Randy L. Scott of Mooresville, Indiana, likes to catch walleye. He just doesn’t seem to especially like following rules”¦but he certainly does like fishing. So much so, that he’s willing to trade his free time for the chance to put a few extra in the cooler.
Scott has recently been charged for allegedly being over his legal limit of six walleye while fishing in Lake Erie. Despite the fact that most anglers are trustworthy, this incident isn’t that terribly unusual. Sometimes a person will fall to temptation. That just may not be the best way to describe Mr. Scott’s motivations.
According to court records, his arrest came just one week after he pleaded guilty to two fourth-degree misdemeanor charges for taking multiple trips on the lake — a tactic used to drop off a limit of fish at shore and then return to the lake to take more. If routinely checked while on the water for compliance, an illegal angler is less likely to be caught with extra walleye on the boat.
It didn’t work out so well for him. Upon Scott’s guilty plea, he was sentenced to a suspended jail term of 25 days on the condition that he has no similar offenses within a year while continuing to abide by the law. He was also required to pay restitution for the poached walleye, $250 in fines along with court costs, and he had his fishing license suspended for two years.
Yes, that was just the week before his most current run-in with wildlife officers who put their own catch on ice at the local jail. Surely, you must be thinking that Mr. Scott was spending some vacation time on Ohio’s north coast and the exceptional walleye fishing was just too much to resist.
Nope, doesn’t look that way. It seems that wildlife officers have run into Randy Scott before. According to court records, he has a lengthy history in Ottawa County courts that span years, not just a couple of weeks.
In 2011, he was pulled in for fishing with more than the allowable number of rods, a tactic often used to better the chances of quickly catching more fish. Then, in 2012, he was netted for too many rods, being over his allowed limit and keeping undersized walleye. In 2014, he was again hooked up for using too many rods.
I doubt that the judge in Port Clinton is going to be impressed with Mr. Scott’s most recent alleged antics on Lake Erie, seeming indifference for the state’s wildlife regulations or for the apparent disregard for the judge’s rulings. I see a bank account and spare time about to be filleted.
The situation emphasizes our need for an active Lake Erie enforcement unit to protect Ohio’s most valuable resource.
“Honesty doesn’t always pay, but dishonesty always costs.” — Michael Josephson
Along the way:
Mike Budzik, once chief of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, has been selected to serve on a special committee within the U.S. Department of the Interior. The group will counsel President Trump and his administration on pro-sportsmen and pro-shooting issues.
The 18-member Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council will be tasked with providing advice regarding existing and proposed policies on wildlife and habitat conservation.
Their responsibilities include providing insight and recommendations concerning programs that conserve and restore wetlands, agricultural lands, grasslands, forests and rangeland habitats; promoting opportunities and expanding access to hunting and shooting sports on public and private lands; recruiting and retaining new shooters and hunters; and increasing public awareness of the importance of wildlife conservation along with the social and economic benefits of hunting and shooting, to name just a few.
Others serving on the panel include Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation; Dale Hall, executive director for Ducks Unlimited; Julie Golob, internationally acclaimed champion competitive shooter; Eva Shockey, co-host of “Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures” TV show; Larry Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation; and Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.
Alternates for the committee include Rob Keck, director of conservation for Bass Pro Shops; Becky Humphries, CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation; and John Banks, director of the Penobscot Indian Nation’s Department of Natural Resources.
Budzik spent 30 years working for Ohio’s Division of Wildlife, serving as chief from 1995-2003.
“I have over four decades of service in this area and nearly eight years of national perspective when serving as Ohio’s Wildlife Division chief. During that time I also served as an executive board member, chairman of the Wildlife Resource Policy Committee, member of the Furbearers Resource Committee with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. I’ll work diligently to serve in an honorable, constructive and collaborative manner,” Budzik told Ohio Outdoor News.
Budzik’s appointment bodes well for the future of our country’s resources. With luck, someday we will once again see his kind leading Ohio’s own Department of Natural Resources.
“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” — Marcus Aurelius
• Tomorrow: 50-bird trap shoot, practice opens at 11 a.m., program at 12:30 p.m., UCOA, 6943 Marion Township 243, Findlay.
• Wednesday: Rimfire challenge, 5 p.m., HCCL, 13748 Jackson Township 168, Findlay.
• Thursday and Friday: Trap and skeet, open to the public, 5 p.m., UCOA, 6943 Marion Township 243, Findlay.
• July 21: Sporting clays fundraiser for International Wildlife Crimestoppers, Elkhorn Lake Hunt Club, 4146 Klopfenstein Road, Bucyrus. Registration at 7:30 a.m. with shotgun start at 9 a.m. and prizes for the top three teams along with raffles and shooting games. For entry, a team of four is $500; a youth team (17 and under) is $400; and an individual is $125. Includes lunch cooked by game wardens featured on the Animal Planet TV show, “North Woods Law.” Contact Ron Ollis at 419-569-4074 or email@example.com. Self-registration and sponsorships available at www.wildlifecrimestoppers.org.
• July 22: Bowhunter education class, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Apache Bowhunters, 7875 Lockbourne Road, Columbus. It’s free to the public. Preregister with Ed Jarvis at 614-578-8289, Paul Knisley at 740-412-4058 or Chris Stepp at 614-205-1570.
• July 22: 3-D mixed animal archery match, registration opens at 8 a.m., Field and Stream Bowhunters, 11400 Allen Township 109, Findlay. Contact Harold Spence at 419-423-9861.
Abrams is a retired wildlife officer supervisor for the state Division of Wildlife in Findlay. He can be reached at P.O. Box 413, Mount Blanchard 45867-0413 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.