Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
State Wildlife Officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, observed three anglers taking saugeye by snagging below the spillway at Indian Lake. The anglers were issued summonses for taking saugeye by illegal means and paid a total of $600 in fines and court costs in Bellefontaine Municipal Court. The illegally taken saugeye were photographed and returned to the river alive. If you observe a wildlife violation, please report the violation by calling 1-800-POACHER (762-2437).
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two
In early July, Lake Erie Wildlife Investigator Kelsey Brockman observed a boat returning to a marina in Lorain that was reported to be operating as an unlicensed guide. Investigator Brockman found that the clients had paid the captain to take them fishing and bought that captain’s portion of the day’s walleye catch. The captain was found guilty of operating as an unlicensed guide and selling sport-caught fish. His fishing license was suspended for one year. He paid $75 in fines, $127 in court costs, and forfeited $192 from the fish sales and the charter fee to the state.
In October, State Wildlife Officer Jason Porinchok, assigned to Putnam County, attended the 2023 Putnam County annual Pheasants Forever Black Swamp Chapter Youth Pheasant Hunt. The Black Swamp Chapter of Pheasants Forever partnered with Kalida Fish and Game Club to offer the hunt. Hunters aged 17 and under had the opportunity to hunt ring-necked pheasants with bird dogs and their handlers. More than 50 youth from Putnam County attended, and most were successful in harvesting a bird.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three
State Wildlife Officer Scott Cartwright, assigned to Carroll County, received a report of a white-tailed deer stuck in the mud near Atwood Lake. By the time Officer Cartwright arrived, the animal was fatigued and couldn’t lift its head. Officer Cartwright moved the deer to solid ground. After a while, the deer regained some movement and awareness. The deer appeared to make a full recovery.
State Wildlife Officers Mike Greer and Zach Hillman, assigned to Cuyahoga and Summit counties, respectively, responded to a hunting without permission complaint from Lorain County. When the officers arrived, one of the hunters was calling 911 for another hunter in the party who was experiencing a medical emergency. The officers provided medical care and guided the ambulance to the individual in need of attention. The officers explained to the landowner that the hunter with the emergency was disoriented and trespassed inadvertently, and his friends were trying to help him. Considering the circumstances, the landowners did not press charges.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four
State Wildlife Officer Logan Ambrister, assigned to Belmont County, was recently contacted by a hunter who found an abandoned shotgun on Egypt Valley Wildlife Area. Officer Ambrister retrieved the firearm and searched for the owner. The firearm had not been reported as stolen and had no identifying information. Officer Ambrister and Sergeant Tom Devaul of the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office shared the information on Belmont County Sheriff’s Office social media pages. Shortly after, the owner contacted Officer Ambrister and identified the shotgun, which had been a family gift. The owner was extremely happy and grateful to be reunited with a sentimental heirloom.
State Wildlife Officer Ted Witham, assigned to Jackson County, noticed hunter orange in a field on the opening day of the 2023 white-tailed deer gun hunting season. While walking toward the hunter, Officer Witham encountered a second hunter and conducted a license and permit inspection. The nonresident did not have the necessary nonresident hunting license or deer permit. Officer Witham then conducted a compliance check on the first hunter, who did not have a hunting license or deer permit. Each hunter was issued citations for not having a hunting license or deer permit. Both individuals appeared in Jackson County Municipal Court and pleaded guilty to the violations. They paid a combined total of $570 in fines and court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five
State Wildlife Officer Mark Schemmel, assigned to Auglaize County, attended a meeting of the Tri-County Woman’s Group, comprised of widows and widowers from Auglaize, Shelby, and Mercer counties. He provided a presentation on the local bald eagle population.
State Wildlife Officer Brad Buening, assigned to Mercer County, recently completed a case that began during the week-long white-tailed deer gun hunting season. The defendant pleaded guilty to charges of hunting without a nonresident deer permit or a nonresident hunting license. The suspect paid $200 in fines and $118 in court costs. In addition, the judge revoked the defendant’s hunting privileges for two years and issued 20 days of jail time suspended on the condition that the defendant did not have similar convictions in the next two years. A shotgun and shells were forfeited to the Division of Wildlife.