Park Poachers Endanger People

Deer have been killed illegally in both Oglebay and Grand Vue parks during the past couple of weeks. Law enforcement agencies should make finding the culprits a priority.

On Nov. 26, an Oglebay Park ranger confronted the poacher who shot and killed a buck in the area of the park’s Par 3 Golf Course and ski area. Unfortunately, rangers were unable to apprehend the man.

This week, Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Cecil reported three deer had been killed illegally in Grand Vue Park. One apparently died after being injured by a spear that was recovered at the scene.

But two of the Grand Vue Park deer were killed by gunfire, apparently from vehicles on park roadways.

Killing deer illegally is reason enough for law enforcement officers to want to find those responsible in both Ohio and Marshall counties. But public safety is an even bigger concern.

West Virginia hunting laws are strict on the subject of firing guns near dwellings or other buildings. And one reason hunting is prohibited in most parks, including Grand Vue and Oglebay, is the danger to the public created when gunfire occurs there.

As often is the situation when crimes occur, someone knows something that would help police and sheriff’s departments crack the two cases. It may be as simple as a passerby who noticed a car or truck parked near one of the shooting scenes, and can furnish a description of it. If you know anything that can help solve the crimes, we urge you to make the information available to law enforcement agencies.

Again, finding the Oglebay and Grand Vue poachers should be a priority, to ensure their next victim is not a human being.