Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – February 26, 2021

Division of Wildlife

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1 

In January, state wildlife officer Brian Motsinger, assigned to Union County, participated in the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s annual river otter survey. This is a valuable tool for tracking river otter populations, and the survey is conducted statewide during the winter with wildlife management staff, wildlife officers, and other conservation professionals. With the help of Brent Nickels from the Union County Soil and Water Conservation District, officer Motsinger surveyed five separate creeks in Union County. The two individuals checked around bridges for tracks, evidence of feeding behavior, and other distinguishing marks. No river otter signs were observed. However, Officer Motsinger did find plenty of white-tailed deer and mink tracks.

During the 2020 deer-gun hunting season, state wildlife officer Tony Zerkle, assigned to Fairfield County, received a call through the Turn In a Poacher hotline (1-800-762-2437) reporting a hunter not wearing the required hunter orange clothing. Officer Zerkle responded to the area and observed the hunter not wearing hunter orange. When officer Zerkle identified himself, the hunter stood up and began to quickly walk in the other direction. Officer Zerkle closed the distance and ordered him to stop several times. It was not until Officer Zerkle yelled, “If you run, you go to jail,” that the man stopped. He was issued one summons to Fairfield County Municipal Court for hunting without the required hunter orange clothing during the deer-gun hunting season. He paid $275 in fines and court costs.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

During the 2020 deer-gun hunting season, state wildlife officer Ryan Kennedy, assigned to Hardin County, received a call through the Turn In a Poacher hotline (1-800-762-2437) about someone hunting without permission. Officer Kennedy responded to the location and contacted two individuals who were observed hunting on the property without the landowner’s permission. Officer Kennedy issued both hunters a citation for hunting without permission and each paid a $150 fine.

In the fall of 2020, state wildlife investigators Kevin Good and Jason Hadsell, assigned to the Lake Erie unit, were on patrol when they saw a boat with one person trolling for walleyes. When they looked closer, they saw that the angler was fishing with six rods. The investigators contacted the man and confirmed he had a fishing license. The investigators told the angler to reel in his additional rods, and he was issued a summons for fishing with more than three rods at a time. Upon further investigation, it was discovered the same angler was issued a similar citation the year before. Over the course of the day, investigators Good and Hadsell spoke with nearly 100 anglers and issued three citations for fishing with too many rods, and one for no fishing license.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

State wildlife officer Matt Madgar, assigned to Cuyahoga County, received a message about a golden eagle that was preserved by a taxidermist in the 1800s and in private possession. The owner no longer wanted the mount. Officer Madgar collected the bird and arranged its transfer to the Ohio Division of Wildlife headquarters in Akron. Despite being more than 150 years old, the mount is in very good condition, but not able to be displayed in a home because of the chemicals that were used to preserve it. This also required proper precautions to ensure the safety of staff while handling it. Seeking guidance on protocol for possession of a federally protected species, Ohio Division of Wildlife staff contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for advice. Because the mount pre-dates the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940, the eagle can be legally transferred to a museum without issue, where it will educate visitors about the recovery of this important species. Golden eagles are rare in Ohio, but are sometimes reported during the winter months along the Lake Erie shoreline or over expansive grassland habitat in southern Ohio.

While on patrol in Jefferson County, state wildlife officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, received a call regarding individuals hunting without permission. Upon responding to the property owned by a power company, officer Porter located two hunters who were riding an ATV. After contacting the two individuals, officer Porter explained that they were on property without permission. Both individuals were issued summonses for hunting without permission and paid fines and court costs of $300 each.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

State wildlife officer Eric Lane, assigned to Perry County, received information from a concerned individual who believed his neighbor had harvested two bucks during the deer hunting season. The individual gave officer Lane the individual’s name and contact information. Officer Lane called the residence and spoke with the neighbor, who stated that he did harvest two bucks, but one was a button buck. Any deer harvested with antlers less than 3 inches long is considered an antlerless deer. Officer Lane confirmed this information through harvest records and verified that there was no violation.

In October, state wildlife officer Brad St. Clair was notified of two illegal trash dumps in Noble County. The trash at the sites included insulation, paint supplies, construction materials, power tools, clothing, diapers, and more. Through his investigation, officer St. Clair identified three individuals who were responsible for dumping the trash. The individuals appeared in the Noble County Court and were found guilty of the violations. They were ordered to pay $987 in fines and court costs. In addition, the three individuals were ordered to serve a combined total of 12 days in the Noble County Jail, and were required to clean up the trash as part of their sentences.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

During the 2020 deer-gun hunting season, state wildlife officer Eric Lamb, assigned to Brown County, was flagged down by a passing vehicle. The man told officer Lamb that his friend, who is an older gentleman, had harvested a nice antlered deer that morning. He also advised that his friend could use help checking in the deer. Officer Lamb continued down the same road and found the antlered deer hanging from a tree at the man’s residence. The deer had a landowner tag attached to it. The man met officer Lamb in the yard and relayed his excitement of the harvest. The man described himself as being technologically challenged and was not looking forward to driving to a license vendor to check in his deer. Officer Lamb helped the man check in his deer from the computer in his patrol vehicle.

State wildlife officer Aaron Ireland, assigned to Butler County, was contacted by a landowner in January regarding an individual who was hunting without written permission. The landowner was able to provide officer Ireland with a photograph and a possible name of the suspect. Officer Ireland investigated and confirmed the suspect’s identity. Officer Ireland contacted the person, who admitted to hunting without permission. Officer Ireland issued a summons to the suspect, who appeared in court and pleaded guilty to the charge. The man was ordered to pay a $166 fine.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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