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Field reports from Ohio Division of Wildlife Officers


Field reports from Ohio Division of Wildlife Officers 

Central Ohio – Wildlife District One 

State Wildlife Officer Nick Oliver, assigned to Champaign County, was on patrol and noticed smoke near Marysville. Officer Oliver found a grass fire causing heavy smoke that made visibility on the road difficult. He was first on the scene and provided traffic control until the Marysville Fire Department arrived and extinguished the fire. 

State Wildlife Officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, heard a shot during the spring wild turkey hunting season and contacted the hunter, who returned to the vehicle empty handed. Officer Grote requested assistance from State Wildlife Officer Nathan Kaufmann, assigned to Richland County, and K-9 Officer May. K-9 Officer May discovered a site where a turkey had recently been taken. On a neighboring property, Officers Grote and Kaufmann discovered a gun and turkey, which were seized as evidence. The individual was found guilty of taking a turkey without a turkey permit and failing to immediately tag the turkey after harvest. The suspect paid $439 in fines and court costs. 

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two 

During the 2023 walleye run, State Wildlife Officer Reid Van Cleve, assigned to Ottawa County, patrolled the Maumee River. He observed four individuals fishing from two boats. Officer Van Cleve observed all four individuals keeping snagged walleye. Officer Van Cleve and State Wildlife Officer Mike Ohlrich, assigned to Fulton County, contacted the group and seized nine walleyes as evidence. The four individuals were served citations for their violations. They were found guilty and paid $950 in fines and court costs.  

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three 

In February, State Wildlife Officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, investigated white-tailed deer harvest report anomalies. Officer Frank identified an individual who had harvested an antlered deer and used an antlerless deer permit to report it. The individual was found to have purchased the deer permit after the harvest and later reported it to Ohio’s game check system. The suspect was issued a summons and consequently ordered to pay $315 in fines and court costs. 

State Wildlife Officer Scott Cartwright, assigned to Carroll County, patrolled a farm next to Valley Run Wildlife Area after receiving a report of trespassers on ATVs. Officer Cartwright was contacted by a nearby farmer. The interaction led to Officer Cartwright meeting Maddi, the biggest, albeit the youngest, wildlife officer supporter he’s ever encountered. She dressed up as an officer for Halloween and has a collection of fish and game patches from all over the country. Officer Cartwright thoroughly enjoyed meeting someone so young who values wildlife as much as he does. We look forward to seeing Maddi in a wildlife officer uniform someday! 

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four 

In late May, State Wildlife Officers Scot Gardner, assigned to Washington County, and Chris Gilkey, assigned to Meigs County, attended an annual fishing event at Frontier High School. The school’s outdoor education program hosts the event so second grade students in the district can learn to fish. High school students in the program serve as mentors for the younger students. The officers interacted with the students, answered questions, and helped prepare and repair fishing gear during the event.  

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five 

State Wildlife Officers Jason Keller, Isaiah Gifford, Micah Collier, and Gus Kiebel, assigned to Warren, Clinton, Brown, and Adams counties, respectively, as well as Wildlife Officer Supervisor David Warner and Law Operations Manager Eric Lamb, assisted with a Cops and Bobbers event at Armco Park in Warren County. More than 200 people participated. Fishing was the main attraction, with many first-time anglers, but several other activities were provided, including the Division of Wildlife’s mobile archery trailer. The event was in partnership with the Warren County Sherriff’s Office, Warren County Park District, and other organizations.