Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – November 20, 2020
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer Brian Motsinger, assigned to Union County, was patrolling fishing locations at Buckeye Lake with state wildlife officer Tony Zerkle, assigned to Fairfield County. The officers observed a group of people near a state park canal. One of the individuals cast a fishing pole into the lake and later caught a catfish. The officers contacted the individual and asked to see a fishing license, which he did not have. The individual was written a citation for fishing without a license. The group was also potentially observed littering while at the state park. The officers informed the group about litter problems at state parks and the individuals picked up their items.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
In June, state wildlife officers Nathan Cass, assigned to Crawford County, and Brock Williamson, assigned to Seneca County, were conducting sport fish enforcement on the Sandusky River in Sandusky County. Officers Cass and Williamson contacted two individuals fishing from the bank of the Sandusky River and asked to see their fishing licenses. While checking the licenses, the officers observed several glass bottles on the ground next to the anglers. After confirming that both men had valid fishing licenses, the officers continued to observe the anglers to ensure they picked up their trash. A short while later, the anglers picked up the bottles and hid them in the rocks. As the anglers returned to their vehicle, the officers approached the anglers, who admitted to leaving the glass bottles on the riverbank. Both anglers received summonses for stream litter and paid $150 in fines and court costs.
In the fall, state wildlife officer Ryan Kennedy, assigned to Hardin County, received a call from a local hunter. The person was hunting and observed two bucks fighting. Eventually, the fight ended with the larger buck killing the smaller buck, all in view of the hunter. The hunter contacted officer Kennedy to report the situation and requested a harvest receipt for the smaller buck, so to not waste the meat. Officer Kennedy arrived on scene and after hearing the hunter’s account of what happened and examining the buck, he granted a harvest receipt to the hunter. The hunter was happy to take the buck home to fill his freezer.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
State wildlife officers Marty Cisine, assigned to Trumbull County, Marino Pellegrini, assigned to Portage County, and Scott Denamen, assigned to Geauga County, partnered with members of ohiogamefishing.com in an effort to clean up the Mosquito Lake causeway in Trumbull County. The clean-up project was organized through the ohiogamefishing.com website. Members volunteered their time and supplies to help maintain a popular public fishing access site. The volunteers collected enough litter from the causeway and shoreline to fill two truck beds.
State wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, partnered with the Mahoning County Sanitary District to alleviate issues related to individuals fishing on their properties without permission. Officer Frank discovered that most individuals trespassing to fish were warned by the Sanitary District on previous occasions, and also failed to acquire a valid fishing license. One night during patrol of one of the areas under surveillance, officer Frank observed a vehicle in the parking lot. He discovered that the owner of the vehicle did not have a valid fishing license. Further investigation revealed the individual had been cited by the Sanitary District on prior occasions. Officer Frank located three individuals who were fishing. Upon contact, all three had been cited previously by the Sanitary District for trespassing, and none of them possessed a valid fishing license. All three individuals were issued summonses for fishing without a license and they collectively paid more than $360 in fines and costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
During the summer, state wildlife officer Jerrod Allison, assigned to Coshocton County, received multiple complaints about people riding ATVs off-road in Woodbury Wildlife Area. On one occasion, another Ohio Division of Wildlife employee noticed an ATV pull into a parking lot on the wildlife area. The ATV had fishing equipment on it, and a short time later a truck pulled into the same parking lot. The two drivers talked for a few minutes, then both drove off in the same direction. The employee called officer Allison about the suspicious activity. Officer Allison patrolled the wildlife area and located the truck but not the ATV. As he was about to leave, officer Allison noticed vehicle tracks going through some high grass and right past a sign prohibiting motorized vehicles. Officer Allison followed the tracks to a pond where he found both individuals fishing. The driver of the ATV was issued a ticket for operating his vehicle off-road.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
During the fall archery season, state wildlife officer Gus Kiebel, assigned to Clermont County, was advised about a white-tailed deer that was dropped off at a local processor. Officer Kiebel searched the state’s game check system and discovered that the hunter bought a license and permit the same morning that the deer was harvested. State wildlife investigator Joel Buddelmeyer and officer Kiebel contacted the hunter. Further investigation revealed the buck was harvested before the person had purchased a license and permit. The hunter was found guilty of multiple charges in Clermont County Court and was fined $249. The deer was confiscated.
During the spring, state wildlife officer Matt Hunt participated in the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Chat with a Biologist program. This program was designed to assist teachers with developing and presenting lessons to online classrooms. Officer Hunt was matched up with schools in the Dayton area. Officer Hunt prepared several presentations about ecosystems, habitat management, and more. Officer Hunt presented to the classes from his laptop. Having the Ohio Division of Wildlife conduct these lessons allowed the students to see wildlife topics from a different perspective. It also allowed Ohio Division of Wildlife employees to share the daily things they do. The program was popular with classrooms in the spring. Officer Hunt presented to additional classes in the fall and plans to conduct more as the school year progresses.