Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 4, 2020
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
This fall, state wildlife officer John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, assisted a motorist who struck a large white-tailed buck deer. The collision totaled the vehicle and the deer did not survive. The motorist was able to salvage much of the venison at a local processor and was allowed to keep the buck’s rack. It was not the way a hunter wants to achieve a trophy, but it was a better ending to a bad day.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
During the 2020 waterfowl season, state wildlife officer Reid Van Cleve, assigned to Ottawa County, received a call from a waterfowl hunter asking if anyone had reported finding a lost firearm. The person was hunting at Little Portage Wildlife Area that morning and forgot his shotgun when he left. Officer Van Cleve stated that he had not received a call but would go look for it. He immediately drove to the wildlife area and was able to locate and secure the firearm. The hunter was appreciative and retrieved his shotgun the following day.
While patrolling at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area on the opening day of early teal hunting season, state wildlife officers Antoinette Jolliff, assigned to Hancock County, and Nathan West, assigned to Wyandot County, responded to a report of a group of hunters shooting continuously at one of the ponds that is known to have excellent wood duck habitat. While the officers looked for the hunters, they saw several wood ducks fly over, as well as fresh feathers resting on the water’s surface. Wood ducks are not legal game during the early teal hunting season. The officers contacted the hunters, who said they were hunting for geese but were not successful. Further investigation revealed one of the hunters shot a duck that he could not identify, which he had thrown the into the brush and then continued to hunt. State wildlife officer Nathan Kaufmann, assigned to Richland County, and K-9 officer May were called to the scene and located the duck, which was identified as a female wood duck. The hunter was cited for taking a wood duck out of season and paid $325 in fines, court costs, and restitution.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
During the summer, state wildlife officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, received an anonymous tip regarding individuals who were possibly digging ginseng on Brush Creek Wildlife Area in Jefferson County. Ginseng is a highly regulated plant species and cannot be collected on state wildlife areas at any time of the year. After conducting surveillance, officer Porter contacted three individuals who all had ginseng in their possession. The illegal ginseng was seized, along with digging tools and cell phones as evidence. They each received a total of $330 in fines and court costs. All evidence was forfeited.
State wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, received a call about an eastern screech-owl trapped in some netting on a work site. Brown responded to the situation and freed the tangled bird. Officer Brown determined the owl was unharmed and it was able to fly away. If you stumble upon injured or distressed wildlife, contact your local district office or your county wildlife officer for assistance.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
State wildlife officer Ryan Donnelly, assigned to Washington County, received a call in early September from a man who had questions about deer hunting. The man stated he used to hunt many years ago, but had other obligations which ultimately took priority over hunting. But this year was different, and he wanted to get back into the sport. He asked about daily limits and what license and permits he needed to hunt deer. Officer Donnelly explained to him the current regulations, and while speaking with him determined where he lived. Using this information, officer Donnelly was able to bring up the new HuntFish OH app, which provides users a map of all the vendors who sell Ohio Division of Wildlife license and permits. While using the app, officer Donnelly provided the caller with the closest license vendors to his location. The caller was appreciative of the information and went out that afternoon to buy his license and permit.
In October, state wildlife officer Darin Abbott, assigned to Lawrence County, received a complaint about a vehicle spotlighting and shooting deer at night. With information provided by the caller, officer Abbott identified a suspect. The suspect is a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm and discharging a firearm are in violation of the individual’s parole. Officer Abbott contacted the suspect. He seized the deer and the rifle, and at the request of the Adult Parole Authority he arrested the suspect. Felony and misdemeanor charges are pending in court.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
Recently, the Ohio Division of Wildlife hosted an online TEAMS event, and the public was invited to meet K-9 officers and learn about the great work they do. Hosted by state wildlife officer Jason Keller, assigned to Warren County, and K-9 partner Scout, as well as Ohio State Parks and Watercraft officer Jason Lagore and K-9 partner Ranger, the K-9s showed off some of their impressive skills that help officers find and prevent wildlife violations. The dogs are trained to detect wild game, gunpowder, and ginseng. The K-9s can also track people and can be used to find lost hunters and people hunting without permission.
State wildlife officer Gus Kiebel, assigned to Clermont County, received a Turn In a Poacher (TIP) call about a deer in the bed of a truck at a local store with no tag on it. The caller provided the license plate from the vehicle. Officer Kiebel determined that the owner of the vehicle purchased a deer permit at the store just before the TIP was submitted. The suspect lived in northwest Ohio, so state wildlife officer Craig Barr, assigned to Allen County, followed up with the man. The suspect admitted to harvesting the deer without a deer permit and failing to game check the animal. He paid $185 in fines in Clermont County Court.