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Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 22, 2020

Division of Wildlife

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1 

During the deer gun season, state wildlife officer Josh Elster, assigned to Pickaway County, was contacted regarding a possible deer hunting violation. Two subjects were observed walking across a field carrying guns, and only one subject was wearing the required hunter orange. Officer Elster arrived and observed the subjects walking out of a creek bottom. Only one of the subjects was wearing the required hunter orange clothing as required by law. The second subject was issued a summons for hunting during the statewide deer gun season without wearing the proper hunter orange clothing and ordered to pay $110 in fines and court costs to Circleville Municipal Court.

While on patrol at Buckeye Lake State Park in April, state wildlife officer Tony Zerkle, assigned to Fairfield County, noticed an increase in fishing and enjoyment of the area. At the same time, officer Zerkle was contacted by area residents who had seen an increase in litter left along the banks of the lake and in the parking areas. While the public is encouraged to use this public property, they are also asked to respect the resource and keep the area clean. Officer Zerkle is planning litter enforcement projects with DNR Parks and Watercraft in problem areas to reduce the amount of litter violations.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

While conducting sport fish enforcement on the Sandusky River in April 2019, state wildlife officers Antoinette Jolliff, assigned to Hancock County, and Greg Wasilewski, assigned to Richland County, responded to a report of four individuals snagging walleyes and a possible over-bag. The officers arrived at the scene as the suspects were preparing to leave. The suspects denied snagging walleyes and over-bagging. One individual indicated that he had not over-bagged but was helping another angler net a fish because of the current of the river. After further investigation and inspection of the fish, it was determined that several walleyes had been snagged and kept by two of the four anglers. Officers Jolliff and Wasilewski seized the fish as evidence and issued two summonses for the snagging violations. Both suspects pleaded guilty and paid $260 in fines and court costs.

During the 2019 spring wild turkey hunting season, state wildlife officer Jason Porinchok, assigned to Putman County, observed a turkey hunter leaving the field with a turkey slung over his shoulder. Officer Porinchok contacted the hunter. Upon inspection of the bird, he found no beard. Officer Porinchok determined the bird was a beardless hen. The subject stated that he believed the bird had a beard when he shot. Ohio law states that during the spring turkey season, only bearded birds may be harvested. Officer Porinchok seized the bird as evidence and issued the individual a citation for harvesting a beardless bird. The subject pleaded guilty and paid $200 in fines and court costs in Putnam County Court.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

State wildlife officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, received information that an individual had killed a bobcat on Fernwood State Forest. Officer Porter arrived on scene and located an individual matching the description of the suspect. The man admitted to shooting the bobcat, stating that it had attacked him. Officer Porter and the suspect walked to the site and retrieved the carcass. Officer Porter located physical evidence contradicting the man’s story. The results of the investigation revealed that the man was squirrel hunting when he saw the bobcat and shot it. The suspect was charged and ordered to appear in Jefferson County Court. He was later convicted and paid a $500 fine plus court costs. In addition, his hunting privileges were revoked for two years.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

State wildlife officer Roy Rucker, assigned to Gallia County, received a call from an individual who wanted help identifying two fish that he caught at Tycoon Lake. Officer Rucker wanted to confirm the fish were not invasive species, so he met the angler at the lake to look at them. The man pulled a stringer from the water with two fish on it. Officer Rucker was able to identify the fish as bowfin and explained that although they are native to Ohio, they are not commonly caught. The angler was happy to know what they were, and returned the fish back to the lake.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

State wildlife officer Brad Buening, assigned to Mercer County, was on patrol at the spillway at Grand Lake St. Marys. Officer Buening observed an individual who was fishing alone using three poles, one above the legal limit. The individual was also drinking from beverage cans and tossing the empty cans into the river. Officer Buening contacted the man and issued him a summons to appear in Celina Municipal Court for the stream littering violation. The individual subsequently pleaded guilty to the stream littering violation and was ordered to pay a $100 fine along with $116 in court costs. In addition to the fines and court costs, the individual was also sentenced to three days in jail that were suspended.

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