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Field reports from Ohio Division of Wildlife officers


Central Ohio – Wildlife District One 

Over the Memorial Day weekend, State Wildlife Officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, received information about two anglers taking undersized saugeye at Indian Lake. Indian Lake’s daily limit is six saugeye with a minimum length of 15 inches. Officer Smith responded to the call and discovered the anglers had 16 saugeye in their possession, all of which were under 15 inches. One angler was fishing without a license. The two anglers were each issued a summons and paid a total of $400 in fines. The fish were also forfeited. 

State Wildlife Officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, received a call about a white-tailed deer fawn stuck in a backyard fence. When Officer Kiger arrived, the fawn was stuck between a garage and wooden fence. Officer Kiger captured the fawn and prepared to release it. As he released the fawn, Officer Kiger saw the fawn’s mother approach and the deer were reunited. Most of the first few weeks of a fawn’s life are spent alone while the mother watches nearby. Unless the fawn is in distress, leave it be and observe from a distance. 

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two 

During the 2022 spring walleye run on the Maumee River, State Wildlife Officer Eric VonAlmen, assigned to Wood County, observed an angler catch a walleye and then carry it back to his truck. The angler returned to the water and fished for a while longer. Officer VonAlmen contacted the angler, who said he had not caught any fish. When Officer VonAlmen inquired about the fish in the truck, the angler admitted that he knew the fish was undersized. The walleye was confirmed to be under the legal minimum of 15 inches and the angler was written a summons for the violation. He paid $155 in fines and court costs.  

In February, State Wildlife Officer Ethan Bingham, assigned to Williams County, received a call from an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper regarding an injured red-tailed hawk that was struck by a vehicle. Officer Bingham retrieved the hawk and transported it to Nature’s Nursery, a local wildlife rehabilitation center, for care. A few months later, Officer Bingham received a call from Nature’s Nursery advising that the hawk was ready for release. Officer Bingham coordinated with the individual who struck the hawk and together they released the hawk into the wild near where it was discovered.  

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three 

During the 2021 white-tailed deer gun season, State Wildlife Officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, received information regarding an individual hunting on private property without permission. Officer Porter and Ohio Division of Wildlife investigators conducted interviews and executed a search warrant on the individual’s residence. They seized numerous firearms, illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, and untagged deer parts. After adjudication, the individual was found guilty and sentenced to 180 days in jail with subsequent house arrest for 90 days, one-year probation, $545 in fines and court costs, and forfeiture of all evidence. 

State Wildlife Officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, received information in the spring of 2021 about an individual shooting an adult male wild turkey over bait. A summons was issued for the violation and the person was found guilty in court. A total of $295 in fines and court costs were ordered to be paid and the turkey was forfeited to the Ohio Division of Wildlife. 

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four 

Earlier this summer, State Wildlife Officer Cole Tilton, assigned to Scioto County, assisted with Shawnee Science Camp at Camp Oyo in Shawnee State Forest. Nearly 30 youth attended the two-night camp and learned about wildlife, creeks, insects, and nature skills. Officer Tilton taught water safety and how to kayak. He also had BB gun and archery ranges for the children to try. Many attendees said archery was their favorite activity at the camp. 

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five 

While on patrol, State Wildlife Officers Houston Wireman and Mark Schemmel, assigned to Champaign and Auglaize counties, respectively, observed two individuals fishing at Lake Loramie State Park. The officers checked the pair’s fishing licenses as they left the area. During this routine check, the officers found that one of the individuals had discarded a glass bottle into the grass near his car. The individual was issued a summons for litter on state property. Charges are pending in the amount of $205.  

State Wildlife Officers Matt Roberts and Matt Hunt, assigned to Clinton and Greene counties, respectively, along with Assistant Chief Todd Haines, Wildlife District Manager Rick Rogers, and Wildlife Officer Program Manager Eric Lamb recently helped serve meals at Sugar Tree Ministries in Clinton County. The Ohio Division of Wildlife donated 50 pounds of ground venison obtained from unlawful harvests to the food bank. The Ohio Division of Wildlife routinely donates forfeited deer meat to food pantries across the state. This time, staff also assisted with serving around 100 meals of venison burgers to those in need. Many of the individuals served commented that it was their first time eating venison. Sugar Tree Ministries serves meals and provides guests with carryout meals.