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Men accused of killing wild turkey during closed season

AKRON, OH – For most Ohio hunters, the spring wild turkey season was scheduled to begin Monday, April 23. But, officers with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife say two Stark County men chose to open their own season early.

Kent Warth, 33, of Hartville, and Sean Hunka, 24, of North Canton, were convicted in Canton Municipal Court of shooting a wild turkey with a bow on Tuesday, April 17, nearly a week before the season opened in the Buckeye State.

Warth, who actually shot the gobbler, was charged with hunting without permission, taking a turkey during a closed season, and failure to tag turkey parts. He was also convicted of failing to tag a gobbler he admitted to harvesting illegally in 2006.

Warth was ordered to pay $450 in fines and restitution, serve 75 hours of community service, spend 30 days in jail, and forfeit a Matthews compound bow and video camera (used to record the illegal hunt). The jail time was suspended, as were the man’s Ohio hunting privileges for two years.

Hunka was charged with hunting without written permission and aiding an illegal hunt. He was ordered to pay $150 in fines and restitution and serve 75 hours of community service.

“The Division of Wildlife thanks the Canton Municipal Court for taking this case very seriously,” said Brett Barnes, wildlife investigator in northeast Ohio. “Also, without Ohioans providing anonymous tips of illegal hunting activity through our 1-800-POACHER hotline, many violators may never caught,” noted Barnes.

The Division of Wildlife encourages anyone who is aware of a possible wildlife violation to call the confidential Turn In a Poacher (TIP) line at 1-800-POACHER.
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