Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
One spring evening, State Wildlife Officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, was patrolling Indian Lake when he observed an angler fishing at a popular saugeye spot. Officer Smith recognized this angler as one that he had contacted earlier in the evening at a different location. Officer Smith watched the man catch a fish, measure it, and place it in a bucket. After Officer Smith contacted the man, the man stated he had only caught fish at his previous spot. The angler lifted fish on a stringer which all appeared to be of legal size. Officer Smith then asked the man if there were any fish in the nearby bucket. The angler replied “no,” and ran over to the bucket and threw the saugeye into the lake. The man was issued a summons for deterring a state wildlife officer. He was found guilty in the Bellefontaine Municipal Court and was ordered to pay $135.50 in fines and court costs. Six days prior to this incident, the same man was issued a summons for littering in Mercer County and was ordered to pay $124 in fines and court costs.
While on patrol during the deer season, State Wildlife Officer Patrick Muldovan, assigned to Licking County, noticed a deer head hanging behind a shed. Upon speaking with the resident about the deer, the man stated that he had cut the deer head off of a road killed deer but could not produce any documentation showing he legally acquired it. The man had previously been charged with illegally taking deer and not checking them in. The man was issued a summons for illegal possession of deer parts and paid $491 in fines and court costs.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two
While on patrol at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area, State Wildlife Officer Ryan Kennedy, assigned to Hardin County, observed two anglers fishing at Pond 33. Upon contacting both subjects and checking their fishing licenses, Officer Kennedy noticed two buckets sitting in front of them. When asked if they had caught any fish, one angler replied that the pair had caught approximately ten bluegill. Pond 33 has a possession limit of ten bluegill, and when Officer Kennedy counted the fish, the subjects were found to be in possession of 36 bluegill, 16 over the legal limit. After determining who caught the additional fish, Officer Kennedy issued a citation for the violation. The subject paid $175 in fines and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three
In early February, State Wildlife Officer Marino Pellegrini, assigned to Lake County, and Wildlife Officer Supervisor Dave Shinko were patrolling the Lost Lake region of the Cuyahoga River after receiving complaints about geese being shot after legal shooting hours. The officers located three individuals hunting and contacted them as they returned to their vehicles. An inspection of their boat revealed four mallards hidden under a decoy bag, which were taken during the closed season. Further investigation revealed eleven Canada geese, four additional mallards, and one gadwall at one of the individual’s residences. Several days later, State Wildlife Investigator Brian Keyser was able to obtain a warrant for the individuals’ phone records. The investigation resulted in all three individuals being charged with a total of eleven wildlife violations which included taking ducks in the closed season and taking over their legal limit of geese. All three individuals were convicted in Chardon Municipal Court and were ordered to pay over $2,700 in fines and court costs. In addition, two of the men had their hunting privileges revoked for one year.
While on patrol, State Wildlife Officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, observed several individuals hunting waterfowl in the Killbuck Marsh region. Upon contacting the hunters, one individual appeared somewhat concerned when Officer Brown indicated he wanted to check their firearms for the required plugs. Further inspection revealed that the shotgun was capable of holding more than three shells. The man was issued a summons for the violation and ordered to appear in court. Before leaving the scene, Officer Brown provided the man with suitable plug and instructed him to insert it into the firearm’s magazine so the man could continue hunting. Several weeks later, the individual appeared in court, was convicted, and paid $138 in fines and court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five
While working waterfowl enforcement at Clark Lake, State Wildlife Officer Byron Rice, assigned to Clark County, encountered an individual using a cast net. Officer Rice observed the man for several minutes as he continued using the net to catch fish and place them into a five-gallon bucket. Officer Rice then approached the man to see what he had caught and noticed that the first fish on top of the others in the bucket was a crappie. Officer Rice asked the man if he had caught the crappie with the cast net and the man said that he had. Officer Rice explained that it was illegal to take crappies this way. Officer Rice seized the crappie and issued the man a court summons for the violation. He was later found guilty in the Clark County Municipal Court and was fined $190.