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Ohio Division of Wildlife Field Reports for Southern Ohio

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OHIO – Ohio Division of Wildlife officers are active in the community and the field daily here is a bi-weekly report of some of the incidents that have occurred recently

Central Ohio – Wildlife District One

State Wildlife Officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, and Wildlife Officer Supervisor Josh Shields attended the dedication of the Mallett Family Tract near Big Island Wildlife Area in April. The 415-acre tract was dedicated as public land for hunting, fishing, birding, and outdoor recreational opportunities. It was purchased in partnership with Pheasants Forever, Clean Ohio, and many other donors. Officers Grote and Shields spent time answering questions about the area with those in attendance. Everyone involved was excited for this new acquisition. This property will provide hunting, fishing, birding, and outdoor recreational opportunities for generations to come.

State Wildlife Officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, received information that a suspect had permanently tagged an antlered white-tailed deer that was taken by another person. The suspect who killed the antlered deer had previously killed an antlered deer earlier in the hunting season. In Ohio, hunters are only allowed to harvest one buck, regardless of the season. The suspect and individual who killed the second deer were both issued a summons for the violation, and each paid $360 in fines and court costs in the Bellefontaine Municipal Court. The subject who killed two antlered deer during the same license year had his hunting privileges revoked for one year. The second antlered deer was forfeited to the State of Ohio.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four

During the 2021 white-tailed deer gun hunting season, State Wildlife Officer Logan Ambrister, assigned to Belmont County, received a call from a concerned landowner. The caller explained that he believed a hunter harvested a deer on his property. Officer Ambrister responded to the scene, but the hunter had already left. He investigated the area where the deer had been harvested and was able to find a blood trail and follow it back to the caller’s property. Officer Ambrister contacted the hunter a short time later, who eventually admitted to the shooting the deer across the property line. The suspect appeared in the Belmont County Northern Division Court and was charged with hunting without permission. The deer was seized as evidence, and the venison was donated to a local food pantry. The information provided by the public was essential to this case, anyone observing a wildlife violation can report it anonymously through the Turn In a Poacher (TIP) hotline at 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437).

While on patrol, State Wildlife Officer Roy Rucker, assigned to Gallia County, observed two hunters on private property during the white-tailed deer gun hunting season. When the hunters observed Officer Rucker they became nervous and began to act erratically. Officer Rucker contacted the two hunters and learned that they did not have permission to be on the property. Both subjects were issued a citation for hunting without permission. One individual paid $235 in fines and court costs. The second individual failed to appear in court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five

State Wildlife Officer Jeff Wenning, assigned to Darke County, attended the 58th Annual Darke County Sheriff’s Patrol Home & Sports Expo. The show takes place at the Darke County Fairgrounds and features local organizations, recreational vehicles, camping, fishing, and outdoor displays, as well as landscaping, home improvements and demonstrations. Officer Wenning answered questions from attendees and also made the archery trailer and portable BB gun range available for youth to enjoy.

During the white-tailed deer archery hunting season, State Wildlife Investigator Joel Buddlemeyer received a complaint of hunting without permission during the harvest of a large buck deer. While meeting with the landowner, Investigator Buddlemeyer learned that the hunt had been filmed. Investigator Buddlemeyer contacted the hunter. State Wildlife Officer Bob Nelson, assigned to Ross County, contacted to the person who filmed the hunt. Further investigation revealed they did not have permission to be on the property where the deer was harvested. The deer antlers were seized along with a UTV that was won after the hunter entered the deer in a big buck contest. The hunter was issued one summons for hunting without permission and one summons for possessing an unlawfully taken deer. The hunter appeared in the Hillsboro Municipal Court and pleaded guilty to both charges. The judge ordered $14,924.71 in restitution to be paid to Ohio Division of Wildlife, loss of hunting privileges for one year, the deer antlers were ordered to be forfeited, 30 days jail suspended, and the hunter was put on non-reporting probation. Additional claims, fines, and court costs were applied.