Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 25, 2020
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
With the changing of the seasons and white-tailed deer moving more, state wildlife officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, received a call about a young deer stuck in a wrought iron fence. The deer was startled and ran into the fence, where it got stuck between the bars. The Delaware County homeowner tried to free the deer but was unsuccessful. When officer Kiger arrived, he calmed the deer down by putting a piece of cloth over its head. This gave officer Kiger time to manipulate the deer’s shoulders and front legs back through the fence. After being freed, the deer ran off with some scrapes and minor cuts but was otherwise healthy.
While patrolling in Logan County, state wildlife officers Adam Smith and Jade Heizer received a call from a resident who stated that he found an injured great horned owl in his driveway. The officers responded and successfully captured the owl. The officers transferred the injured owl to Crows Hollow Wildlife Care in Union County for rehabilitation.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
State wildlife officer Jason Porinchok, assigned to Putnam County, recently received a call from a woman regarding wildlife damage to her crop fields. Officer Porinchok returned the call and explained the complaint procedure. The next day, the woman called back with more questions and officer Porinchok offered to come out to her farm to assess the situation. Officer Porinchok discussed the difference between raccoon and deer damage and found extensive evidence of both in the fields. He then gave suggestions on remedies for the damage and helped her fill out the deer damage complaint paperwork. With all the necessary steps taken, officer Porinchok was able to issue minimal deer damage control permits and develop a plan to help the landowner reduce the damage to her crop fields.
In August, state wildlife investigators Kelsey Brockman and Brian Bury, both assigned to the Lake Erie Unit, were patrolling the Ohio waters of Lake Erie near the Michigan border. In one day, they issued six citations to Michigan residents for fishing in Ohio without an Ohio fishing license. The individuals were also educated on the importance of knowing their location in case of the need for an emergency response. The investigators also wrote one citation for taking a short walleye. All seven individuals paid $162 in fines and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
In cooperation with USDA Wildlife Services and Ohio Division of Wildlife staff, state wildlife officer Matt Madgar, assigned to Cuyahoga County, assisted with transferring an unusual species of nonnative wildlife to a new home. In the early hours one summer morning, a ring-tailed lemur was chased by dogs into a Cleveland-area home. Ring-tailed lemurs are primates native to the island of Madagascar, but are sometimes kept in captivity as pets. This animal was likely an escaped pet. Assistant wildlife management supervisor Geoff Westerfield, based in Akron, responded to the situation. He was able to capture the lemur and transfer it to a holding facility while the rightful owner was located. Unfortunately, no one came forward to claim the lemur. After several days and many phone calls later, officer Madgar transferred the lemur to an animal sanctuary in northeast Ohio where staff is experienced in caring for this unusual species.
Over the past several years, state wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, had received complaints of individuals illegally using cast nets to take sport fish in the Mahoning River below the Lake Milton spillway. In May 2020, officer Frank received a call from an angler who reported that people were using cast nets at this location. Officer Frank responded and contacted two individuals as they emptied a cast net full of fish. As officer Frank was securing the incident, he observed other individuals rapidly leaving the area. He requested state wildlife officer Jesse Janosik, assigned to Columbiana County, to assist. Officer Frank issued summonses to three individuals for taking sport fish with a cast net, using a cast net where Ohio Division of Wildlife signs are posted prohibiting it, and fishing without a license. After issuing the summonses, the officers inventoried the evidence and counted 191 illegally taken fish, including nearly 80 walleyes, totaling more than $6,000 in restitution value. In court, the individuals were each found guilty and ordered to pay more than $4,200 in fines, restitution, and court costs. A third individual also received probation. Find information about using cast nets on page 17 of the current Ohio fishing regulations at wildohio.gov.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In June, state wildlife officers Brad St. Clair, assigned to Noble County, and Anthony Lemle, assigned to Guernsey County, noticed a large amount of trash and litter left at a fishing access at Seneca Lake. In the following weeks, the officers contacted several individuals at the fishing access and issued six summonses for fishing without a license and for stream litter. The six individuals appeared in Noble County court and were found guilty of the violations. The individuals were ordered to pay $774 in fines and court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
State wildlife officer Matt Hunt, assigned to Greene County, was contacted regarding an injured juvenile mallard living in a pond on the edge of an apartment complex. The duck had gotten a plastic ring from a milk jug in its mouth and up over its head. The position of the ring prevented the animal from eating. The distressed mallard was visually smaller than its siblings after only a couple of days. For three days, officer Hunt responded and attempted to catch the duck. The family of ducks would take to the water as soon as anyone came near. On the third day, officer Hunt got help from some of the tenants at the complex and he was able to separate the injured duck from its mother and siblings. The duck ran up under a deck to hide, so officer Hunt removed some of his gear and crawled in to get it. The juvenile duck was captured and freed from the plastic ring. The mallard was quickly released and reunited with its family.