Home News Field Reports from Ohio Division of Wildlife Officers

Field Reports from Ohio Division of Wildlife Officers


During the 2023-24 white-tailed deer archery hunting season, State Wildlife Officer Antoinette Freet, assigned to Licking County, responded to a report of a deer harvested with a rifle, a violation of hunting regulations. Officer Freet located the suspect and discovered incriminating evidence, including a rifle in the suspect’s vehicle. With the aid of the Licking County Sheriff K-9 unit, Officer Freet gathered additional evidence from the field. The suspect was subsequently issued a summons, found guilty, and faced penalties including a hefty fine, hunting license revocation, and forfeiture of equipment and game.

In another incident, State Wildlife Officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, came to the rescue of a young buck entangled in a woven hammock. Responding to a homeowner’s call, Officer Grote skillfully freed the deer using a knife attached to a pole, ensuring the animal’s safe release back into the wild.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two

State Wildlife Officer Nathan Kaufmann, along with K-9 Officer May and Wildlife Officer Supervisor Kevin Russell, engaged in community outreach at a Junior Achievement Inspire event, where they showcased the wildlife law enforcement program to high school students. Meanwhile, enforcement efforts near Wild Wings Marina led to the apprehension of an angler violating fishing regulations. The individual faced legal consequences, including fines, court costs, and license revocation, for exceeding the legal catch limit.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three

In Carroll County, State Wildlife Officers Scott Cartwright and Jesse Janosik collaborated to apprehend a trespassing hunter who unlawfully harvested a deer without proper licenses or permits. The offender faced multiple charges and penalties, including fines, restitution, license suspension, and jail time. Additionally, State Wildlife Officer Randy White responded to a report of a bald eagle trapped in a foothold trap, successfully rescuing the majestic bird and holding the responsible individual accountable for wildlife violations.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four

State Wildlife Officer Matt VanCleve’s discovery of river otter tracks in Pike County marked the first documented presence of otters in the area. Meanwhile, State Wildlife Officer Chris Dodge, alongside Officer Ben Smith, addressed a hunting violation involving the improper acquisition of licenses and permits, resulting in legal repercussions for the offender and forfeiture of game.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five

State Wildlife Officer Mark Schemmel participated in a hunter education course, educating new hunters on responsible hunting practices and conservation. In Clark County, Officer Matthew Bourne enforced hunting regulations, penalizing a hunter for harvesting deer without the required licenses and permits, ultimately leading to fines and forfeiture of game.

These field reports underscore the dedication of Ohio Division of Wildlife officers to uphold wildlife laws, protect endangered species, and promote ethical hunting practices across the state.