Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 8, 2020
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
While on boat patrol at Indian Lake, state wildlife officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, observed an angler fishing from a golf cart that was backed up to the water’s edge. It was discovered that this 17-year-old angler was fishing without a license and did not have a valid driver’s license to operate the golf cart on state property. Officer Smith contacted the juvenile’s guardian to make him aware of the incident. It was decided that the guardian would come to the area to pick up the golf cart, and that this incident would be handled with a verbal warning. The juvenile walked away, and officer Smith went back to contacting anglers. The juvenile later returned to retrieve the golf cart after he no longer saw officer Smith, and ended up backing the golf cart into the lake. Natural resources officer Mike Roeger responded to the area to assist, and a local tow company retrieved the golf cart from the lake. The juvenile was cited for operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license and failure to control, and was given a verbal warning for fishing without a license.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
In early March, state wildlife investigator Kelsey Brockman, assigned to the Lake Erie Unit, received a tip about a video showing people walleye fishing. The video documented a man fishing on Lake Erie with one other person on his boat. One of the anglers reeled in and kept nine of the 10 fish he caught. This put him three fish over the daily bag limit of six. While interviewing the suspect, he admitted to the violation. He was charged with overbagging and paid $153 in fines and court costs.
In November 2019 during the statewide deer archery season, state wildlife officer Nathan Cass, assigned to Crawford County, received a call from a landowner advising that someone had shot a white-tailed deer on his property without permission. Officer Cass arrived at the location and spoke to the property owner and the bowhunter. It was determined that the property owner was bowhunting on his land when a deer came into view. The landowner then saw an arrow strike the deer from the other direction. The hunters were unaware of each other’s presence. Officer Cass confirmed that the bowhunter was on the property where he did not have permission to hunt when he shot the deer. The deer was seized as evidence and the bowhunter was issued a summons for hunting without permission. The hunter pleaded guilty in Crawford County Municipal Court and was placed in the diversion program, which encourages people not to have future wildlife violations. After the court proceedings, the venison was donated to a local food bank.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
State wildlife officer Ryan Pawlus, assigned to Lake County, received a complaint from a homeowner regarding a nuisance wild animal control operator who failed to monitor the traps set on their property once each day. Further investigation revealed that the company did not have an active nuisance wildlife control operator permit or the proper certification. Nuisance wildlife control operators are required by law to renew their certifications every three years, and permits annually. Officers Pawlus and state wildlife officer Matt Madgar, assigned to Cuyahoga County, contacted the business owner, who provided an expired nuisance wildlife control certification. Officer Pawlus issued the man a summons for the violation and reinforced the importance of monitoring his traps daily. The business owner appeared in court, was convicted, and ordered to pay $343 in fines and costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In February, state wildlife officer Ted Witham, assigned to Jackson County, received a phone call from a concerned sportsman. The individual told officer Witham that he had been listening to a local call-in radio program and heard an offering for a buck skull and rack for sale. The individual called the seller to inquire about the deer rack, but was concerned that it did not have a seal, stamp, certificate, or confirmation code attached to it, providing legal ownership. The seller stated that he would sell the item for $50. The following day, officer Witham contacted the seller and arranged to buy the rack. Officer Witham, wildlife officer supervisor Lee VanAllen, and state wildlife officer Bob Nelson, assigned to Ross County, arrived at the location prior to the meeting time. Officer Witham and Supervisor VanAllen spoke to the occupant when he arrived. Officer Witham observed the deer skull and rack in the vehicle. The suspect admitted that he didn’t have a document proving legal ownership of the animal, and that he was trying to sell it. The rack and skull were seized as evidence and the suspect was issued a citation for possession of parts of a white-tailed deer without proof of legal ownership. He was found guilty of the charge in Jackson Municipal Court. The skull and rack were forfeited to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
In January, state wildlife officer Eric Lane, assigned to Perry County, received information that an untagged deer carcass was hanging near a residence. Officer Lane located the residence and contacted an individual there. The individual told officer Lane that he thought he checked the deer in. He provided a temporary tag from his hunting vest but was unable to locate a permanent tag number. Further investigation revealed the individual did not have a confirmation code. Officer Lane explained that he needed to receive a six-digit confirmation code to complete the check-in process. The individual said he did not know that he needed a confirmation code. Officer Lane issued a summons for failure to permanently tag a deer. The individual paid fines and court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
State wildlife officer Eric Lamb received a report of an individual shooting a hawk in Brown County. The caller informed officer Lamb that he heard the shots and observed an individual throw a hawk into the woods behind his residence. Officer Lamb requested that state wildlife officer Jason Keller, assigned to Warren County, along with his partner, K-9 officer Scout, respond to the location to assist him. K-9 officer Scout located a Cooper’s hawk that had sustained injuries consistent with those of a bird that had been shot. The officers later spoke to the adult son of the reported suspect. The son told the officers that his dad shot a bird that was bothering their chickens. The suspect was not home, but arranged by phone to meet with officer Lamb the following day. When officer Lamb met with the suspect, he admitted that he shot the hawk and then threw it into the woods. The man had not observed the hawk killing or attempting to kill chickens when he decided to shoot it. The suspect was charged for the violation of shooting a nongame bird and paid a bond forfeiture to Brown County Municipal Court of $340.