Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
State wildlife officer Matt Teders, assigned to Madison County, received a Turn-In-A-Poacher (TIP) report of individuals cast netting within 1,000 feet of a posted dam at Deer Creek spillway. Officer Teders observed three individuals netting near the dam. He contacted them to check for fishing licenses and bag limit compliance. Upon inspection of their bucket, 34 game fish were observed, including bass, catfish, crappies, and bluegills. Officer Teders issued three summonses for taking game fish using a cast net. Reports of wildlife violations can be submitted anonymously via the TIP hotline at 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437).
State wildlife officer Brian Motsinger, assigned to Union County, recently took the Division of Wildlife’s archery trailer to a community event to teach shooting skills. It was well received, and both adults and children lined up throughout the event to participate. When asked why he allows such a diverse age range to shoot, officer Motsinger said that it may be someone’s only chance to experience archery and it may be enough to spark an interest in the sport. Everyone who visited with officer Motsinger walked away with a great experience and a story to share with their friends.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
Over the summer, state wildlife officer Matt Smith, assigned to Henry County, and Lake Erie wildlife investigator Brian Bury worked together at Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area. The two officers noticed that a large amount of trash had been discarded in the area and focused on litter enforcement. During that day, the two officers issued four summonses for litter and fishing without a license.
The Ohio Landowner-Hunter Access Partnership (OLHAP) helps Ohio hunters get access to private properties around the state. State wildlife officer Nathan Robinson, assigned to Van Wert County, has been an advocate for this program and has helped enroll multiple properties around his assigned county. This program is funded in part by the federal Farm Bill and is a great way to give hunters opportunities, especially in areas with limited public land. Anyone wishing to access an OLHAP property is required to first obtain a free daily OLHAP permit. To find out more or to get an access permit visit wildohio.gov.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
State wildlife officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, recently received a tip about a white-tailed deer shot from the road. Officer Turner was familiar with the names that were reported, so he visited a residence to investigate the complaint. He determined that multiple deer had been poached. Two individuals received a combined seven summonses, resulting in $800 in fines with additional court costs.
State wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, received an anonymous tip regarding an individual who had killed three white-tailed deer bucks in one season. Officer Brown found that none of the three deer had proper tags accompanying them and none had been checked in the Ohio Game Check System. Moreover, the individual was hunting as a landowner-tenant but did not qualify as one. The individual was issued summonses for failure to game check a deer, taking over the limit of antlered deer, failure to acquire a hunting license, and possession of untagged deer. The individual was convicted in Wayne County Municipal Court and received $534 in fines and court costs, probation for one year, a one-year hunting license revocation, and $1,500 in restitution.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
State wildlife officer Ryan Donnelly, assigned to Athens County, was traveling home one evening when he noticed traffic in front of him slowing down to go around something in the road. When he got closer, he identified a red-tailed hawk that appeared to have been hit by a car. Officer Donnelly captured the bird and put it in his carrier to get it off the busy road. He stopped at a nearby wildlife area to assess the bird’s condition. When he opened the carrier, the bird flew away unharmed.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
In November, state wildlife officer Gus Kiebel, assigned to Adams County, received a phone call from a non-resident landowner who reported having killed two wild turkeys with one shot from his crossbow. Officer Kiebel and wildlife officer supervisor David Warner met with the caller to work through the situation. Upon inspection of the kill site, the officers found a corn pile and cut turkey feathers on the pile. The hunter advised that the turkeys were standing on the corn pile when he shot. The officers issued him a summons for taking turkeys over a baited area. Both birds were seized as evidence.
State wildlife officers Brad Buening, assigned to Mercer County, and Houston Wireman, assigned to Shelby County, recently attended the Big Traders Days swap meet in Ft. Recovery (Mercer County). The annual four-day event brings in as many as 4,000 people. Vendors offer firearms, hunting dogs, knives, and many other items. Wildlife officers walked around the grounds, where they spoke to attendees and answered questions regarding the sale of wild animal parts. The event is held by the Ohio Progressive Sportsman Club. The club has donated thousands of dollars of their proceeds to local charities and entities in Mercer County.