Convicted Wildlife Violators Pay the Price Nationally

Convicted Wildlife Violators Pay the Price Nationally
Ohio wildlife officers pleased with results.

Ohio Division of Wildlife
Ohio Division of Wildlife

COLUMBUS, OH – -( Since Ohio became an Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (IWVC) member state on January 1, 2008, 146 violators have been entered into the system by Ohio wildlife law enforcement officers. Ohio has also reviewed and agreed to recognize over 6,500 suspensions entered in the database by 30 other member states.

In June of 2008, the first entries in the database by Ohio officials were made. Wisconsin fishermen had taken twice the daily limit of walleye from Lake Erie. Their suspensions were recognized in their home state, and one of the men was caught fishing under revocation this past spring. He now has another year added on to his suspension.

“The suspension of hunting, trapping or fishing privileges is a powerful deterrent for violations,” said Ken Fitz, law enforcement program administrator.

Fitz cites two other instances where the system worked well. One person from Michigan was suspended in Ohio, then went to Florida on a fishing trip and tried to buy a license and was denied. A Pennsylvania resident was suspended in Montana, when he contacted the ODNR Division of Wildlife to inquire about hunting here; he was told he cannot hunt in Ohio until his suspension ends.

Entries made by Ohio officers include citizens of Ohio (128), Wisconsin (12), Illinois (3), Michigan (2) and Tennessee (1).

The IWVC is an agreement between states that was developed to recognize hunting, trapping, and fishing license suspensions across state lines. The IWVC was begun in 1991, with Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington joining that year. Since that time, over 24,000 entries have been made in the national database used to track suspended violators. Each state must review entries in the database, and recognizes suspensions from other states based upon their individual laws or criteria.

The agreement also allows nonresident violators from a compact member state to be treated the same as a resident of the state where a violation occurs. In the past, nonresidents were immediately taken to jail or had to pay their fine immediately, but were not allowed to pay through the mail. Under the agreement, nonresident violators can be issued a summons (ticket) and allowed to pay through the mail. If they do not pay, their hunting, trapping, and fishing privileges are suspended in all member states until they pay or appear in court.

Member states are listed at Several more states are in the process of completing the necessary legislative action to join. For more information, check the ODNR Division of Wildlife Web site at

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at