Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – February 12, 2021
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, conducted an investigation during the deer-gun week that revealed two individuals had harvested deer without completing the tagging process. They were each issued a summons for failing to permanently tag their deer by noon the day following the harvest. Both subjects paid $360 in fines and court costs and lost their hunting privileges for one year. A third subject who was previously charged by officer Smith and had his hunting privileges revoked was discovered to have been hunting with the other two individuals. He was issued a summons for the violation and paid $690 in fines and court costs and had his hunting privilege suspended for three years.
While on patrol at Deer Creek Wildlife Area, state wildlife officer Josh Elster, assigned to Pickaway County, was flagged down by a passing motorist who observed a vehicle stopped and partially sitting in the road. Officer Elster drove to the location and found someone sitting inside the car. The person had run out of gas the night before and their battery died while sitting with the flashers on. The person had tried to contact multiple people for assistance with no luck. Officer Elster advised the vehicle needed to be moved off the road for safety, and he pushed it a short distance to get it off the road. The person had no money for gas, so officer Elster offered to buy him some gas so he could get home. Officer Elster left and returned with three gallons of gas in a gas can and jumper cables. He filled up the car and got it started with the jumper cables. He then followed the car for a short time to make sure there were no other problems, and then continued his patrol.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
State wildlife investigator Brian Bury, assigned to the Lake Erie Unit, received a call about someone waterfowl hunting without permission in Sandusky County. Investigator Bury responded to the call and was able to locate and observe the suspects, who were driving a motorboat up a creek and shooting wood ducks while the boat motor was in use. Investigator Bury stopped the men and determined that all their guns were loaded while the boat was under power. The hunters did not have any duck decoys in the boat, but they had three wood ducks that were killed illegally. The method used by the hunters was to motor up to the ducks and shoot them. This is not legal, safe, or ethical. Summonses were issued to the hunters and each paid $130 in fines and court costs.
During the deer-gun season, state wildlife officer Reid Van Cleve, assigned to Ottawa County, received a call about people shooting at deer from the road. The caller provided a description of the vehicle and officer Van Cleve was able to recover a shotgun shell and wad along the roadway where the violation had occurred. Officer Van Cleve returned to the area during the deer-gun weekend and noticed a vehicle that matched the description provided by the witnesses. After talking with the people in the vehicle, officer Van Cleve discovered that one had been the driver during the road shooting incident. The suspect stated he had been driving when his friend retrieved a shotgun from the back seat and shot at several deer while the vehicle was still moving. Officer Van Cleve issued the driver a citation for the violation. He paid $250 in fines and court costs and had his hunting license suspended for one year. The shooter was also contacted and issued two citations. His case is still pending.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
State wildlife officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, was made aware of a wild turkey that was harvested over bait, in this case a corn pile. Officer Porter visited a taxidermist where the turkey was located and seized the animal as evidence. A short time later, officer Porter spoke to the individual regarding the violation and he subsequently admitted wrongdoing. A summons was issued in Jefferson County Court and the individual was ordered to pay fines and court costs totaling $235. Furthermore, the wild turkey was forfeited to the state.
State wildlife officer Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, responded to a call about a white-tailed deer in distress. Officer Moore arrived on scene and could see that a doe had its head stuck in a PVC pipe. It appeared that the section of pipe was from a homemade deer feeder. The deer was likely trying to get corn from the bottom of the feeder and lodged its head and neck in the pipe. After several attempts to pull the pipe off the deer’s head, officer Moore finally succeeded in freeing the deer. The doe was quite unsteady at first but gained its composure by the time it made it safely to a nearby woodlot.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
State wildlife officer Jared Abele, assigned to Vinton County, and many other officers in southeastern Ohio continue to receive an increasing number of bobcat sighting reports. People have been very willing to share photos and stories about their bobcat encounters, and the officers enjoy hearing from the public about the sightings. Officers receive weekly, and sometimes even daily, reports during the fall and winter months. Information from callers may come in the form of visual sightings, road-killed bobcats, trail camera photos, or trappers who incidentally catch bobcats in sets intended for coyote or fox. Individuals are encouraged to report their bobcat sightings at wildohio.gov, where they can include the location of the sighting and can also attach related photos and video to the report.
During the January deer-muzzleloader hunting season, state wildlife officers Mark Basinger, assigned to Athens County, and Ryan Donnelly, assigned to Washington County, were both following up on recent complaints of road hunting in Athens County. While talking with a landowner, officer Donnelly heard a shot just a short distance down the road. He drove in the direction of the shot and initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle. The suspect ignored officer Donnelly at first, but then turned right onto a dead-end road where officer Donnelly was able to stop the vehicle. Officer Basinger was close by and responded to assist. The officers recovered a rifle with three live shells from the vehicle and found a spent shell on the driver’s seat. They found deer parts in the rear cargo area of the vehicle along with hunting knives and gloves. The suspect was charged with taking a deer with a rifle during the muzzleloader season. The suspect later pleaded guilty in Athens Municipal Court, paid $250 in fines and court costs, was sentenced to five days in jail (suspended), and the firearm was forfeited to the state.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
While on patrol at East Fork Lake, state wildlife officer Gus Kiebel, assigned to Clermont County, was flagged down by a couple who were in their vehicle and stopped on the dam. The driver was afraid of heights and discovered that he could not drive their car any farther because of his phobia. Officer Kiebel assisted the couple in getting their motor vehicle turned around on the roadway so they could go back and not have to cross the dam. The man was not able to drive the vehicle back across the part of the dam they had already crossed, and he was not comfortable riding in the vehicle. Officer Kiebel offered the man a ride in his patrol vehicle to get back across the dam, and the man gratefully accepted the offer. The man was reunited with his wife once he was a comfortable distance away from the dam. The couple then continued their day visiting other parts of the park.
Multiple complaints were received regarding people illegally using cast nets to take game fish at Buck Creek State Park and Clark Lake Wildlife Area in Clark County. State wildlife investigator Ryan Garrison and state wildlife officer Jeff Wenning, assigned to Darke County, focused enforcement efforts in these areas during the summer of 2020. The first person using a net was contacted as he returned to his truck with a bucket containing several white crappies. Another angler using a net was observed throwing larger bluegills back into the water and keeping smaller game fish. Officer Wenning explained to both suspects that using a net to take fish other than forage fish and minnows is a violation. At the end of the summer enforcement projects, a total of six summonses were issued for taking game fish with a net. In addition, another three summonses were issued for fishing without a license. Finally, one verbal warning was given to an angler who was preparing to use a cast net that was larger than 10 feet in diameter. Court fines were given to the anglers, as well as court costs and all cases are closed.