OHIO – Below is a collection of field reports from officers stationed all over Ohio, some in Southern Ohio
Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
State Wildlife Officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, received information about discrepancies in a hunter’s information during the 2021-22 white-tailed deer hunting season. Officer Kiger issued citations for hunting without a deer permit, providing false information on a game check, and failure to game check and attach the confirmation number to a deer. The hunter was found guilty, fined $598, and given a two-year hunting license revocation.
Every year on the first Tuesday in August a community event called National Night Out is held across the nation. This annual event promotes police-community partnerships to make communities safer. This year, State Wildlife Officer Austin Levering, assigned to Knox County, attended the National Night Out event in Fredericktown. Officer Levering taught children how to shoot a bow at the archery trailer and talked about a wildlife officer’s duties.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two
In August, Lake Erie State Wildlife Investigators Jason Hadsell and Matthew Fisher, along with State Wildlife Officer Jason Warren, assigned to Ashtabula County, patrolled waters off of Conneaut Harbor. The officers contacted more than 80 anglers, many of whom had caught their limit of fish. During their contacts, two fishermen were found to have more than their daily limit of walleye. Both individuals were charged with taking more than the daily limit of walleye and the unlawfully possessed walleye were taken as evidence.
This summer, State Wildlife Officer Michele Butler, assigned to Erie County, assisted with the second annual “Fishing 101” program hosted by the Erie County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The event allowed local adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to learn about fishing regulations, equipment, and the types of sportfish in Erie County. Participants also learned where local fishing spots were and how to cast. At the end of the program, participants were provided with an application for a free fishing license. Some mobility impaired Ohio residents qualify for a free fishing license.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three
In July, State Wildlife Officer Zach Hillman, assigned to Cuyahoga County, discovered that a Pennsylvania resident had purchased resident hunting licenses and permits in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. Officer Hillman contacted the individual, who was found to have purchased resident hunting licenses in both states over several years. To be considered a resident of the state of Ohio, you must reside within the state for six consecutive months. Officer Hillman issued the individual one misdemeanor summons for hunting without a valid non-resident hunting license. The individual paid $290 in fines and court costs.
In July, Law Operations Manager Jeremy Carter and State Wildlife Officer Zach Hillman, assigned to Cuyahoga County, observed a vehicle unable to maintain its lane. The vehicle crossed the center line multiple times, nearly causing a head-on collision. The officers contacted the Ohio State Highway Patrol and provided a description of the vehicle as well as the license plate. The officers followed the vehicle until a state trooper was able to respond. The driver was determined to be driving under the influence and was placed under arrest.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four
During the Memorial Day weekend, State Wildlife Officer Mark Basinger, assigned to Perry County, contacted two men who were fishing in New Lexington Reservoir. One of the men did not have a valid fishing license. The same individual also had an arrest warrant out of Licking County. He was cooperative and was transferred to Licking County. He later pleaded guilty in Perry County Municipal Court to fishing without a license and was fined $100 plus court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five
In July, State Wildlife Officer Matt Roberts, assigned to Highland County, was notified by Cowan Lake State Park staff of a goose that was tangled in fishing line. Park staff assisted Officer Roberts in catching the goose and cutting line from its legs. This was the third goose Officer Roberts has removed fishing line from at Cowan Lake this summer. Anglers are reminded to properly dispose of discarded fishing line.
During the Independence Day weekend, State Wildlife Officers Jason Keller and Brad Turner, assigned to Warren and Preble counties, respectively, turned their attention to recent complaints along the Great Miami River. Officers had recently received several calls regarding illegal fishing near Fairfield and Hamilton. The officers patrolled the area and issued 14 summonses for violations including fishing without a license, stream litter, and keeping game fish caught with a cast net. Individuals are encouraged to call the Turn-In-a-Poacher (TIP) hotline at 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437) to report wildlife violations.