Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 18, 2021
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
In April, state wildlife officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, received a call from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. A concerned citizen reported an injured bald eagle on the property that appeared to have trouble flying. Officer Grote and state wildlife officer Maurice Irish, assigned to Delaware County, responded and located the eagle in the woods. Armed with thick leather gloves and nets, the officers worked quickly and captured the eagle. To their surprise, the eagle was banded with two very worn metal bands. They assessed the eagle for injuries and found that both wings were uninjured, but one toe and one eye were injured. The eagle was transported to Crows Hollow Wildlife Care in Richwood where rehabilitators determined the eagle should be able to recover from its injuries and would likely be released to the wild. Officer Grote reported the band and found that the eagle was banded on June 10, 1993, in Lucas County along Lake Erie, making the eagle 27 years old.
During the spring, state wildlife officer John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, contacted many anglers at Eyman Park in the days following its annual rainbow trout release. Youth and adult anglers used spinning rods and fly-fishing equipment. Anglers traveled to the small public park from as far as Columbus and Springfield to attempt to catch trout. Everyone was properly licensed and no one kept more than their daily limit. The day of release is action-packed thanks to a youth event organized by the Fayette County Ohio Bass Club and Fayette County Fish and Game, with support from other local groups and businesses.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
During the white-tailed deer gun hunting season, state wildlife officer Josh Zientek, assigned to Fulton County, received information about an individual who shot an antlered deer and had another person check it in. Officer Zientek contacted state wildlife officer Ethan Bingham, assigned to Williams County, to assist with speaking to the person who had checked in the deer. Further investigation revealed the suspect had checked the deer in for his friend. The officers were then able to contact the hunter who had harvested the deer, who confessed to harvesting the deer and having his friend check it in. It was also determined that the suspect did not have a valid deer permit when he harvested the antlered deer. The suspects were issued the appropriate summonses and appeared in Fulton County Western District Court where they were found guilty on all the charges. The suspects paid fines and court costs and the antlered deer was forfeited to the state.
This past fall, state wildlife investigator Jeremy Payne was driving to the Wildlife District Two headquarters when he observed a minivan drive through a stoplight, which was then struck by an oncoming car. Investigator Payne responded to the accident, checking on the occupants of both vehicles to make sure they were safe and no medical attention was needed. After notifying the local police agency, investigator Payne obtained his high visibility vest and directed traffic around the site, which was on a busy state highway. Once local firefighters and police arrived, officer Payne was able to provide detailed description of the events.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
Wildlife officer supervisor Scott Denamen recently responded to a call about a wild turkey being taken during the closed season in Geauga County. The season had opened in Ohio’s south zone, but not the northeast zone. The caller stated that while driving past a residence, he had seen a man carrying a firearm and a dead turkey. Officer Denamen arrived at the home and contacted the suspect. The suspect stated that he had seen the turkey in the backyard and was able to get a shot. Officer Denamen explained that the season had opened the previous day in the south zone, but not the northeast zone. The suspect admitted he did not confirm the season was open. He retrieved the already processed bird and it was taken as evidence. One citation was issued for taking a wild turkey in the closed season.
In the early spring, state wildlife officer Jesse Janosik, assigned to Columbiana County, received multiple complaints and observed large amounts of litter at Highlandtown Lake Wildlife Area. During a Friday night into Saturday, officer Janosik witnessed multiple water bottles, beer cans, and other items thrown and littered onto the Highlandtown Lake Wildlife Area and onto the shore of the lake. Officer Janosik issued six litter summonses to six different individuals to appear in Columbiana County Municipal Court. More than $2,600 in fines and court costs were assessed to the six individuals for littering on the wildlife area.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In January, state wildlife officer Mark Basinger, assigned to Athens County, received a call about a bobcat that was struck and killed by a motor vehicle. Several calls were taken that day about the same bobcat. Officer Basinger was on the scene within 90 minutes of the reported incident, but after a thorough search of the area did not find it. There is no legal bobcat season in Ohio, so they may not be picked up or kept in possession. Sightings of bobcats as well as black bears, bald eagle nests, and other specific species can be reported at wildohio.gov. Contact 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437) to report wildlife violations.
During January and February, state wildlife officer Anthony Lemle, assigned to Guernsey County, conducted 12 investigations for deer that were killed illegally in the county. This resulted in 20 citations being issued and the collection of $4,394 in fines and court costs. In addition, multiple deer parts were forfeited, and five years of hunting privileges were lost. Call 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437) to report wildlife violations.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
In April, officers with the Ohio DNR attended an event held by Police Unity Tour Team Ohio. The event featured a roll call for fallen officers in 2019 and 2020, parachuters, bag pipes, helicopters, plenty of food, and vendors. The Police Unity Tour’s main goal is to raise money for the preservation, maintenance, and to maintain the legacy of our Fallen Blue Heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our communities. Wildlife officers Ryan Schock, Jason Keller, and K-9 Scout brought an ATV for the kids to sit on. Natural resource officers Matt Kruse and Jason Gantt brought their large patrol vessel from the Ohio River that the attendees could tour. The event was well attended with more than 1,000 people coming through the gates. Thank you to all the officers that serve no matter what patch is on their shoulder.
During the 2020 white-tailed deer gun hunting season, Warren County Wildlife Officer Jason Keller was on patrol when he noticed a hunter coming out of the woods. This person was new to deer hunting and had not killed a deer before. After officer Keller asked to see the hunter’s permit, he realized that it was inside his friend’s truck, who was still in the woods and had the keys. Officer Keller told the individual he could look it up on the computer in his vehicle. While officer Keller looked up the permit, he noticed this person had checked in a buck during the 2019 deer season. Further investigation revealed the buck was harvested by the second hunter and checked under the first hunter’s name. The second hunter eventually came out of the woods and admitted to killing three bucks during the 2019 season. The second hunter was issued three summonses and pleaded guilty to all counts in Warren County Municipal Court. Additionally, the defendant paid $875 in fines and court cost.