The Ohio Supreme Court says state law required wildlife officials to seek restitution from a man convicted of illegally shooting a deer.
The divided court said the action was mandated even though the Department of Natural Resources had seized the animal's meat and antlers during an investigation in Huron County and was awarded possession following the man's conviction.
At issue in the court's 4-3 ruling Thursday was the state's request for nearly $28,000 in restitution, an amount calculated based on a scoring system for the large animal with 20-point antlers.
The man unsuccessfully argued that state law allows wildlife officials to take possession of the deer or seek restitution but not both.
The man pleaded no contest to hunting without permission in 2011.
The restitution law is an anti-poaching measure.