Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 13, 2021
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
In May, state wildlife officer Antoinette Jolliff, assigned to Licking County, received a call from the Heath Police Department stating that a woman was having issues with an unknown bird in her garage. Officer Jolliff contacted the woman and learned that a mourning dove had built a nest on top of the garage door motor. The woman explained that she needed someone to help her remove the bird. Upon arrival, officer Jolliff saw an adult dove flying in the garage and was able to coax it outside. She gently removed the nest and placed it in a nearby tree. The two chicks in the nest were unharmed. By the time officer Jolliff left, the adult dove had found the nest and resumed caring for the young. The woman was grateful for officer Jolliff’s assistance.
In early fall, state wildlife officer Josh Elster, assigned to Pickaway County, was patrolling Deer Creek Wildlife Area when a passerby informed him of two subjects washing pots and pans in the creek. Officer Elster continued down the lane and observed a few people cooking meat over a fire. Officer Elster contacted the group and the subjects stated they were hunting and cooking venison over the fire. Officer Elster asked who harvested the white-tailed deer, and the subjects responded the individual was still hunting. Further investigation revealed a gun was used to harvest the deer. Officer Elster advised the group of potential violations, including camping in a non-designated area and harvesting a deer with a gun during the archery-only season, and instructed them to clean up the camp. While the group was cleaning up, the individual who harvested the deer returned from the woods and admitted to harvesting the deer with a gun. Nine subjects were contacted and 11 citations issued, including camping in a non-designated area, hunting without license or deer permit, and possession of untagged deer parts. The venison and three firearms were collected as evidence and forfeited to the Ohio Division of Wildlife. The group was ordered to pay $1,665 in fines and court costs.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
While patrolling at Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area, state wildlife officer Mike Ohlrich, assigned to Lucas County, came across a family fishing. The group was having a great time and catching a few bluegills. When Officer Ohlrich contacted the group, one girl was particularly excited to talk to him and asked a series of questions in rapid succession. She exclaimed that she wants to be a police officer when she grows up. As officer Ohlrich left the family, he turned on his emergency lights, which were enjoyed by the whole family.
State wildlife investigator Jason Parr was recently working on a project to curb unlawful activities occurring on Ohio Division of Wildlife properties. These activities consist primarily of littering and driving vehicles onto non-designated areas, which can result in significant damage to habitat. Officer Parr recently contacted an individual who was observed driving on a non-designated area, and then stopped to dump out a large amount of litter. The man was issued a summons and paid $254 in fines and court costs. Anyone who witnesses any unlawful activity on state owned properties, please call your local wildlife officer or the Turn In a Poacher (TIP) hotline at 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437). Callers may remain anonymous.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
While on patrol in Harrison County, state wildlife officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, noticed a vehicle stopped on a rural road. Officer Turner saw a person standing behind the car and looking through a spotting scope. This individual told officer Turner that she had driven from Columbus to see a white-tailed kite, a rare species in Ohio, and it was only the second time this species was ever recorded in the state. The friendly birder was kind enough to let officer Turner look through her scope to see the raptor perched atop a small tree. After some roadside conversation, the birder asked officer Turner if he knew of anywhere else she could see some birds. Officer Turner knew of a nesting pied-billed grebe in a nearby pond, and the two set off on a birding adventure. They spotted killdeer, bobolinks, American woodcock, American kestrels, Canada geese, red-winged blackbirds, and mallards. Learn more about birding in Ohio at wildohio.gov.
While processing white-tailed deer harvest reports for the 2020-21 hunting season, state wildlife officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, noticed some discrepancies in the records for a nonresident hunter from Pennsylvania. Officer Porter contacted the Pennsylvania Game Commission, requesting assistance with interviewing the individual. During the interview, the hunter admitted to hunting in Ohio and harvesting a buck without the purchase of a hunting license or deer permit. The deer was seized as evidence and the suspect was charged through Jefferson County Court. Ultimately, the suspect was ordered to pay $300 in fines and the deer was forfeited to the State of Ohio.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
State wildlife officer Chris Gilkey, assigned to Meigs County, and his K-9 partner Mattis recently assisted a local police department attempting to locate some evidence for a case. Early in the search, Mattis alerted officer Gilkey that he had found something by laying down with the item between his paws. Officer Gilkey approached the vegetation and noticed Mattis had found a small purse. Officer Gilkey retrieved the purse and handed it off to the local officers on scene. Although the purse was not connected to the original case, detectives confirmed the purse had been stolen that same day. Mattis’s find helped return the contents of the purse to the owner who was happy to have almost everything back, minus some money that had been stolen before the purse was dumped.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
While patrolling during the 2021 white-tailed deer muzzleloader hunting season, state wildlife officer Jeff Wenning, assigned to Darke County, was dispatched to Shelby County where a sheriff’s deputy was speaking to a hunter who was observed shooting from the roadway. Upon arrival, officer Wenning spoke with the suspect regarding his activities. Two witnesses observed the suspect shoot from the road, and provided a clear description of the hunter, his vehicle, and where the hunter was standing when he discharged his firearm at a deer standing in the field. The hunter was served a citation for hunting from a roadway. The hunter was found guilty of hunting from a roadway and ordered to pay fines and court costs. The hunter was also ordered to forfeit the deer he harvested as well as the muzzleloader used in the commission of the crime.
In March, state wildlife officer Matt Roberts, assigned to Clinton County, was notified of a possible dead river otter in Clinton County. Officer Roberts responded to the location and discovered a female river otter that had been hit by a vehicle on the road. River otters are native to Ohio and are common in some counties. However, this was the first river otter that officer Roberts found in Clinton County. All Ohioans can report river otter sightings at wildohio.gov.