Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 11, 2020
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
During the fall of 2019, state wildlife officer Tyler Eldred, assigned to Morrow County, received a complaint regarding two partially processed deer discarded along a county road. Officer Eldred responded and observed two deer that were shot with a rifle. While looking over the two animals, evidence was discovered that suggested the deer had originated in West Virginia. Using video surveillance and purchase history from a gas station in West Virginia, a suspect in Morrow County was identified. Contact was made with a West Virginia Natural Resource police officer, who confirmed the suspect harvested a buck deer during their gun season a few days prior. Information from West Virginia also identified another suspect who lived near the dump site. Both suspects were charged and were found guilty in Morrow County Municipal Court for possessing a deer carcass that was harvested outside of Ohio that had the hides and capes with any part of the head or lymph nodes still attached, and to discarding the deer along the roadway. Ohio conservationists are asked to help prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease by following the most current carcass regulations. Please review the current hunting regulations, contact your nearest district office, or contact your county wildlife officer for more information.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
State wildlife officer Brock Williamson, assigned to Seneca County, was on patrol in April when he received a call about a potential trapping violation. Officer Williamson received a call from the Turn in a Poacher hotline about several box traps that had been left out since the conclusion of the 2020 trapping season. Upon further investigation, officer Williamson observed seven box traps in an unnamed tributary. Two of the traps contained muskrats and one contained a mink that had been in the trap for a long period of time. Williamson contacted the owner of the traps, confirmed that he was the owner, and informed him that trapping season ended Feb. 28. One summons was issued for failing to check traps once every calendar day. The box traps were seized as evidence and forfeited to the state. Call or text 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437) to report wildlife crimes.
Over the past several years, there have been numerous issues with litter and other destructive actions happening at a popular fishing and picnic spot in southern Richland County along the Clear Fork River. State wildlife officer Greg Wasilewski, assigned to Richland County, organized two projects to help reduce the continued occurrence of this negative behavior. Because several of the complaints from the area were drug and alcohol related, officer Wasilewski contacted the Richland County Sheriff’s Office for additional assistance. In July, officer Wasilewski, along with several other Ohio Division of Wildlife officers and Richland County sheriff’s deputies, provided enhanced patrols in the area near the popular fishing location. In just these two days, officers were able to contact 16 groups using the area and wrote numerous summonses for litter and drug and alcohol use. Projects such as these help to ensure that recreational areas remain safe and usable for all Ohioans.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
State wildlife officer Evan Huegel, assigned to Ashland County, received information that an individual harvested a 9-point antlered deer before obtaining his license and permit. Officer Huegel investigated and determined the man hunted throughout the entire deer season without a hunting license. The suspect’s deer mount was seized as evidence and the man was eventually charged with the offense. The individual appeared in Ashland Municipal Court, was found guilty, and ordered to pay $867 in fines, court costs, and restitution. In addition, the man was placed on probation for one year and he received a three-year hunting license suspension.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
State wildlife officer Jared Abele, assigned to Vinton County, was contacted in early June by a landowner who frantically explained she had observed a rattlesnake along her driveway. Officer Abele was able to confirm that it was a timber rattlesnake, and he and a U.S. Forest Service research volunteer met with the landowner at her residence. The researcher explained that he would like to collect scientific data from the snake and was able to locate it in approximately 15 minutes. Officer Abele and the researcher processed the snake on the landowner’s porch and collected the weight, length, and sex of the snake. The rattlesnake was an adult male that measured more than 40 inches long. The landowner stated that she has observed a rattlesnake the previous summer in her flower bed. Officer Abele explained that the snake was likely visiting her yard for food since she had multiple songbird feeders along her porch. By the end of the visit, the landowner was surprised how docile the snake was and understood why it was attracted to her yard. After leaving the residence, officer Abele and the researcher released the snake in a nearby area.
In June, state wildlife officer Mark Basinger, assigned to Athens County, was conducting ATV enforcement patrol on Wallace O’Dowd Wildlife Area. Officer Basinger followed an ATV onto a portion of the wildlife area from the nearby roadway. State wildlife officers Ryan Donnelly and Chris Dodge happened to already be waiting in the interior of the wildlife area, and the ATV stopped when the two riders spotted the vehicles in front of them. Officer Basinger contacted the two individuals. Neither rider had a valid driver’s license, neither were wearing helmets, and the ATV was not registered. The owner of the ATV was cited for a registration violation in Athens Municipal Court. The riders were compliant and called a friend with a truck to come pick them up so they could load the ATV for safe and legal hauling to the owner’s residence.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
Investigator Ryan Garrison, assigned to southwest Ohio, received information about someone selling game fish from the TIP hotline. The suspect was offering to sell bass, catfish, and bluegills. Investigator Garrison contacted the suspect, requesting to purchase the fish. He set up a location and met with the person. When investigator Garrison asked where the fish came from, the suspect told him that they came from a public lake in Indiana, the Maumee River, and private ponds. He then provided investigator Garrison with a trash bag of fish that contained frozen, whole catfish, bass, and walleyes. Investigator Garrison paid the suspect $50 for the fish and contacted state wildlife officer Aaron Ireland, assigned to Butler County, who was nearby. Officer Ireland conducted a traffic stop on the suspect and issued the suspect a citation for selling game fish.
In July, state wildlife officer Trent Weaver, assigned to Montgomery County, responded to a call involving an injured great blue heron in the Mad River in Greene County. Officer Weaver met a concerned citizen who was trying to figure out how to get to the bird, which was stranded in the river. Officer Weaver, with assistance from a couple of nearby kayakers, was able to get the heron out of the river. The heron was tangled in some fishing line. He quickly untangled it and trimmed the line from its mouth. The heron was wet and tired but appeared to have no permanent injuries. Officer Weaver thanked the kayakers for their willingness to assist him and returned the bird to the wild.