Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 3, 2021
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
In October, State wildlife officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, attended a tree planting event at Sawmill Wetlands Education Area. The event was organized by the Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed, an Ohio Division of Wildlife partner. The trees were purchased by Accenture, and Del-Co Water helped transport the trees and auger holes. More than 50 volunteers showed up to help plant the trees. Ohio Division of Wildlife employees and the Friends of Lower Olentangy Watershed demonstrated how to properly plant a tree, assisted volunteers with planting, and answered questions. All the volunteers were excited to make a difference in this unique urban area.
State wildlife officer Brian Motsinger, assigned to Union County, was patrolling Big Island Wildlife Area during the youth and military waterfowl weekend when he unexpectedly reunited with military friends. Prior to becoming a wildlife officer, officer Motsinger served more than 24 years in the U.S. Army. Officer Motsinger’s first contact was his former battalion commander and his son. Officer Motsinger did not know his former battalion commander was a hunter, and they were elated to see each other again. Next, officer Motsinger met a retired Army National Guard officer and his son, who was currently serving in the Air National Guard. They soon discovered they had several mutual acquaintances, and while they were reminiscing, the group harvested four wood ducks. Officer Motsinger made more contacts with youth and military personnel, and found all hunters were fully licensed and committed no violations.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
In August, state wildlife officer Ryan Burke, assigned to Hancock County, received a call from a landowner who discovered a bankline that was set in a creek on his property. The caller stated that he had noticed a rope tied to a bridge, which then ran into the creek. After following the line, the caller found a large snapping turtle was hooked at the end of the rope. He told officer Burke that he had not given anyone permission to set lines on the property. Officer Burke went to the property and located two banklines. One of the lines had the appropriate contact information attached. The individual had a valid fishing license, which is needed for turtle trapping. Later that evening the landowner contacted officer Burke to inform him that the trapper had returned to check his lines. The landowner then spoke with the trapper, who agreed to move his banklines to another location.
In September, state wildlife officer Reid Van Cleve, assigned to Ottawa County, was checking anglers fishing from the Catawba State Park pier. An angler arrived and was asking about perch fishing. He informed officer Van Cleve that he had never fished for perch, but was planning to. The angler asked officer Van Cleve to look in his tackle box to make sure he had the proper equipment for perch fishing. Officer Van Cleve looked through the tackle box and informed the angler that he needed some different items to catch perch. Officer Van Cleve offered to help the man pick out the correct tackle at a nearby bait shop. The two went to the bait shop and officer Van Cleve helped the man choose some new tackle and understand how to use it correctly. Once all the items were purchased, the angler excitedly returned to the pier to pursue perch for the first time.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
While patrolling Conneaut Harbor, state wildlife officer Jason Warren, assigned to Ashtabula County, was dispatched to a call about an injured bald eagle along Conneaut Creek. The caller heard an explosion near some power lines and found the injured eagle. Officer Warren arrived and quickly captured the electrocuted eagle. The eagle was transported to a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator for evaluation and care. If you find an injured wild animal, call 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543) or visit wildohio.gov to find a wildlife rehabilitator near you.
State wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, was patrolling Mogadore Reservoir when he observed a watercraft powered by a gasoline engine at a boat ramp. Mogadore Reservoir is limited to electric motors only. Officer Frank contacted the boat operator and issued the individual a summons for operating a watercraft on the reservoir with a gasoline motor. The person paid $208 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
In October, state wildlife officer Logan Ambrister, assigned to Belmont County, participated in the Boo at the Bike Trail event hosted by the Belmont County Soil and Water District. The annual event featured Halloween crafts, candy, a haunted trail and obstacle course, face painting, and the Oglebay Zoo showcased rehabbed wildlife. Officer Ambrister set up a bat station to talk to participants about native Ohio bats. Approximately 400 children attended the event and had a great time.
In November, state wildlife officer Ted Witham, assigned to Jackson County, was notified of a potential hunter harassment issue. Officer Witham responded to the location and spoke to a Jackson County sheriff’s deputy about the situation. The deputy informed officer Witham that two men were legally deer hunting on a leased property. The neighboring landowner thought that the two men were too close to his property line, so he left the woods, retrieved a firearm, and shot it three times to scare any deer in the area. The two men were hunting approximately 150 yards from the property line. The suspect’s firearm was seized as evidence. Various charges will be presented to the prosecutor.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
In November, the Greene County Fish and Game Association held its second annual Rooster Run youth pheasant hunt and potluck lunch. The event focuses on sportsmanship, marksmanship, leadership, and fellowship amongst hunters. On the day of the hunt, the participants and their guardians enjoyed a safety briefing, trap practice, hunt, bird processing demonstration, lunch, and raffle prizes. State wildlife officer Matt Hunt, assigned to Greene County, and Southwest Ohio District Manager Rick Rogers spoke with the young hunters and helped with the trap practice. State Wildlife Investigator Kevin Behr was given the honor of sounding the horn for the start of the hunt. Nineteen pheasants were harvested, and nine hunters took their first bird at the event.
In October, state wildlife Officer Matt Roberts, assigned to Clinton County, responded to a call in Highland County. A deer hunter had fallen out of a treestand. Officer Roberts assisted in clearing a path to transport the hunter out of the woods for medical care. The man was airlifted to a hospital where he underwent several medical procedures. According to the hunter’s family, doctors are optimistic that the hunter will make a good recovery. The hunter and family were appreciative.