Thursday, February 2nd, 2023
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

OH: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 1

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• Wildlife Officer Supervisor Curtis Smith and Wildlife Officer
Dirk Cochran, assigned to Morrow County, were patrolling Knox
County, checking hunters during the early migratory bird season.
The officers located a group of hunters that were hunting for
Canada geese. During the course of the morning, the hunters shot at
several groups of geese that had come to a hayfield to feed. As a
group of geese flew into the area, all of the hunters shot at the
birds, hitting and killing two. The hunters then began to gather
their equipment and the officers contacted them as they were
leaving the field. Upon inspection of their hunting gear, Cochran
discovered a goose that had been placed in the bottom of a bucket.
Meanwhile, Smith located the hunter’s remaining dead geese. The
officers concluded that the hunters were in possession of more
Canada geese then their total combined bag limit. The hunters
admitted that they had not been keeping their dead geese separate
as they were killed. When the last group of birds came into the
field all the hunters had shot even though two of them had already
killed their bag limit. As a result, two additional birds were
killed. The hunters were issued summonses for the overbag of Canada
geese and were ordered to pay $200 in fines and court costs in Mt.
Vernon Municipal Court. The hunter that had killed the extra goose
was also ordered to pay $50 in restitution.

• Two wildlife investigators were assisting Wildlife Officer Tony
Zerkle in Fairfield County during the deer gun season. While
patrolling in Fairfield County, hunters were observed riding ATVs.
The officer and investigators made contact with the hunters and
found that three of the hunters possessed loaded firearms on the
ATVs. As one of the hunters recognized the officer, they attempted
to unload their shotgun. The officer had to yell at the hunter to
lay his gun down. Possessing a loaded firearm in or upon a motor
vehicle is against the law, unsafe, and is a cause of shooting
incidents. Zerkle issued citations for the violations and the
charges are pending.

• In August, Madison County Wildlife Officer Matt Teders partnered
with the Madison County DARE program to hold the first Family Fun
Day at Madison Lake State Park. Children had the opportunity to
experience fishing and archery. The Division of Wildlife provided
fishing poles and an archery trailer was set-up for children to
learn to shoot a bow. This was the first time many of the children
had the opportunity to shoot a bow or fish. Over 90 children
registered for the event. The total attendance was over 200 people.
To help make the event a success, several local business donated
food and bait. The event was well received and next year’s event is
already in the works.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• During the Fourth of July weekend, Field Supervisor Kevin Newsome
and Wildlife Officer Robert Wolfrum were on patrol in Fulton
County. As they made their way to the local fishing spots, they
arrived at Harrison Lake State Park. The officers spotted a group
of four men carrying fishing poles and making their way downstream.
The two officers tracked the men’s progress for the next hour. It
was noted that each member of the group was viewed fishing. One of
the men possessed a backpack and a plastic water bottle. Both items
were placed on the ground and the group continued downstream. The
officers changed surveillance locations, placing them within 10
yards of the deposited items. This move put the officers within
contact range when the group returned. Eventually the group
returned and gathered up their belongings. The water bottle was
emptied and dropped. As the last man passed out of sight, the
officers took a photograph of the deposited bottle and hurried back
upstream to contact the group. In the end, all of the men had
fishing licenses; however, they admitted to leaving the water
bottle behind. One of the men was cited for stream litter.

• Erie County Wildlife Officer Kevin Good and Lucas County Wildlife
Officer Cody Klima were working from a boat on the Huron River. The
officers were about to conclude for the day due to an impending
rainstorm, when the officers saw a boat coming down the river. They
decided to check the boat before heading back to the ramp. The
officers inspected the men’s fish and found that the two fishermen
were in possession of walleyes. As Good pulled the walleye from the
cooler one of the fisherman commented “the fish shrank while it was
in the cooler.” Good measured the fish and found it to be 14¼
inches. Good responded that the fish couldn’t shrink ¾ of an inch
in a couple of hours. The boat owner was issued a summons in Huron
Municipal Court.

• During a spring storm, the Rimer eagle nest in Putnam County blew
out of its tree. Putnam County Wildlife Officer Jason Porinchok was
on the scene at first light. Sifting through the nest debris,
Porinchok located three young eaglets that had not survived the
fall. He transported the expired eaglets to the wildlife management
section in Findlay for examination. Several months later, Porinchok
received a call from a concerned Putnam County resident. The caller
commented to Porinchok that he had heard about the nest being blown
down. He and had also heard that several collars had been found.
The caller went on to state that earlier in the year his small dog
had disappeared and wondered if his dog’s collar was one of the
ones allegedly found in the nest. Porinchok informed the caller
that he had sifted through the nest debris and there were no
collars found in the debris. Porinchok could not speculate what had
happened to the man’s pet, but did advise him that nest studies
show that the preferred meal for eagles is mostly carp, bullhead,
and smaller groundhogs. Bald eagles are no longer endangered in
Ohio, but they are still a protected species.

