Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 19, 2020
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
During the 2019-2020 deer hunting season, state wildlife officer John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, received a complaint about a deer that was caught in a snare. The deer was released unharmed. Further investigation found several untagged snares, and a dead deer in one snare. The snares went unchecked for a week. The owner of the snares was contacted. He claimed to be trapping coyotes to help the deer herd. The man had never taken a trapper education course. He was issued a summons for failure to check snares once daily, and was issued a warning for untagged snares. He was educated on proper techniques to reduce the risk of catching deer in snares.
In the spring, state wildlife officer Matt Teders, assigned to Madison County, received a Turn In a Poacher call in reference to a group of individuals target shooting on Deer Creek Wildlife Area. Officer Teders arrived and observed several people discharging air rifles at targets and into the surrounding trees. Officer Teders also observed a dead white-breasted nuthatch near the group’s belongings. Officer Teders contacted state wildlife officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, for assistance. When they contacted the group, the officers found a bag containing 13 dead songbirds. Another individual was found to have a dead squirrel. Six individuals were issued summonses for possessing nongame birds and target shooting in a nondesignated area. Warnings were given for multiple other violations. The animals and guns were seized as evidence. The individuals were found guilty in Washington Court House Municipal Court. The total fines were $1,500 plus $1,266 in court costs. The individuals were ordered to pay $1,300 in restitution, and the guns were ordered to be forfeited.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
During the 2019 deer gun season, state wildlife investigator Jeremy Payne was working in Van Wert County after several calls were received about individuals hunting from the road. While responding to a call, investigator Payne observed four men walking back to their vehicle, and only two were wearing the required hunter orange. When investigator Payne contacted them, he learned they were nonresident hunters. The two without hunter orange advised they had left their vests back in the woods as they planned to return later in the day. After further investigation, Payne learned that two of the hunters did not have valid deer permits. Both hunters were charged with hunting without deer permits and paid a waiver through court.
State wildlife officers Michele Butler, assigned to Erie County, and Josh Zientek, assigned to Fulton County, were on patrol at Fulton Pond Wildlife Area when they approached a vehicle with two occupants who appeared to be passed out. The officers then noticed drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle. The officers awakened the two occupants and determined that they had drugs in their possession along with the paraphernalia. The suspects admitted to using the drugs, and the officers seized several items as evidence. The two suspects were ordered to appear in Fulton County Eastern District Municipal Court, where they have since had several warrants issued for failure to appear.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In the spring, state wildlife officer Darin Abbott, assigned to Lawrence County, and state wildlife officer Bob Nelson, assigned to Ross County, responded to a landowner complaint of four men fishing without permission on a private lake in Scioto County. The officers stopped the individuals before they could leave the area. All four men were issued summonses for fishing without permission. The summonses are pending in Portsmouth Municipal Court.
In April, state wildlife officer Jerrod Allison, assigned to Coshocton County, received several calls about people driving ATVs off-road at Mohawk Dam. The public property is owned by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District and is open to hunting, but does not allow the use of ATVs. One of the callers had been turkey hunting and was disrupted by people driving their ATVs. There were also reports of severe soil erosion on the area caused by people driving on the area. Throughout April and May, officer Allison contacted several ATV riders and issued eight summonses for operating an ATV in a nondesignated area.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
State wildlife officer Jim Carnes, assigned to Highland County, was on patrol prior to the spring wild turkey hunting season when he located a vehicle parked at the back of an access lane. Officer Carnes could see bags of corn and mineral supplements in the truck bed. Officer Carnes and state wildlife officer Trent Weaver, assigned to Montgomery County, investigated the property and located a bait site. During the hunting season, officer Carnes received information that the bait site was going to be hunted the following morning. In pre-dawn light, state wildlife officers Matt Roberts, assigned to Clinton County, Houston Wireman, assigned to Adams County, and officer Carnes approached the bait site. As they continued into the location, a gun shot rang out. The officers contacted two hunters, one of which had just shot a bearded tom turkey. Both individuals were advised of the baited area and citations were issued for the violation. The bearded tom turkey was seized as evidence in the case. The hunters posted a total bond forfeiture of approximately $500.