Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 12, 2021
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer Matt Teders, assigned to Madison County, received a call from the London Correctional Facility about a hawk that was stuck in their building. Officer Teders responded and located a Cooper’s hawk in an atrium between the yard and the housing units. Officer Teders was able to safely capture the hawk, which was healthy and uninjured. Officer Teders transported the hawk to the nearby London State Fish Hatchery and released it.
During the 2020 white-tailed deer gun season, state wildlife officer Tyler Eldred, assigned to Morrow County, observed an individual running across a field while dressed in camouflage and carrying a hunting rifle. Contact was made with the man and it was determined that he was hunting deer. When asked about wearing the required hunter orange, the man pulled out an orange stocking cap from his pocket and stated he had removed it from his head because he was hot. Two other individuals were contacted in the same group. Neither of them were wearing hunter orange. All three were nonresidents and were hunting without a hunting license or a deer permit. The individuals pleaded guilty in Morrow County Municipal Court and paid fines and court costs.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
In January, warm weather and favorable winds let anglers enjoy some wintertime fishing on Lake Erie. State wildlife investigator Kevin Good, assigned to the Lake Erie Unit, observed many good catches of walleyes and a few good perch catches during that time. While investigator Good was checking licenses, he observed many anglers carry electronic versions of their fishing licenses instead of the traditional paper version. Investigator Good used the opportunity to introduce the anglers to the new HuntFish OH app. Many of the anglers downloaded the app and investigator Good showed them how to use it. All the anglers who were exposed to the app were impressed and complimented the Ohio Division of Wildlife on having such a convenient tool available. HuntFish OH is free and available for Android and iOS users.
In July 2020, state wildlife investigators Matthew Fisher and Kelsey Brockman, assigned to the Lake Erie Unit, were patrolling the central basin of Lake Erie. A fishing vessel was spotted trolling for walleyes and the investigators contacted the two individuals to see how many fish they had on board. After fishing licenses were checked and fish were inspected, the investigators found two walleyes that measured under the 15-inch minimum size. A summons was issued for the violation for possessing undersized walleyes.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
State wildlife officer Jason Warren, assigned to Ashtabula County, spends a great deal of time contributing information for fish and wildlife research. Officer Warren has collected various road-killed wildlife species that have aided in important wildlife research for biologists. Officer Warren has reported road-killed bobcats, black bears, river otters, and most recently a fisher in Ashtabula County. A fisher is a small mammalian carnivore in the weasel family. While fishers are rarely reported in Ohio and are currently classified as a species of special interest, some are showing up along the Pennsylvania border. In addition to road-killed animals, officer Warren also receives trail camera pictures of fishers from landowners. All reports are monitored by wildlife biologists. If you have an interesting wildlife sighting to share, report it online at wildohio.gov.
State wildlife officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, was on patrol during the 2020 white-tailed deer-gun season. After observing a large group of hunters in a field, officer Porter contacted them to check licenses. After checking all individuals for hunting licenses and deer permits, officer Porter proceeded to answer many questions. He also took the time to provide the hunting party with additional copies of the current hunting regulations, as well as copies of blank permission slips. The group was appreciative, and officer Porter was pleased with such a positive experience. Regulations are available for free at license vendors, wildohio.gov, or on the HuntFish OH mobile app.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In September 2020, state wildlife officer Logan Ambrister, assigned to Belmont County, was patrolling Piedmont Lake with state wildlife officer Brad St. Clair, assigned to Noble County. Officer Ambrister was approached by a man at the boat ramp marina who said that his wife had gone hiking with their dog on the nearby Buckeye Trail. He had expected her to return an hour ago, but she was not back. The man was not able to reach her on the phone, and was getting worried because the trail had some rough terrain. Officer Ambrister and the man started at the opposite end of the trail and hiked toward the beginning, while officer St. Clair waited at the marina with several other individuals in case she came back. Officer Ambrister and the man hiked about a mile when the officer received a call over his radio from officer St. Clair that the woman and her dog had returned, and both were in good health. The trail had taken her much longer than she expected, and she had lost it somewhere along the way. Officer Ambrister and the husband hiked back to the marina where they were greeted by a smiling face and a wagging tail.
In November 2020, state wildlife officer Ted Witham, assigned to Jackson County, received a phone call from a concerned hunter. The individual stated that he was part of a group that had leased a property for deer hunting, and they had located a baited area with several treestands that did not belong to anyone in the group. The individual provided a map of the property to officer Witham with the location of the corn and the treestands. During the white-tailed deer-gun season, officer Witham arrived at the baited area just as shooting time was starting. He found a hunter in a treestand who did not have written permission to hunt on the property, and also did not have a deer permit. Officer Witham then located a second hunter who also did not have written permission to hunt on the property. Both individuals received citations for hunting without written permission, and the first individual received an additional citation for hunting deer without a deer permit. Both individuals pleaded guilty to the charges in Jackson County Municipal Court and were ordered to pay $520 in fines and court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
During the 2020 small game hunting season, state wildlife officer Jason Keller, assigned to Warren County, and state wildlife officer Mathew Bourne, assigned to Clark County, were patrolling Caesar Creek Wildlife Area. The officers received a report that three hunters shot at a pheasant while aiming their shotguns toward a parking lot and across the road. The officers contacted all three hunters while they were still in the field. Officer Keller then deployed K-9 officer Scout to locate the ammunition components in the field. K-9 officer Scout quickly located all the pertinent ammunition components in the tall vegetation. After examining the evidence, it was determined that the hunters had indeed shot across the road. All three individuals were charged with shooting on, from, along, or across a roadway. The defendants were subsequently found guilty in Warren County Municipal Court and each individual paid $225 in fines and court costs.
After receiving a complaint about nonpermitted hunting occurring on private property that bordered Clark Lake Wildlife Area, state wildlife officers Jasmine Grossnickle, assigned to Miami County, and Matthew Bourne, assigned to Clark County, offered to assist wildlife management personnel in resolving the issue for neighboring landowners. Wildlife management staff visibly marked the property boundaries with the help of the two officers. Neighboring landowners were contacted to let them know how to handle issues that might arise in the future regarding people hunting without permission on their property. Call or text the Turn In A Poacher (TIP) line 1-800-762-2437 to report a wildlife violation.