Field reports from Ohio State Wildlife Officers

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OHIO – Field reports from the Ohio Department of Wildlife Officers

Central Ohio – premier wildlife area

While answering a call in Marion, state wildlife officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, noticed a dead white-tailed deer in the backyard. Officer Grote contacted the homeowner, and found that the individual had harvested the deer but had failed to complete a game check. A deer was seized as evidence and Officer Grote issued a summons for failing a deer check game at noon the next day. The individual was convicted in Marion Municipal Court and paid $138 in fines and court costs.

In November 2022, State Wildlife Officer Antoinette Fréte, assigned to Lyking County, responded to a poaching in Morrow County. A farmer saw two men load a deer into a truck near his property. Officer Fritt backtracked on the blood trail and determined that the deer was initially shot on a different property. With the help of State Wildlife Officer Tyler Eldred, assigned to Morrow County, I contacted two people who had herded deer on a property where they had permission to hunt. The deer spent on the neighboring properties, and individuals took it back without the permission of the landowner. Both hunters were charged with hunting without permission, pleaded guilty and paid a total of $500 in fines.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife Area II

During the 2022 whitetail deer hunting season, State Wildlife Officer Nathan Coffman, assigned to Richland County, and K-9 Officer May assisted with hunter incidents where property damage occurred. The first search involved a home that had been shot at earlier in the day. Officer K-9 May found four spent rifle rounds. With this evidence, the suspect was identified. Later, Officer K-9 May inspected a separate area where gunshot shell damage had occurred to the house. After about an hour of searching, a K-9 Mai officer discovered a spent shell inside the papers. Deer blood was also found in the search area. Both cases are pending in court.

State Wildlife Officer Nathan West, assigned to Wyandot County, taught the Learn to Fish program at Upper Sandusky Reservoir #No. 2 with outdoor skills specialist Jaron Beck. Participants learned about different equipment, how to shop for and use it, where to go, and hunting regulations. After helping several people catch their first fish, Jaron showed how to cut up fish that were taken home to cook after the program. The mayor of Sandusky and his children were part of the program, which was exciting for him because he’s not a fisherman and he appreciated those in his community who attended. Contact your area’s Department of Wildlife office or wildlife officer to learn about local programs.

Northeast Ohio – Wilderness District III

During the 2022 Whitetail Deer Hunting Week, state wildlife officers Michael Budd and Scott Cartwright, assigned to Tuscarawas and Carroll counties, respectively, patrolled private property after they received a complaint of hunting without permission. Officers located the hunter and issued a subpoena for deer hunting without permission. The individual, a repeat offender, was found guilty in Carroll County Municipal Court and sentenced to 45 days in jail, with a fishing license suspended for two years, and ordered to pay $245 in fines and court costs.

In October 2022, state wildlife officers Zach Heilman and Matt Madgar, assigned to Cuyahoga and Gougha Counties, respectively, received an anonymous complaint about white-tailed deer marking violations in Gougha County. The officers found that many family members were not examining their deer by noon the day after harvest as required by law, and many deer were not checked until months after harvest. Officers issued two summonses for failing to examine game by noon the day after the harvest. These individuals were convicted and ordered to pay $227 each in fines and court costs.

Southeast Ohio – Wilderness District IV

In November 2022, State Wildlife Officer Logan Ambrister, assigned to Belmont County, received information that an individual had a dead bobcat in a truck. The suspect explained to Officer Ambrister that he hit the bobcat with his car and then drove to another location to take pictures. During the investigation, the Martins Ferry Police Department discovered that the person had an arrest warrant and was in possession of a controlled substance. The suspect was arrested and taken to the Belmont County Jail. Officer Ambrister sent him a subpoena for illegal possession of a bobcat.

Southwest Ohio – Wilderness District V

State Wildlife Officer Gus Kebbell, assigned to Adams County, and Wildlife Program Director Eric Lamb participate in the Light Ohio Blue event at the Georgetown Veterans Home on December 28, 2022, along with officers from other agencies. Law enforcement officers coordinated their visit to brighten up the holidays for veterans in their community.

In the fall of 2022, Colorado State Wildlife Conservation Officer Matt Hunt contacted the Superintendent of Wildlife. An Ohio-addressed hunter filed for a Colorado lottery hunt while claiming to be a resident of that state. The same fisherman had been buying Ohio resident licenses and permits for several years. Turns out, the hunter had a valid Colorado driver’s license, while his Ohio license had expired. State Wildlife Officer Brad Turner, who is assigned to Prebble County, and State Wildlife Officer Jason Keeler, who is assigned to Warren County, contacted the suspect. Officers discovered that a white-tailed deer harvest in Ohio earlier in the fall had not been properly tagged. A statement of this violation was issued and venison was confiscated as evidence. Superintendent Hunt learns that the suspect will receive citations in Colorado for providing false residency information on a lottery application.

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