Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 24, 2021
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
In August, wildlife officer John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, taught a hunter education course in Washington Court House. The local Masonic Lodge provided the location, snacks, and lunch for the students. Thirteen students made up the class of future conservationists. All students passed the course with excitement for the coming hunting season. Visit wildohio.gov to find a hunter education course near you.
State wildlife officer Maurice Irish, assigned to Delaware County, received a TIP call through 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437) in July. An anonymous source reported several individuals were fishing with a cast net in the Olentangy River. The individuals had unlawfully used the net to take several game fish, which they placed in a large cooler. Officer Irish contacted the individuals to conduct a compliance check. It was determined that the group was in possession of several undersized smallmouth bass, which they admitted taking with the cast net. One individual in the group did not have a valid fishing license. At the completion of the contact, the undersized smallmouth bass were seized, and the individuals were issued summonses to Delaware Municipal Court. They paid $320 in fines and court costs.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
State wildlife officers Nathan Robinson, assigned to Van Wert County, and Craig Barr, assigned to Allen County, recently helped lead a youth fishing event in Lima. The event featured a course where the children learned how to cast, bait a hook, and remove caught fish. The children were also shown how to tie several fishing knots and set up basic fishing rigs. Everyone enjoyed the experience, and many of the children caught their very first fish. The event provided a chance for children to get outdoors and find a passion for Ohio’s natural resources. With their new skills, the next generation of anglers are well on their way to more fishing adventures.
In June, state wildlife investigators Kelsey Brockman and Brian Bury, assigned to the Lake Erie Unit, were on patrol in Lake Erie near the Ohio-Michigan line. They observed multiple charter boats heading toward Michigan waters after fishing in Ohio. Five charter boats were contacted, and four of the five were found to be in possession of multiple walleyes under the 15-inch minimum size. In total, 15 short walleyes were discovered between the four boats. The captains of each boat were cited for the violations in Oregon Municipal Court. Each charged individual paid $25 per short walleye, plus court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
On the opening day of the spring wild turkey hunting season, state wildlife officers Scott Traver, assigned to Stark County, and Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, set out to investigate a bait site for which they had received a tip. At a distance, the officers observed a hunter get dropped off at the blind. Shortly after sunrise, the officers contacted the hunter, who admitted to placing corn in the field prior to the hunting season. The officers then discovered the person’s father was hunting nearby. The two officers and the hunter hiked over to a second blind, where more corn was spread amongst turkey decoys. Both hunters were issued summonses for hunting wild turkeys over bait. They paid more than $500 in fines and their firearms were forfeited to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
State wildlife officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, was contacted by a concerned citizen regarding a coyote hunter with dogs trespassing on private properties. With assistance from state wildlife investigator Brett Barnes, officer Porter was able to locate the trespassing hunter, who was charged in Jefferson County Court. The hunter was ordered to pay $300 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In January, state wildlife officer Chris Dodge, assigned to Hocking County, received a hunting without permission complaint from a landowner near Logan. Four individuals were observed wearing hunter orange, carrying muzzleloaders, and hunting without permission on the landowner’s property. Using information provided by the landowner, officer Dodge located all four suspects, who admitted to tracking a deer and hunting without permission on the property. All four individuals were issued a summons for hunting without permission and pleaded guilty in Hocking County Municipal Court. Each suspect paid a fine and court costs of $275 for a combined total of $1,100.
State wildlife officer Jeff Berry, assigned to Muskingum County, was on patrol at Tri-Valley Wildlife Area on the first day of mourning dove hunting season. As officer Berry was approaching a parked vehicle, he heard three shots. He contacted three hunters, one of whom was picking up his empty shell casing in a grassy area along the road. Officer Berry checked the three hunter’s licenses and checked all three guns for plugs. All three hunters had the proper licenses and harvest information program (HIP) certification numbers. He cautioned the individuals about shooting on or across a public roadway.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
State wildlife officers Matt Hunt, assigned to Greene County, and Jasmine Grossnickle, assigned to Miami County, responded to a call of an injured bald eagle near Bradford in Miami County. The eagle had been eating a road-killed raccoon along the side of the roadway when it was struck by a vehicle. The eagle traveled into a nearby ditch, where Miami County sheriff deputies were unable to retrieve the bird. The officers arrived on scene and quickly captured the injured bird. The eagle was transported to Glen Helen Raptor Center for medical assessment and rehabilitation.
While patrolling the Auglaize River, state wildlife officers Mark Schemmel, assigned to Auglaize County, and Matt Bourne, assigned to Clark County, observed an individual using a large dip net to catch fish from the river. The officers contacted the angler and inspected the bucket of fish that he was carrying. Upon inspection, it was determined that the individual had caught and kept several different species of game fish with the dip net. The game fish were released unharmed back into the river, and the individual received a citation for catching and possessing game fish by means of netting. The individual was found guilty in Auglaize County Municipal Court and was fined $100 for the violation.