Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 3, 2020
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
While on patrol one night in November 2019, state wildlife officer Maurice Irish, assigned to Delaware County, observed a large buck cross the road in front of his patrol vehicle into a harvested corn field. A young buck and several does were also visible near the road. While officer Irish conducted surveillance, a vehicle approached the field and slowed down. The driver used a flashlight to quickly scan the field, illuminating the large buck. Officer Irish then conducted a traffic stop. Officer Irish discovered a cocked, loaded crossbow partially hidden near the driver’s position, along with the flashlight. Several bolts with broadheads were also discovered in the truck. The driver was issued a summons for jacklighting deer. The man pleaded guilty in Delaware Municipal Court, paid $344 in fines and court costs, and was issued a three-year hunting license suspension.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
While working sport fish enforcement on Lake Erie, state wildlife investigator Brian Bury, assigned to the Lake Erie Unit, observed two boats returning early in the morning with their limits of walleye. Later that evening, the same two boats went back out with different occupants, except the captains. One boat was a charter boat, and the other was a private boat. Both boats returned to the dock at dark with limits of fish for the new fishermen, plus the captain’s fish. Both captains were charged with taking more than the daily bag limit of six walleyes while making multiple trips on Lake Erie. Both men received a $100 fine, $50 restitution for each walleye, and a one-year fishing license revocation.
In May, state wildlife officer Nathan Kaufmann, assigned to Huron County, received a call regarding a small bird that was hanging upside down from a residence in Norwalk. When he arrived, he found the bird tangled in string on the outside of the second story of the building. The string was apparently used to help make the bird’s nest. Officer Kaufmann contacted the fire department and they were able to bring an extension ladder to reach the bird and cut it free. Shortly after leaving the area, officer Kaufmann received a phone call regarding three baby raccoons that had gotten into a vehicle as the driver was trying to remove them from the roadway so they wouldn’t be hit. Officer Kaufmann arrived and eventually removed them from the vehicle and placed them in the woods away from traffic.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
During the deer hunting season, state wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, received information that an individual was hunting without permission on private property. He arrived on scene and identified a trail camera, a bait pile, and a deer stand with metal pegs screwed into the tree. The trail camera was seized as evidence, and a search warrant was obtained for the camera’s contents and digital card. Further investigation by officer Frank revealed the man was hunting without permission. He was consequently charged for placing metal pegs into the tree without permission. The man appeared in court, was convicted, and was ordered to pay fines and court costs totaling $171.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
State wildlife officer Chris Gilkey, assigned to Meigs County, and his K-9 partner, Mattis, responded to Washington County in late 2019 to assist at the scene of a hunter incident. K-9 Mattis was called in to aid in the location of shell casings from a suspect. Mattis searched a large wooded area and laid down at the edge of a briar patch to indicate that he had found something. Officer Gilkey and the other officers assisting in the search initially did not see anything in front of Mattis, but when they brushed back the leaves they found a shell casing. Mattis went back to work and discovered a second casing near the first. The two shell casings were crucial evidence, and took only a few minutes for Mattis to find. The other officers on scene stated they never would have found the casings if not for Mattis.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
While patrolling in Clark County, state wildlife officer Jasmine Grossnickle, assigned to Miami County, observed several anglers fishing at Buck Creek State Park. Officer Grossnickle contacted a man who was fishing on the dock and asked to see his fishing license. The man handed her the previous year’s license. Officer Grossnickle pointed out the expired license and asked if he had purchased the current year’s fishing license. The man thought he had a current license but could not produce it. After checking the state licensing database, it was confirmed that the man did not have a current fishing license. He was found guilty and paid $50 in fines.