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Field Reports from the Ohio Division of Wildlife


Central Ohio – Wildlife District One 

State Wildlife Officer Nick Oliver, assigned to Champaign County, was a 4-H judge at the Champaign County Fairgrounds for Ohio birds, fishing, and pond exploration in participation with The Ohio State University extension office. Officer Oliver was happy to see how the children’s knowledge of the outdoors expanded as they completed their projects. 

State Wildlife Officer Matt Teders, assigned to Madison County, contacted an angler at Madison Lake State Park. He determined that the angler did not possess a fishing license. Officer Teders also observed drug paraphernalia and requested assistance from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. The angler was cited for fishing without a license and indicted for possession of drugs. The suspect was found guilty and sentenced to a $150 fine and nine months in jail.    

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two 

State Wildlife Investigators Brian Bury and Travis Abele observed two men trolling with eight rods from a boat on Lake Erie. In Ohio, anglers are permitted to use up to three rods per person. The boat’s captain initially misled the officers into believing a third angler was asleep in the boat, but Investigator Bury discovered there was not a third person, and the anglers were using too many rods. Each angler was issued a summons for fishing with more than three rods. Both men were found guilty in Ottawa County Municipal Court and paid $145 in fines and court costs. 

In July, State Wildlife Officer Austin Dickinson, assigned to Defiance County, along with District Two Outdoor Skills Specialist Jaron Beck, hosted an introduction to fishing class during the annual kids fishing derby at Independence Dam State Park. The class, which was well attended by youth and adults, focused on fishing equipment, knot tying, species identification, habitat preferences, and casting practice. Many attendees had little fishing experience and were eager to try out their new skills at the fishing derby as well as on their own. Introductory fishing information can be found at wildohio.gov

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three 

State Wildlife Officers Michael Budd and Scott Cartwright, assigned to Tuscarawas and Carroll counties, respectively, responded to a report of a white-tailed buck deer wearing an orange collar. The deer did not have a fear of humans and interacted with children and pets. The officers captured the deer, removed the collar, and relocated it to a wildlife refuge where contact with humans would be unlikely. Once they grow, wild animals are active and independent, which can make them dangerous and destructive. Furthermore, it is illegal to possess, own, control, restrain, or keep any wild animal. Good intentions can hurt; keep wildlife wild. 

State Wildlife Officer Jason Warren, assigned to Lake Erie, and State Wildlife Officer Mark Williams, assigned to Ashtabula County, checked for fishing licenses at Headlands Beach State Park. Officer Williams witnessed an angler slip on the break wall and fall into Lake Erie. Officer Williams pulled the angler out of the water and back onto the break wall. The angler was shaken but otherwise uninjured. 

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four 

While following up on the 2022-23 white-tailed deer hunting season, State Wildlife Officer Tyler Fields, assigned to Scioto County, received information that a nonresident hunter had harvested a deer without a valid nonresident hunting license and deer permit. Officer Fields and State Wildlife Officer Cole Tilton, assigned to Vinton County, conducted an interview with the suspect. The officers discovered that the hunter had not purchased a hunting license or deer permit before harvesting a nine-point buck. The suspect was issued a summons for the violation and was ordered to appear in court. He was found guilty and ordered to pay $155. 

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five 

State Wildlife Officer Houston Wireman, assigned to Shelby County, State Wildlife Officer Brad Buening, assigned to Mercer County, State Wildlife Officer Mark Schemmel, assigned to Auglaize County, and Wildlife Officer Cadet Alex Almeter helped with a youth fishing derby. More than 200 children from Mercer and Auglaize counties attended this event, which was hosted by the Lake Improvement Association. Approximately 100 volunteers helped with the event. 

State Wildlife Officer Mathew Bourne, assigned to Clark County, investigated a white-tailed deer harvested during the 2022 deer gun season. He contacted the individual who game-checked the eight-point buck and discovered that the deer was harvested before the individual purchased a deer permit. Officer Bourne also learned that the individual had purchased a resident lifetime hunting license by providing false information. The individual had resided in Florida for the past three years and used resident licenses and permits to hunt. The suspect was charged in Hillsboro Municipal Court, found guilty, and ordered to pay $370 in fines. The resident lifetime hunting license was revoked, and the eight-point buck was forfeited to the Division of Wildlife.