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2 Ohio Men Found Guilty of Poaching Trophy Whitetails, Fined $23,857

Two Avon Lake men were convicted of poaching a pair of trophy whitetail bucks with crossbows and were heavily fined.

Adam A. Petrella and Andrew J. Smith, of Avon Lake, Ohio were charged, tried, and convicted of illegally poaching a pair of trophy whitetail bucks with crossbows.

The duo were tracked down in part by Lorain County Wildlife Officer Randy White (pictured) and ODNR Division of Wildlife Investigator Brian Banbury. The case was tried by Judge D. A. Bilancini who officer White thanked saying “The ODOW thanks Judge Darrel A. Bilancini for taking these violations seriously and seeing to it that justice is served”

The two men were convicted in Avon Lake Municipal Court, made to forfeit their crossbows, trophy sets of antlers, and a whopping $23,857 in fines. Avon Lake is a small city on Lake Erie just west of Cleveland.

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Petrella was charged with five violations related to the illegal killing. His sentence included $8,225 in fines, and court costs including restitution. His hunting privileges in the state were revoked for three years.

Smith took it on the chin even worse. He was charged with nine different violations resulting in a total of $15,632 in fines as well as the court costs and restitution. He was also sentenced to serve 180 days in jail for his offences.

Both men were ordered to complete 80 and 60 hours of community service respectively.

The case revolved around two beautiful big bucks illegally killed by the pair of men. The 17-point buck killed by Petrella gross-scored 166 4/8 inches and cost him $7,687 in restitution and fines. A 22-point buck killed by Smith gross-scored 194 2/8 inches and cost the man $15,079 in the same way thus proving the bigger you (illegally)  kill, the harder you fall.

Cover photo via D’Arcy Egan

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2 Ohio Men Found Guilty of Poaching Trophy Whitetails, Fined $23,857