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Ohio Contestant Wins, Then Arrested

December 17, 1997

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) _ Fame can be fleeting, but it wasn’t fleeting enough for Doug Vestal.

Vestal got his name in the local paper and his picture on a store wall for leading a hunting competition in the bow and arrow category after bagging a 250-pound deer.

The problem: He was on probation for domestic violence and wasn’t allowed to have a weapon. Probation officer Dan VanVorhis spotted Vestal’s name in the Dec. 1 Sentinel-Tribune, then saw his picture at the store sponsoring the contest.

``He had a big smile on his face. He was as proud as ever,″ VanVorhis said.

Vestal, 29, was arrested last week for violating his probation and on weapons charges after police found two rifles and 200 rounds of ammunition, along with his bow and arrow, at his house.

He remained in jail Tuesday on $10,000 bail. A court hearing was scheduled for Dec. 30. Vestal faces up to three years in prison. Parole authority supervisor Terry Emrick wouldn’t discuss his domestic violence case.

VanVorhis has traced probation violators during hunting season before. The contest sponsored by Mike’s Party Store made Vestal a little easier because of the photo showing him with his deer.

``He just never thought of the bow as being a weapon,″ said Vestal’s mother, Mary.

Mike Tyson, who owns the store, said Vestal likely would have won.

``If he’s not convicted, I’ll probably award him the prize,″ he said. ``If he is convicted, he’s disqualified from the contest.″

The prize is a target that looks like a deer, worth $100.

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