(E) Nothing in this section affects the right of seizure under any other section of the Revised Code.

Sec. 1531.99.  (A) Whoever violates section 1531.02 of the Revised Code, or any division rule, other than a rule adopted under section 1531.25 of the Revised Code, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(B) Whoever violates section 1531.02 of the Revised Code concerning the taking or possession of deer or violates division (K) of section 1531.06 or section 1531.07 or 1531.29 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree on a first offense; on each subsequent offense, that person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(C) Whoever violates section 1531.25 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(D) Whoever violates section 1531.02 of the Revised Code concerning the buying, selling, or offering for sale of any wild animals or parts of wild animals, the minimum value of which animals or parts, in the aggregate, is one thousand dollars or more as established under section 1531.201 of the Revised Code, is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree.

(E) A court that imposes sentence for a violation of any section of this chapter governing the holding, taking, buying, selling, or possession of wild animals, including, without limitation, section 1531.11 of the Revised Code, shall may require the person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to the offense, in addition to any fine, term of imprisonment, seizure, and forfeiture imposed, to make restitution for the minimum value of the wild animal illegally held, taken, bought, sold, or possessed as established under section 1531.201 of the Revised Code. An officer who collects moneys paid as restitution under this section shall pay those moneys to the treasurer of state who shall deposit them in the state treasury to the credit of the wildlife fund established under section 1531.17 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 1533.99.  (A) Whoever violates section 1533.17 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the second degree on each subsequent offense. In addition to any other sanction imposed under this division, on a second or subsequent offense occurring within a period of three consecutive years after the date of conviction of the immediately preceding violation of that section any firearms or other hunting implements in the possession or under the control of the offender at the time of the violation are subject to seizure in accordance with section 1531.20 of the Revised Code. If the offender persists in the offense after reasonable warning or request to desist, the offender is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(B) Whoever violates section 1533.161, 1533.23, 1533.24, 1533.301, 1533.40, 1533.41, 1533.45, 1533.48, 1533.511, 1533.55, 1533.56, 1533.58, 1533.62, 1533.631, 1533.66, 1533.71, 1533.72, 1533.73, 1533.74, 1533.75, 1533.76, 1533.77, 1533.79, or 1533.80, division (F) of section 1533.731, or division (B) or (C) of section 1533.97 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(C) Whoever violates division (B) of section 1533.03, section 1533.07, 1533.171, 1533.34, 1533.341, 1533.342, 1533.35, 1533.42, 1533.51, 1533.63, 1533.64, 1533.67, 1533.68, 1533.721, 1533.881, or 1533.882, division (B)(2) or (3) of section 1533.731, or division (A) of section 1533.97 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(D) Whoever violates division (D) of section 1533.97 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. The court shall require any person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to the offense to refund to all participants in the fishing tournament operated by the person any entry fees paid by the participants.

(E) Whoever violates division (C) or (D) of section 1533.632 of the Revised Code is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree.

(F) Whoever violates any section of this chapter for which no penalty is otherwise provided is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(G) A court that imposes sentence for a violation of any section of this chapter governing the holding, taking, or possession of wild animals shall may require the person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to the offense, in addition to any fine, term of imprisonment, seizure, and forfeiture imposed, to make restitution for the minimum value of the wild animal or animals illegally held, taken, or possessed as established under section 1531.201 of the Revised Code. An officer who collects moneys paid as restitution under this section shall pay those moneys to the treasurer of state who shall deposit them in the state treasury to the credit of the wildlife fund established under section 1531.17 of the Revised Code.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 1531.201, 1531.99, and 1533.99 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.

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