Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 7, 2021
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
In March, state wildlife officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, received a call from a concerned citizen about a dead white-tailed deer in the bed of a truck. The caller was not sure if the deer was possessed legally. Officer Smith went to the location and learned that the deer was a legally possessed, road-killed deer. Nearly four hours later and 15 miles from the location where Officer Smith spoke with the subject, he witnessed the same person dump the deer carcass into a road ditch. Officer Smith contacted the subject and handled the litter violation accordingly.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
During the 2020 statewide deer-archery hunting season, state wildlife officer Nathan Cass, assigned to Crawford County, was on patrol when he observed two archery hunters returning to their vehicle after an evening hunt. Officer Cass contacted the hunters at their vehicle to confirm that they possessed the required hunting license and deer permit. Officer Cass learned that the two hunters were a father and his juvenile son. The boy had arrowed his first buck that evening and the father and son were about to begin tracking the buck. After confirming the hunters had their required licenses, permits, and written permission slip, officer Cass noticed that the father only had one small flashlight. Officer Cass offered to assist the hunters in the recovery of the buck and after tracking it approximately 60 yards, the deer was recovered. The young hunter made an exceptional shot with his crossbow. Officer Cass then took photos for the happy hunters and used the moment to educate the hunters on how to properly validate the deer permit and complete the game check process.
In March, state wildlife investigator Kelsey Brockman, assigned to the Lake Erie Unit, was on patrol in an area of the Rocky River that receives a high number of complaints because of fishing violations. Investigator Brockman observed a man catch three steelhead and place each one on a different stringer. The man then kept one stringer with him and gave the other fish to two people. The daily limit for Lake Erie steelhead in March is two. Investigator Brockman contacted the man and he admitted that he did catch and keep all three steelhead. He paid $217 in court cost and fines.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
During the 2020 Ohio deer-gun hunting season, state wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, received a call from a landowner regarding a complaint of someone hunting without permission. The landowner reported that he had just received a photo on his cell phone, which came from his trail camera located on his property. Officer Frank drove to the property and met with the landowner. Officer Frank located the individual and a second hunter on the property. Both were issued summonses and a deer which had been shot on the property was seized. The hunters paid $940 in fines and court costs.
State wildlife officer Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, received a call about an individual who was trapping wild animals with a cage trap and not following the laws regarding legal use of these traps. Officer Moore stopped by the address provided by the caller and located an untagged trap that had animal hair and remains inside. Officer Moore advised the landowner that traps are required to be checked daily and the animals are required to be removed. He also advised that the trap is required to be tagged with the owner’s name and address. Following up on the situation a couple months later, officer Moore visited the home and found the same untagged trap set in the same condition as before. The homeowner was issued a summons to appear in court for untagged traps and for failing to check for and remove any wild animals each calendar day. The trap was seized as evidence. The homeowner subsequently paid $316 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
State wildlife officer Bob Nelson was contacted by the Ross County Sheriff’s Office regarding a man setting a fire and causing damage at Ross Lake Wildlife Area. Officer Nelson responded to the lake and met with Deputy Josh Shears, who advised him that the suspect had parked by the gate and set a campfire at the edge of a grass field. Officers contacted the man while the fire was burning and determined he required emergency medical care. Emergency personnel arrived on scene and the suspect was transported to a medical center for treatment. Officer Nelson observed a small area of a field burned from the campfire. He took photos and went to the medical center to speak to the suspect, who admitted to setting the fire in the field. The suspect was issued two summonses for the violations, and the case is still pending in Chillicothe Municipal Court.
During the 2020-21 deer-archery hunting season, state wildlife officer Jerrod Allison, assigned to Coshocton County, received information about a trail camera overlooking a bait pile on Woodbury Wildlife Area. Baiting deer on public property is illegal, so officer Allison went to inspect the site. He found corn and other bait, as well as a trail camera overlooking it. Officer Allison set up surveillance and after some time a man showed up to check the camera. Officer Allison contacted the man and asked about the camera and the bait. The man admitted that he baited the area for deer hunting, which is illegal in Ohio. The man was issued a summons where he paid fines and court costs through Coshocton Municipal Court.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
Many schools are still conducting distance learning, and Ohio’s wildlife officers continue to present educational programs as their schedules allow. State wildlife officer Matthew Hunt, assigned to Greene County, recently met virtually with a group from Bellbrook Intermediate School. The fifth-grade class was studying the differences between ecosystems and habitats. Officer Hunt presented information on ecosystems and habitats, and how the Ohio Division of Wildlife manages each. Officer Hunt also highlighted recent habitat projects in southwest Ohio. He then sent the class milkweed seeds to plant more habitat in their own yards.
State wildlife officer Jasmine Grossnickle, assigned to Miami County, was called by a coyote hunter advising that people were raccoon hunting with dogs after the season closed. The coyote hunter contacted the landowner and was told that no one had permission to raccoon hunt the property. Officer Grossnickle arrived in the area shortly afterward and contacted the raccoon hunters. One hunter was carrying a rifle and the second was assisting in the hunt and helping with the dogs. When asked, the hunter provided a written permission slip signed by the landowner from a previous season. Officer Grossnickle spoke to the landowner and confirmed that he had signed the permission slip the previous season, but did not provide permission for the current year. Neither man had bought a hunting license or furtaker permit in several years. Both men were issued summonses for hunting raccoons during the closed season, and each paid a $130 bond forfeiture in Miami County Municipal Court.