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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 Matt Teders, assigned to Madison County, noticed that an individual had harvested white-tailed deer as a tenant in both Madison and Tuscarawas counties. Officer Teders contacted State Wildlife Officer Michael Budd, assigned to Tuscarawas County, and they determined that the hunter did not qualify as a tenant in Madison County or Tuscarawas County. To qualify as a tenant, the hunter must reside on the property, pay rent, and derive more than 50% of their income from agriculture production on that property. The hunter was found guilty of providing false information to game check a deer and paid $175 in fines and court costs.

State Wildlife Officer Nick Oliver, assigned to Champaign County, recently attended the Whitetails Unlimited banquet at the Champaign County Fairgrounds. Nearly 500 people attended the event, which raised funds for the Champaign County Outdoor Heritage Chapter’s youth pheasant hunt. The Whitetails Unlimited mission is to raise funds in support of educational programs, wildlife habitat enhancement and acquisition, and the preservation of hunting traditions and shooting sports for future generations.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two

State Wildlife Officer Michele Butler, assigned to Erie County, and Wildlife Investigator Kevin Good, assigned to Lake Erie, received information that several white-tailed deer bucks were harvested by one hunter during the weeklong gun hunting season. The officers found that one individual had harvested three bucks during gun season and two other individuals had game checked a buck on behalf of the hunter. The hunter was charged with taking more than one antlered deer, taking additional deer before tagging the first, and failing to game check two deer. The illegal deer parts and the firearm were forfeited to the state. The hunter paid $275 in fines and court costs as well as $4,183.73 in restitution.

In February, State Wildlife Office Ryan Burke, assigned to Hancock County, was on patrol at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area. He was approached by two birders from Wooster who were unfamiliar with the area and seeking guidance. Officer Burke pointed out the portions of Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area open to walk-in access and gave the birders directions to good viewing locations for swans, ducks, and short-eared owls. He also showed them the local bald eagle nest.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three

State Wildlife Officer Evan Huegel, assigned to Ashland County, examined white-tailed deer harvest records and noticed a discrepancy. He determined that a hunter had harvested a deer before purchasing a deer permit. The deer was seized, and the hunter was issued a citation for hunting deer without a valid deer permit. The individual was ordered to pay $337 in fines and court costs, pay $250 in restitution, and serve 365 days on probation. The venison was donated to a local food bank.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four

State Wildlife Officer Jeff Berry, assigned to Muskingum County, received a call from an individual who had a snake stuck behind a kitchen cabinet. Officer Berry responded to the call and found an eastern gray rat snake stuck to glue traps that had been set for mice. Officer Berry safely removed the snake from the glue traps and released it into a nearby wooded area.

In March, State Wildlife Officer Bob Nelson, assigned to Ross County, and State Wildlife Officer Tyler Fields, assigned to Scioto County, responded to a call about two white-tailed deer hanging behind a residence well after the end of the 2023-24 deer hunting season. The officers contacted the homeowners, who stated their son harvested the deer in early December. The officers found no harvest records for the deer. Officer Nelson contacted the suspect and learned the individual had harvested both deer during the deer gun season and failed to complete the game check process. The suspect was issued several summonses, and the case is pending in Gallipolis Municipal Court.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five

On opening day of the 2023 dove hunting season, State Wildlife Officer Gus Kiebel, assigned to Adams County, checked dove hunting permits at Fallsville Wildlife Area. He contacted two subjects who were hunting outside of a blind. Neither individual had a permit to hunt the controlled access field that day or a valid hunting license or HIP survey. Both hunters were charged for hunting without a license and each paid $275 in fines.

State Wildlife Officer Jasmine Grossnickle, assigned to Miami County, recently attended a career day at Edison Community College. The event was hosted by the Ohio Farm Bureau and attended by more than 150 students. Officer Grossnickle spoke with students who were interested in conservation careers.