$27,000 deer case not over

Bellevue hunter still battling ODNR in court.
Tom Jackson
Dec 31, 2013


The man who shot a deer the state says is worth more than $27,000 has lost a court case on appeal, so he may be facing a heavy restitution bill after all.

The ruling by the Sixth District Court of Appeals in Toledo sends Bellevue resident Arlie Risner’s case back to Huron County for further legal proceedings.

Risner had pleaded no contest in a hunting without permission case alleging he shot a deer in 2010 on railroad property near Willard. Risner contends he shot the deer on a relative’s property with her permission but that the mortally wounded deer walked away and died by the tracks. He says he entered the plea to make the case go away.

State game officials said the buck was worth $27,851 because of its unusually large rack of horns and pressed Risner to pay the bill, saying he’d lose his hunting and fishing license until he paid up.

Risner appeared to catch a break in April 2013 when Huron County Common Pleas Judge James Conway ruled in Risner’s favor, saying the Ohio Department of Natural Resources can’t try to collect twice on the same deer.

Conway ruled that after the ODNR took possession of the deer’s remains, it couldn’t also try to collect restitution. That’s the “plain language of ORC 1531.201” Conway wrote.

Alas for Risner, lawyers don’t always agree on what the “plain language” of the law is.

Appeals judges James Jensen, Mark Pietrykowski and Thomas Osowik overruled Conway 3-0 in a ruling released Friday, writing that nothing in the law prevents ODNR from seeking the restitution.

The ruling reversed Conway and sent the case back to Huron for further court action.

The trio did note they hadn’t addressed Risner’s claim the law was unconstitutional and said that could remain an issue.

Risner said Monday he hadn’t heard about the ruling and would be contacting his lawyer, Gordon Eyster, to see what happens next.

Eyster, a Shelby attorney, is out of the office until Friday, his staff said.



A deer is the same price as a new car?!?!

Stop It

Yep...ya gotta pay xtra for the CD player, GPS, backup camera and blutooth, but damn don't those horns look nice!


Maybe they can use the money to pay restitution to the people who hit deer with their vehicles, in the form of their deductible insurance.


Why in the world does that make sense to you? If you hit a deer, it's your fault.

Stop It

You obviously have never seen a deer run right out of a blind wooded area while you were going the speed limit and there it is,.. WHAM!

You can make your car float over a hazard like that, George Jetson?


It's still your fault. See Ohio's assured clear distance law. The speed limit doesn't matter if, at that speed, you can't stop in the time it takes a deer to get to your lane from the first point at which it's visible.


Lawyers don't all ways agree on what the 'plain language of the law is. Then they need to go back to school and find out what common sense means. The ruination of this country are your lawyers and judges. Just look at what is in Washington D.C. running the country. The House and Senate have more felons than the NFL. The taxpayers are footing the bill in all these stupid case. Just look at what it cost Erie County taxpayers on the land seizure by Metro Parks. Erie County Judge Binnett had the proof right in front of him saying "if the railroad vacated the land, the land went back to the previous owner". He still ruled against the land owners and the lawsuit is still on going. Over three million dollars in legal fees and still not settled.

The Rudy

Did one of the corrupt DNR agents recently charged with hunting on-the-clock file the charges? I'd be suspect of anything they say.