Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 8, 2021

Division of Wildlife

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1 

In March, state wildlife officer Maurice Irish, assigned to Delaware County, received a call about an injured bald eagle. After confirming the injury, he safely captured the bird and transported it to the Ohio Wildlife Center where it was treated for its injuries. The eagle was released in June at Olentangy Heritage Elementary School with about 100 people in attendance. Everyone was excited to watch the majestic bird return to the wild. Visit wildohio.gov for more information about orphaned and injured wildlife, including a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators.

On the opening day of mourning dove hunting season, state wildlife officer Houston Wireman, assigned to Champaign County, contacted two subjects at Urbana Wildlife Area during a controlled dove hunt. While checking the two subjects for their hunting licenses, officer Wireman smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from both subjects. Both admitted to consuming alcohol while hunting. They showed officer Wireman a cooler with beer and several empty beer cans. Officer Wireman escorted both subjects off the property for the safety of other hunters and the safety of both subjects. Both subjects were charged for open container with a fine and court cost of $175.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

State wildlife officer Josh Zientek, assigned to Fulton County, was on patrol during the early morning hours in August when a landowner contacted him about a badger caught in a live trap. The landowner was having issues with woodchucks digging around his buildings, so he set a live trap out to remove them. The landowner woke up to check his live trap to find an angry and aggressive badger. Officer Zientek responded to the landowner’s property to assist. After several careful attempts, officer Zientek coaxed the badger out of the trap safely, and it returned to the wild unharmed.

Throughout the summer, state wildlife officers Nathan Cass, assigned to Crawford County, and Nathan Kaufmann, assigned to Richland County, conducted sport fishing enforcement patrols at Charles Mill Lake and Pleasant Hill Lake. During these patrols, nearly 100 outdoor enthusiasts were contacted with three summonses issued. One summons was for fishing without a valid fishing license, and two were for possessing undersized crappies. Pleasant Hill Lake has site-specific regulations stipulating crappies less than 9 inches must be released. The summonses resulted in three guilty pleas in Richland County Municipal Court and together totaled $462 in court costs and fines.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

During the white-tailed deer gun season, state wildlife officer Marino Pellegrini, assigned to Portage County, received a call from a landowner who reported a hunter trespassing on his property. Officer Pellegrini, accompanied by state wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, responded to the area and the officers located a set of boot tracks in the snow. The tracks led across the landowner’s property onto neighboring properties. The original tracks appeared to meet up with additional sets of boot tracks. The two officers followed the tracks and found three hunters who were not wearing the proper hunter orange clothing. The three individuals denied trespassing on the property, but stated a fourth individual was hunting with them and had already gone home. With suspect statements and trail camera photos obtained from the landowner, the fourth individual was identified and charged with hunting without permission and failure to wear hunter orange. The three individuals who were originally contacted by officers Pellegrini and Frank were also charged with failure to wear hunter orange. All individuals pleaded guilty in Portage County Municipal Court and paid more than $1,000 total in fines and court costs.

While on patrol in Trumbull County, state wildlife officer Marty Cisine, assigned to Trumbull County, observed several vehicles stopped on the side of the road with people out of their cars. When officer Cisine approached to inquire about the situation and to assist, he was greeted by a woman trying to hold on to a dog by its collar with no leash. She informed officer Cisine that she and the others stopped when they saw the dog running loose and recognized it from a social media post as a lost pet. The dog then pulled away and took off down the street. Officer Cisine jumped into his truck and pursued the dog. He safely captured the dog in a thicket and reunited it with the overjoyed owner. This family dog had been missing, with no sightings, for many days. Officer Cisine was happy to help and was fortunately in the right place at the right time.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

While on patrol in Pike County, state wildlife officer Matt VanCleve came across a vehicle parked in a nondesignated area on the Lake White Tailwaters Wildlife Area. Officer VanCleve contacted the driver. Officer VanCleve showed the driver the boundary signs and the driver acknowledged seeing them. As officer VanCleve was issuing the man a summons, a second man approached on an ATV. The man drove his ATV through the nondesignated area to talk with the suspect. Officer VanCleve issued the second man a summons for driving a vehicle in a nondesignated area. Both men pleaded guilty and were fined $180.

During the Independence Day holiday weekend, state wildlife officer Todd Stewart, assigned to Morgan County, and wildlife officer supervisor Dan Perko contacted visitors at Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area. Most people were out hiking and fishing. Throughout the weekend, the officers had several good conversations with people who were using the area. The officers issued summonses to three people who were fishing without a license. All three posted bond in Morgan County Court.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

State wildlife officer Jason Keller, assigned to Warren County, and K-9 Scout recently presented an educational program at Lebanon High School. Twenty students attended the program, which included an overview of the Ohio Division of Wildlife and K-9 program. K-9 Scout also did a search demonstration for the students. The class is part of a pilot project and is one of 17 participating schools throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania. The class coursework was created by the Sportsmen’s Alliance and is an introduction to the science behind the North American model of wildlife conservation, and how it continues to protect wildlife and their ecosystems.

State wildlife officer Brad Buening, assigned to Preble County, was working on Grand Lake St. Marys in Mercer County when he noticed someone using a cast net. A closer observation of the individual revealed he was keeping sport fish as well as forage fish. The Ohio fishing regulations stipulate that only forage fish and minnows may be taken with a cast net. Officer Buening contacted the individual and inspected the bucket. It contained several crappies, bluegills, and small catfish. The person received a summons for the violation and the sport fish were seized.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.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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