Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 22, 2018
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
• This past spring, state wildlife officer John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, was patrolling the Deer Creek spillway. He contacted a man fishing alone who showed officer Coffman his fishing license. A brief time later, officer Coffman contacted another man who had a fishing license with the same name as the man earlier. Officer Coffman checked this man’s driver’s license and confirmed that it was his fishing license. The man said he had printed two copies of his license, one for himself and one for his friend. The first man was issued a summons for fishing without a license and the second man was issued a summons for aiding another in a wildlife violation.
• During the 2017 deer gun week, state wildlife officer Tyler Eldred, assigned to Morrow County, was on patrol when he observed a hunter walking down the road. He contacted the hunter, who stated he was a member of a deer drive, and that he had not seen or shot at any deer yet. Meanwhile, state wildlife officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, was on an adjacent road speaking to several hunters at a residence. Officer Grote discovered a buck laying behind the house with no game tag attached. After a brief investigation, it was determined that the hunter that officer Eldred contacted along the road had harvested the buck deer earlier in the morning and had not attached a game tag or filled in his deer permit. The man then continued hunting even though he had only purchased one deer permit. The hunter was charged and found guilty in Morrow County Municipal Court for the violations.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
• One Sunday afternoon, state wildlife officer Mark Schemmel, assigned to Auglaize County, joined Lake Erie investigators Kevin Good and Cody Klima on a patrol between the Toledo shipping channel and West Sister Island. The three observed an individual fishing from a boat. When they got closer, they could see that the angler was trolling five lines, three more than what is allowed. They contacted the man and advised him to reel in his lines so the officers could inspect his fish. The man stated that he only had two walleyes on board. Upon further inspection, it was clear the angler had more than two walleyes, and many of the walleyes were under the legal limit of 15 inches. Officer Schemmel boarded the vessel and found that the man was in possession of nine walleyes, three over the bag limit, and all but two of the walleyes were undersized. Additionally, the angler did not have an Ohio fishing license. The angler was issued summons for four violations: fishing without a license, fishing with more than two rods, overbag for walleye, and possession of short walleye.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
• During the deer archery season, state wildlife officer Brennan Earick, assigned to Ashland County, received a complaint of an individual who reportedly had shot a deer on a landowner’s property without permission. The investigation revealed that the individual had reported that he had killed an antlered deer on his property. However, he did not qualify for the landowner exemption. Further investigation revealed that the man had harvested another deer and purchased his hunting license and deer permit the following morning, before permanently checking in the first deer. The man was charged with hunting deer without a valid deer permit or hunting license and presenting false information to the game check system. He appeared in court, was convicted, and paid $902 in fines, court costs, and restitution. He also received a 30-day suspended jail sentence and was placed on probation for one year.
• During a weekend enforcement project on Fernwood State Forest in Jefferson County, state wildlife officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, state wildlife officer Brian Baker, assigned to Belmont County and state wildlife officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, patrolled in an extremely isolated area of the forest. The area had long been frequented by off-road vehicle activity and had become a site where individuals were destroying habitat along Cross Creek. On this day, the officers contacted numerous individuals on ATVs, UTVs, and dirt bikes. At the end of the project, they had issued summonses to 16 different individuals. The court convictions of these individuals resulted in more than $3,000 in fines and court costs paid by those responsible.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
• In late February, state wildlife officer Chris Dodge, assigned to Hocking County, was on patrol on O’Dowd Wildlife Area when he noticed a vehicle backed into a secluded area. As he approached the vehicle, he saw the three occupants shuffling around. After a short interview, officer Dodge noticed that the three appeared extremely nervous. At that time, officer Dodge observed an uncapped syringe on the floorboard of the vehicle. After removing all suspects from the vehicle and interviewing them, it was determined that the three individuals were in possession of drug paraphernalia. A consent search revealed multiple doses of heroin, spoons with residue, used and unused syringes, baggies, scales, marijuana, and Narcan. All three individuals are facing felony indictments for trafficking drugs, possession of drugs, and possession of drug abuse instruments. Officer Dodge was assisted by state wildlife officer Mark Basinger, assigned to Stark County, state wildlife officer supervisor Dan Perko, natural resources officer Dave Miller, and Hocking County sheriff’s detective Trent Woodgeard.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
• Late in the week of deer gun season, a call to the Turn-In-A-Poacher hotline came in with a report of a hunter trespassing. State wildlife officer Trent Weaver, assigned to Montgomery County, responded to the area in Warren County. Once he reached the property, officer Weaver spoke with the complainant who stated that a fully camouflaged hunter had entered the area and hunted right behind him. The complainant had leased the farm he was hunting on, and when he saw the hunter encroach on his area, the man stopped hunting so that he could report the violation he believed he had witnessed. Officer Weaver’s investigation of the complaint determined that the fully camouflaged hunter did have permission to be where he was hunting; however, he was not wearing the required hunter orange vest, jacket, or coveralls. He was subsequently cited for the safety violation.