Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 23, 2020
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, responded to a call of a Cooper’s hawk that was trapped inside the local TSC store. Officer Smith called a wildlife rehabilitator to assist him with capturing the bird. Store management had closed the store to protect their customers. Officer Smith and the rehabilitator worked together to construct a net attached to long poles to reach the store’s tall ceiling. After several unsuccessful attempts to capture the bird with the net, officer Smith turned to the toy section of the store, where he located a Nerf bow and arrow. Officer Smith used the toy arrow to startle the bird just long enough for it to be captured. Officer Smith and the rehabilitator examined the hawk and determined that it was healthy. The bird was released outside the store and it flew away.
State wildlife officer Patrick Muldovan, assigned to Licking County, received a TIP call regarding ginseng that had been harvested illegally on a woman’s property. Later that day, officer Muldovan tracked down a suspect who admitted to digging the ginseng. The person stated that the ginseng was at another residence. Officer Muldovan met state wildlife officer Austin Levering, assigned to Knox County, at the residence to investigate. The ginseng and the suspect’s digging tool were seized as evidence. The man was issued a summons for digging ginseng without permission, a first-degree misdemeanor, and the case is still in court.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
State wildlife officer Josh Zientek, assigned to Fulton County, was on patrol when he received a call about a motorist traveling eastbound on the Ohio Turnpike in Williams County who thought a raccoon was stuck in the car’s engine area. The motorist had pulled into a service plaza and tried to get the raccoon out without success. Officer Zientek responded and found the car. The two individuals were traveling from Chicago to New York City when an awful smell began coming through the vents in their car. They pulled the car into the service plaza and discovered what they believed to be a raccoon lodged in the motor. The two men had been trying for more than an hour to get the animal out of the engine. In speaking with the two men, it was determined that the critter had gotten into the engine in Chicago. Officer Zientek provided his assistance and discovered it was not a raccoon, but rather a dead woodchuck lodged in the motor. The two men were appreciative and were able to continue traveling to New York City without the smell coming from their vents.
While on patrol during the 2019 waterfowl season, state wildlife officer Levi Farley, assigned to Paulding County, encountered two men hunting from layout blinds in a field. Officer Farley contacted the men after the hunt and inspected their firearms and licenses. One of the individuals produced his hunting license with HIP certification, Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp, and federal Duck Stamp. The other hunter had only a hunting license and HIP certification. Officer Farley issued one summons for hunting geese without the proper permits. The suspect paid $173 in court cost and fines.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
While on patrol, wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, observed a woman with two young children who appeared to be locked out of her car. To make matters worse, the car was parked along a busy stretch of highway. Officer Frank recognized the family was in an unsafe situation, so he stopped to assist. Officer Frank did not have access to tools to unlock her vehicle, but he did have the phone number of a local towing company. He explained the family’s predicament and the company sent an employee to unlock the vehicle, allowing them to go safely on their way. The family was grateful for officer Frank’s concern and for his efforts.
State wildlife officers Jeremy Carter, assigned to Holmes County, and Zach Hillman, assigned to northeast Ohio, were patrolling Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area on the border of Ashland and Wayne counties. They received a tip about a group of hunters possibly shooting wood ducks during the early waterfowl season. During this season, only teal and Canada geese may be legally harvested. The officers contacted the group and checked them for the appropriate hunting licenses and stamps. The officers also inquired about individuals possibly shooting wood ducks. Upon further investigation, one member of the hunting party admitted that he had harvested a hen wood duck earlier in the morning. A summons was issued to the individual for harvesting a wood duck during the closed season and the person was fined $154.50 for the violation.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
State wildlife officer Roy Rucker, assigned to Gallia County, spent many hours during the spring and summer on the phone with concerned individuals who were asking about fishing licenses, expired boat registrations, and activities at wildlife areas. He also logged many patrol miles in areas frequented by outdoor recreational users where he observed increased fishing and hiking activities. It was nice to see more individuals spending their time outside and enjoying nature, Rucker said.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
During Memorial Day weekend, state wildlife officer Trent Weaver, assigned to Montgomery County, and state wildlife officer Matt Hunt, assigned to Greene County, worked fishing enforcement on Eastwood Lake in Dayton. Checking both shoreline and boat anglers, the officers issued seven summonses to people for fishing without a license. One pair of men saw the officers coming and tried to leave. Officer Weaver was able to flag down a ranger from Five Rivers Metro Park who stopped the men. They did not have their fishing licenses and were issued summonses. Both men eventually pleaded guilty.
State wildlife investigator Kevin Behr was working on paperwork from his patrol vehicle at Tranquility Wildlife Area in Adams County when he noticed a squirrel hunter walking on the road and holding his cell phone like he was using it to navigate. Investigator Behr contacted the hunter and asked if he needed assistance. The person had been hunting for 20 years but was new to Tranquility Wildlife Area. Officer Behr provided the hunter with a map of the wildlife area, marked the location of his vehicle and the surrounding private property, as well as several good spots to squirrel hunt. Investigator Behr recommended the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s new HuntFish OH mobile app for future hunting trips. The person thanked investigator Behr and continued his hunt.