Division of Wildlife
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
On the opening day of teal hunting season, state wildlife officer Reid VanCleve, assigned to Ottawa County, was working at Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area. Officer VanCleve observed two hunters in the marsh. As a wood duck flew over, one of the hunters shot and killed the duck. Wood ducks are not legal game during the teal season. Officer VanCleve was standing near the hunters when the violation happened, and he retrieved the duck. Officer VanCleve then contacted the hunters. One of the hunters admitted to shooting the wood duck and apologized for the violation. He was issued a citation and paid $148 in fines and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
While working inside Lorain Harbor on Lake Erie, state wildlife officer Randy White, assigned to Lorain County, and state wildlife investigator Brian Bury contacted two men on a boat as they returned from fishing. Suspicious answers and body language led the officers to investigate further, and they discovered 13 walleyes over the combined daily bag limit hidden on the boat. The two men were issued summonses for taking more than the legal limit of walleyes, convicted in Lorain Municipal Court, and paid $1,637 in fines and court costs. In addition, the men lost their fishing privileges for one year.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
State wildlife officer Ted Witham, assigned to Jackson County, was working spotlight enforcement in early 2019. He was in an area where he had received several reports of spotlighting and shooting from motor vehicles. Around 9 p.m., officer Witham observed a truck driving slowly down the road. Officer Witham then observed a beam of light shine out of the passenger side of the vehicle. Officer Witham stopped the vehicle for the spotlighting violation. A search located a loaded rifle, a full magazine, several spent shell casings, and a large flashlight. The two occupants of the vehicle admitted to spotlighting and shooting at rabbits. The driver was issued citations for spotlighting, hunting with the use of a motor vehicle, and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle. The passenger was issued citations for spotlighting and hunting with the use of a motor vehicle. All charges are currently pending in court. It is illegal in Ohio to spotlight, or use headlights, to locate any wild animal.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
State wildlife officer Jasmine Grossnickle, assigned to Miami County, noticed that a group of three juveniles failed to purchase deer permits before they harvested their deer. One juvenile harvested a doe and a buck without deer permits, a second harvested a buck without a permit, and the third harvested a doe without a permit. State wildlife officer Jeff Wenning, assigned to Darke County, followed up with the group. All three confirmed that they did not buy their permits until after the deer were harvested. All three juveniles were found delinquent in Miami County Juvenile Court for attaching a deer permit to a deer that was harvested before the permit was purchased. The venison, antlers, and capes confiscated during the investigation were forfeited to the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Restitution of $500 was ordered for one of the deer.