Last Sunday an Ohio wildlife officer was shot in the line of duty investigating a potential deer poaching incident. Intial reports lacked details other than three suspects being arrested, but as time has passed more hings are coming to light.
According to WKRC Channel 12 News, the Clinton County Sheriff stated that the shooting was unintentional. Wildlife Officer Kevin Behr was standing near a decoy deer when one of the suspects shot him.
According to an unconfirmed source, the warden had set up a fake deer hoping to catch poachers shooting from their vehicles along the road. The officer was hidden in a place where he would be safe from people shooting from the road. However, the warden was not expecting someone to shoot from another direction. The officer was hidden and the poacher shot at the deer and hit the officer that he couldn’t see.
Keep in mind, this information about the officer using a fake deer has not been confirmed by law enforcement or the Department of Natural Resources.
If it is true, this may be why more stringent charges were not initially reported. Prosecutors are more than likely letting the investigation play out before deciding on how to proceed. New charges may be added later but that remains to be seen.
Game enforcement agencies have been known to use decoys know a robo-deer in poaching stings. They place the decoy in a spot where it would be illegal to shoot and wait for poachers to take the bait.
Officer Behr is reported to still be in ICU in critical but stable condition. A fundraiser has been set up to help the injured officer. If you would like to take part you can do so HERE.