Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – January 21, 2022
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, received information that a suspect was hunting white-tailed deer without a license and permit. Officer Kiger contacted the individual, who admitted to purchasing a deer permit after harvesting a deer, but stated he had a hunting license. Officer Kiger and the individual agreed to meet at the suspect’s residence the next day. However, the individual did not show up and did not answer officer Kiger’s phone call. After discovering the deer was taken to another location to be butchered, officer Kiger met the individual at the new location. The suspect was issued two citations for no hunting license and no deer permit, and ordered to pay $261 in fines and court costs.
In December, state wildlife officer Austin Levering, assigned to Knox County, received a call from the Mount Vernon Police Department regarding a white-tailed deer trapped in an office building. The deer had crashed through a window, shattering the glass, and trapped itself in an office room where it was not discovered until the employees arrived to work that morning. After observing the agitated doe run in circles and jump over a desk, officer Levering requested assistance from state wildlife officer supervisor Bill Bullard. Officers Levering and Bullard decided the safest and easiest extraction for the deer would be to create barriers within the building and turn off the lights. Then, they opened a nearby exit door hoping the outside light would entice the deer out. After using tables, trash cans, and other available resources to create a safe pathway, the officers opened the door to coax the deer from the room and toward the exit. The deer slowly and surely walked out of the building and into the area from which it came.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
While on patrol during the 2021 weeklong white-tailed deer gun season, state wildlife officer Jason Porinchok, assigned to Putnam County, observed an individual hunting deer while not wearing the proper hunter orange clothing. The individual was wearing a hunter orange hat, but the rule requires all hunters to wear a solid or camouflage blaze orange vest, coat, jacket, or overalls. After contacting the individual and explaining the importance of wearing proper blaze orange for safety, officer Porinchok issued the hunter a citation. The hunter pleaded no contest in Putnam County Court, was found guilty, and paid $125 in fines in addition to court costs.
Last fall, state wildlife officer Nathan Robinson, assigned to Van Wert County, assisted the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s fish management section with surveying saugeye populations on Van Wert County Reservoir. Many fish were analyzed, including a nearly 9-pound saugeye. These surveys are an excellent way to gather information about fish population size, health, and growth rates. With this data in hand, fishery biologists make decisions on fish stockings to help maintain sustainable populations in area lakes and reservoirs. Each year, thousands of fish are stocked in Ohio’s public waters to enhance the fishery and increase opportunities for anglers. Together, fish management, state wildlife officers, and state fish hatchery staff work hard to provide a healthy and productive fishery for all Ohioans to enjoy.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
State wildlife officer Ryan Pawlus, assigned to Lake County, received information about an individual who harvested a white-tailed deer illegally. Officer Pawlus received information that the hunter harvested a deer on city-owned property in Lake County and checked it as harvested on public land in Geauga County. During the investigation, it was discovered that the deer was harvested on city-owned property where individuals are required to be part of the city’s hunting program. The hunter was not registered in the program and had also failed to purchase a hunting license. In total, five summonses were issued. Two were issued for falsification of game check information, one for hunting without permission, one for hunting without a license, and one for trespassing. The crossbow used in the harvest was seized, along with the deer, which scored at 159 inches and is valued at $6,292.
While on patrol in Cuyahoga County, state wildlife officer Zach Hillman spotted an angler fishing along a Lake Erie breakwall. The individual appeared to be struggling and upon closer observation, officer Hillman could see that the individual had two steelhead on his line at once. Officer Hillman hustled over to the angler, grabbed his net, and was able to net both steelhead for him, which the angler decided to keep and take home for dinner. The fortunate angler was appreciative for the help.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
On opening morning of the 2021 white-tailed deer gun hunting season, state wildlife officer Wes Feldner, assigned to Monroe County, stopped to check two groups of hunters near the road on Wayne National Forest. While speaking with the first group and checking their licenses and permits, officer Feldner observed two individuals from the second group break away and move in the opposite direction. Officer Feldner checked the second group and two of the individuals did not have the proper licenses and permits. The group said that they had just completed a deer drive in the area, and the two individuals claimed that they were not hunting, just helping with the deer drive. Officer Feldner explained that a person needs to be properly licensed to assist or aid others while hunting deer. The two individuals were the same two who officer Feldner observed break away while he was talking to the first group. While speaking with the two individuals it was discovered that one of them hid a shotgun and the other hid a small amount of marijuana. Officer Feldner issued each individual the proper summonses, and the cases are currently pending in Monroe County Court.
In October 2021, state wildlife officer Jerrod Allison, assigned to Coshocton County, participated in the trick-or-treat festivities in the Village of Warsaw. Officer Allison set up his patrol truck on Main Street with the lights flashing and had spooky music playing while he handed out candy to nearly 300 children. This is the third year that officer Allison has participated in trick-or-treat, and it has been well received not only by the children, but also by the parents who have hunting and fishing questions.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
State wildlife officers Ben Smith, assigned to Brown County, and Brad Turner, assigned to Preble County, participated in a holiday shop with a cop event sponsored by Brown County. Each officer sponsored a child for the day. Part of the day’s activities included going out to breakfast and lunch. The officers also attended a movie as an extra treat for the children. This was a special event that created a lifelong memory for both the child and the officer.