• While on patrol, Henry County Wildlife Officer Troy Reimund
noticed a box turtle attempting to cross the road. Reimund also
noticed a minivan in front of him slow down and pull into a nearby
driveway. The van turned around and headed back in the direction of
the turtle. Suspicious, Reimund turned around as well. Reimund
found the minivan stopped in the road where he had seen the box
turtle, however; the turtle was no longer in the road. As Reimund
stopped behind the van a man got out holding the turtle and stated
that he was not going to keep it. When Reimund asked the man why he
picked the turtle up and took it into the van, the man said he was
trying to help it get across the road. Reimund placed the turtle in
some tall grass along the road and advised the occupants of the
minivan that it is illegal to collect box turtles from the wild in

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• While working waterfowl enforcement in Wayne County, Lorain
County Wildlife Officer Randy White and Wildlife Investigator Rick
Louttit watched an adult and a juvenile, both carrying guns,
walking into the marsh to hunt. Hours later, the officers observed
only the adult carrying a shotgun as they returned to their
vehicle. When asked for their hunting licenses, the adult produced
his and stated the juvenile hadn’t been hunting. Further
investigation revealed that the adult had instructed the juvenile
to hide the gun in the weeds so the officers wouldn’t find it
because he did not have a hunting license. The adult was charged
with deterring a wildlife officer and the case is currently pending
in a Wayne County court.

• Responding to a complaint of hunting without permission, Lorain
County Wildlife Officer Randy White located an individual dressed
in camouflage walking along the highway adjacent to the
complainant’s property. An investigation revealed that the suspect
had parked his vehicle, hunted through the property, and left his
crossbow at a friend’s house to avoid suspicion. He was charged and
convicted of hunting without permission and paid $200 in fines and

• On the opening day of waterfowl season in Ashtabula County,
shortly after legal shooting time, Wildlife Officer Jason Hadsell
and Wildlife Officer Supervisor Dave Shinko noticed a vehicle
parked along a set of railroad tracks adjacent to a large wetland.
As they approached the truck, they heard multiple gun shots in the
marsh. Shortly thereafter a man carrying a shotgun entered the
vehicle and began to drive away. Hadsell stopped the vehicle and as
he approached saw four wood ducks in the bed of the truck, one over
the daily bag limit. Hadsell asked the driver if he had killed any
ducks and questioned why he had left the marsh so early that
morning. The man replied, “I shot some wood ducks but I couldn’t
identify any other ducks so I left before I shot over my limit.”
Hadsell informed the man of the violation and charged him with the
offense. He was convicted in the Ashtabula Eastern Court and paid a
$155 fine plus court costs.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• While preparing to work a spotlighting detail in northern Gallia
County, wildlife officers Roy Rucker and Matt Clark observed a
vehicle heading toward their location that appeared to be
spotlighting in the distance. They knew that they would be unable
to get set up without being seen by the vehicle, so Rucker exited
the vehicle and stayed along the side of the road, while Clark
drove on down the road out of sight. As the vehicle continued
toward Rucker’s location, he observed a strong beam of light coming
from both sides of the vehicle. The vehicle passed within feet of
the concealed officer, continuing to shine the entire time. As the
truck proceeded past the next road intersection, Rucker radioed
Clark and had him come back around and pick him up. The officers
performed a traffic stop on the vehicle. As the vehicle came to a
stop, one of the passengers appeared to be attempting to unload a
firearm. Upon removing the subjects from the vehicle, the officers
found a .22 caliber rifle and multiple cartridges scattered all
over the seat, right next to the spotlight. After seizing the
rifle, ammunition and spotlight, the officers issued a citation for
jacklighting to each of the three individuals. Upon appearing in
Gallipolis Municipal Court, all three individuals pleaded no
contest and were ordered to pay a combined total of $790 in fines
and court costs, forfeiture of the rifle and spotlight, each had
their hunting rights suspended for one year, and all were ordered
to re-attend a hunter education course.

• During the deer gun season, Wildlife Officer Eric Lane received a
phone call from the Perry County Sheriff’s Office stating that a
landowner had hunters on the property without permission. When Lane
arrived at the location, the landowner met him and said never mind,
the individuals had permission. Lane could see a large portion of
the property, but was unable to see any hunters and thought that
they must have left in a hurry. Lane then patrolled the road just
south of the complainant’s property and noticed several individuals
gutting two deer near a creek. Lane contacted the individuals and
asked for hunting licenses and deer tags. He noticed that the two
deer were not temporarily tagged. Lane issued two tickets for
failure to temporarily tag the deer. The two individuals paid fines
and court costs of $250.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• Eric Lamb, state wildlife officer assigned to Hamilton County,
was patrolling during opening day of deer gun season when he
received a call from a Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy reporting a
call about a hunter who was trespassing. Lamb was able to quickly
respond, finding the suspect about 30 yards behind the landowner’s
house standing over a buck. Upon making contact with the man, it
was discovered that he not only did not have hunter orange on but
he also did not have a plug in his shotgun. The man was cited for
his offenses.

• While patrolling the Caesar Creek Wildlife Area, Wildlife Officer
Matt Hunt, assigned to Greene County, observed a man and woman
fishing. As Hunt watched the couple from a distance, the man began
to roll a cigarette. When the man finished rolling the cigarette,
Hunt approached the couple and checked their fishing licenses.
After checking licenses, Hunt asked the male what he was rolling.
The male freely admitted that he had rolled a joint and handed it
over to the officer. The male received one citation for possession
of drugs.

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