Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – February 18, 2022
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, was dispatched to a call in Champaign County regarding a hawk being stuck in the grille of a car on Thanksgiving morning. Officer Smith responded and determined it was a red-tailed hawk and still alive. Officer Smith used a golf club to gently pry the bird free. The bird was examined by officer Smith and appeared to be healthy. It was safely released and flew away.
During the white-tailed deer gun hunting season, state wildlife officer Josh Elster, assigned to Pickaway County, received information regarding a deer harvested by a hunter that was checked in by the landowner. Officer Elster spoke with the landowner, who admitted he did not shoot the deer but did check it in for the hunter. The landowner and hunter were both issued a summons for violations they had committed.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
During the fall of 2021, state wildlife officer Craig Barr, assigned to Allen County, presented to students during a conservation science class at a local high school. Recently adopted by the school, the conservation science class is the first course for high school students in the Conservation Adventures Program. Conservation Adventures aims to address critical gaps in conservation education and increase appreciation for wildlife and habitat conservation programs. On the first visit, officer Barr presented on the history of the Ohio Division of Wildlife and described his career as a wildlife officer. During officer Barr’s second visit he provided hands-on instruction on how to make a worm harness for fishing. Each student was given the opportunity to make their own harness for their next fishing adventure.
On New Year’s Eve, the weather was perfect for an early winter fishing trip on Lake Erie, and the boat ramp in the city of Huron was almost full by mid-morning. Seeing the busy ramp, state wildlife investigators Kevin Good and Travis Abele, assigned to the Lake Erie Unit, decided to take a patrol boat out on the water. Boats were scattered throughout the open water and investigators Good and Abele contacted numerous anglers. As they approached one vessel with Michigan tags, they noticed that the two individuals on board were actively fishing with too many rods. The limit for rods per person in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is three. The investigators contacted the individuals and explained the violation. Summonses for fishing with too many rods were issued to both anglers.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
During the Ohio deer archery season, state wildlife officer Jason Warren, assigned to Ashtabula County, had just returned home from routine patrol when the Ashtabula County Sherriff’s Office dispatch center called. A sheriff’s deputy was responding to a complaint of a person killing a white-tailed deer with a rifle. Officer Warren subsequently responded to the location. Further investigation revealed that the individual had shot a six-point buck with a rifle while the deer was feeding at a corn pile in his backyard. Officer Warren seized the deer and a rifle and issued a summons for taking a deer with a rifle during the closed season. The individual appeared in Ashtabula Eastern County Court, pleaded guilty, and was ordered to pay $695 in fines, court costs, and restitution. He was also ordered to forfeit the rifle and the deer. The deer was donated to the County Neighbor Food Bank.
State wildlife officer Jesse Janosik, assigned to Columbiana County, was dispatched by the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office about a white-tailed buck deer stuck in an electric fence. Officer Janosik safely cut away the rope and wire tangled in the buck’s antlers and from around its neck. With only minor injuries, the buck ran off into the woods and the landowner was grateful for officer Janosik’s assistance.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
State wildlife officer Bob Nelson, assigned to Ross County, was working a complaint area in Lawrence County at approximately 10:30 p.m. when he observed a truck spotlighting a field. The passenger shined a spotlight out of the vehicle, and then the driver turned around and drove past the field a second time. On the second pass the driver shined the spotlight from the truck. Officer Nelson caught up to the truck and conducted a stop. The driver and the passenger were both placed in handcuffs while officer Nelson searched the truck. He located and seized two semi-automatic rifles, ammunition, and a spotlight in the front cab of the truck. Both men were charged with spotlighting and improper transport of a firearm in a motor vehicle. They both pleaded guilty in Ironton Municipal Court and were assessed fines and court costs. The evidence was forfeited to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
During the 2021 spring wild turkey hunting season, state wildlife officer Jason Keller, assigned to Warren County, and state wildlife officer Gus Kiebel, assigned to Adams County, responded to a landowner’s complaint of someone killing a wild turkey on his property. Officers met with the landowner, who showed them the general area where the shot came from. Officer Keller deployed K-9 Scout, and she quickly found piles of wild turkey feathers, a shotgun wad, and a shotgun hull. Officers Keller and Kiebel drove around the area attempting to locate a suspect. Officer Keller came across an individual butchering a turkey not far from the original incident. Further investigation revealed the individual was hunting near where the incident occurred. He heard turkeys gobbling so he snuck over to the adjacent field and shot the turkey. The turkey parts were seized, and the individual was issued two summonses in Hillsboro Municipal Court. The individual pleaded guilty to both charges and paid $450 in fines and court costs. The turkey parts were forfeited and are now used by K-9 Scout as training aids.
State wildlife officers Trent Weaver, Jason Keller, K-9 Scout, and wildlife officer unit supervisor Matt Hoehn recently attended the National Fishing Expo in Cincinnati. The officers, along with communications staff, manned the display and answered fish and wildlife questions from the public. Held at the Sharonville Convention Center, the expo is greater Cincinnati’s only premier fishing event. Thousands of fishing enthusiasts attended this three-day event. The show features one of the largest groups of handmade tackle, pros, guides, and outfitters in the country. The show also featured some of the best speakers in the industry, presenting seminars on a variety of fishing topics.