Division of Wildlife
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
In September, state wildlife officer Michele Butler, assigned to Erie County, received a call from a squirrel hunter at Resthaven Wildlife Area. The caller believed that someone was attempting to bait deer for the upcoming archery season. Officer Butler went to the location of the reported bait pile and found an unlabeled treestand as well as a trail camera overlooking a pile of apples. On the opening morning of archery season, officer Butler went to the treestand but found that no one was there. She returned to the area later that afternoon to find a hunter was in the treestand with a crossbow. Officer Butler contacted the hunter, who stated that he had placed the apples to attract deer. The hunter was charged with placing bait on a wildlife area. He was also ordered to remove the apples that day and was given a warning for having an unlabeled treestand on a wildlife area. In court, he was found guilty and was ordered to pay $140 in court costs and fines.
State wildlife officer Ryan Kennedy, assigned to Hardin County, received a complaint from a landowner of someone hunting on his property without permission. The landowner had placed a trail camera on his property and captured the suspect hunting. The camera took several photos of the suspect, which officer Kennedy was able to use to make a positive identification. The hunter was contacted and issued a citation for hunting without permission and received a fine for $188.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
State wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, contacted an individual who had recently killed a deer and had it hanging in his garage. The results of the investigation revealed that the man had killed the deer and realized shortly afterward that he had not purchased his deer permit. While he was speaking with the individual, officer Brown noticed that one of the antlers was cut off. He asked the individual about the antlers, and the man admitted that he cut it off. Fortunately, the deer was game checked as an antlered deer but with the wrong amount of points listed. Officer Brown issued the man two summonses and he appeared in court. The man was convicted and ordered to pay $214.50 in fines and costs.
State wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, received information from DNR’s call center referencing several individuals catching fish with a cast net below the Lake Milton dam. Sergeant Josh Orwick, from the Ohio Division of Parks and Watercraft, was familiar with the area and responded to the scene. Officer Orwick recorded the activity, contacted and identified the suspects, and seized both the net and more than 40 sport fish that the men had illegally taken. Officer Frank reviewed the report from officer Orwick and consulted the prosecutor regarding potential wildlife charges. One of the men was issued three summonses and ordered to appear in court. The man was convicted and paid more than $1,000 in fines, court costs, and restitution. In addition, the cast net and the fish were forfeited to the Division of Wildlife.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
While on patrol in Gallia County, state wildlife officer Roy Rucker contacted a bowhunter who was exiting the field for the day. During the contact with the hunter, officer Rucker verified that he had the proper license and permit for hunting deer in Gallia County. The hunter stated that he had not seen any deer that morning, but he was going to hunt that evening as well. Officer Rucker wished him better luck in the evening hunt and continued on patrol.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
State wildlife officer Jim Carnes was on patrol during the deer gun season in Highland County. He observed a small group of hunters walking toward a house. All the hunters were dressed in hunter orange and were carrying guns. As officer Carnes pulled into the farm lane, one of the individuals walked away from the group and stopped behind a grain cart that was parked in the field. As officer Carnes parked, the man walked away from the grain cart and toward the group of hunters. When officer Carnes contacted the hunters, the same man said he wasn’t hunting. Officer Carnes took him back to the grain cart and discovered that the hunter’s rifle was hidden inside. Officer Carnes issued citations for hunting without a license and without a deer permit. The man paid a bond forfeiture for both violations, which totaled $600.