Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
During the statewide early teal season opening weekend, State Wildlife Officer Maurice Irish, assigned to Delaware County, was on patrol at the Delaware Wildlife Area marsh when a shot rang out 45 minutes before legal shooting time. As several more shots rang out, Officer Irish observed the muzzle-flash from a shotgun and a dark silhouette of a man in the marsh. Officer Irish made his way through the marsh and contacted the man. The man received a review on hunter safety and ethics, and a summons to Delaware Municipal Court for shooting before legal shooting hours. The man pleaded guilty and paid $160 in fines and court costs.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two
Lake Erie Investigators Kelsey Brockman and Kevin Good were patrolling Ohio waters of Lake Erie when they observed two individuals trolling for walleye. Upon contacting the anglers, the men stated that they had switched to walleye fishing because they had caught their limit of perch earlier in the day. The investigators counted the men’s perch and discovered that the two men had 101 yellow perch in their possession, putting them 41 over their bag limits for the day. Both men were cited for being over their possession limits of yellow perch and paid $187 in fines and court costs.
While reviewing the deer harvest database, State Wildlife Officer Troy Reimund, assigned to Henry County, discovered information that indicated a Wood County man had shot a buck in Henry County without first obtaining a deer permit. Upon further investigation, wildlife officers found a Facebook post with pictures that showed the man with his buck before he had bought his deer permit. There were also posts that showed the man hunting for a second deer without purchasing a second deer permit. After trying to locate the man in Wood County, Officer Reimund was finally able to locate him in Lucas County. The man admitted to his violations and was issued a summons to the Napoleon Municipal Court in Henry County. The man was found guilty and paid $300 in fines and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three
During the 2017 deer gun season, State Wildlife Officer Jason Warren, assigned to Ashtabula County, received a Turn In a Poacher (TIP) complaint from a landowner who had a trail camera picture of an unknown hunter who was trespassing. Later that day, a picture of the individual was posted on social media and he was soon identified. The posting was also brought to the attention of the man’s probation officer because he was prohibited from possessing a firearm. The individual was arrested by the Ashtabula County Sherriff’s office and charged with possessing a firearm while under disability. Officer Warren also charged him with hunting without permission and hunting without a license. The man appeared in municipal court, was convicted, and ordered to pay over $200 in fines and court costs. The felony case is currently pending in Ashtabula County Court.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four
State Wildlife Officer Chris Gilkey, assigned to Meigs County, received a call during the spring turkey season about a turkey that had allegedly been shot from the road. The incident occurred in a large field six hour earlier, and it had rained nonstop all day. Officer Gilkey and his K-9 partner, Mattis, arrived on scene to try and locate some evidence. Within 5 minutes, K-9 Officer Mattis had located a shotgun wad left behind by the suspect. Ten minutes later, Mattis had located a second shotgun wad, and not long after that he located a wounded turkey in the brush. The evidence was collected, and the case is still pending. Without K-9 Officer Mattis, it would have been nearly impossible to find the evidence.
During the 2017-2018 deer archery season, State Wildlife Officer Ryan Donnelly, assigned to Washington County, had been receiving multiple complaints of individuals jacklighting at night and people finding deer with missing heads. One night in late October 2017, Officer Donnelly and State Wildlife Officer Supervisor Dan Perko were conducting surveillance in an area with known jacklighting activity when a minivan came down the road with lights flashing out both sides of the vehicle. Officer Donnelly performed a traffic stop on the minivan and located a 7mm rifle with a light mounted on the side. Both suspects admitted to using the lights to jacklight deer. The suspects were found guilty, forfeited the rifle and flashlight, and paid $500 in fines and court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five
State Wildlife Officer Jim Carnes, assigned to Highland County, received information about a wild coyote that was being held in captivity. Officer Carnes recognized the landowner as someone who had previously possessed animals under proper ODNR licensing. A check into the permit database showed no active permits for propagation or possession. Officer Carnes went to the residence to speak with the landowner and contacted the adult son of the landowner. Officer Carnes explained his reason for stopping by and advised the adult son that if he had a coyote that had been captively raised or was offspring of captively raised coyotes, he would need to get a renewed permit for the animal to legally possess it. The landowner’s son denied ever having a coyote. While speaking with the man, Officer Carnes noticed kennels with blood hounds and pups. The man stated he trained and sold the hounds as coyote hunting dogs. Officer Carnes ended the conversation and began to leave the property. As he did, he noticed the man began driving back to a secluded area on the property. As Officer Carnes caught up to the man, he saw the man leaning over a coyote and taking the collar off it. Officer Carnes exited the vehicle and ordered the man to not release the coyote, just as the collar was taken off. The coyote ran into a nearby lake and swam to the other side. After taking took photographs of the barrel the coyote had been using as shelter, the chain, and the feed, Officer Carnes issued a citation to the man for possession of a furbearing animal without a permit. The man appeared in the Hillsboro Municipal Court and was subsequently convicted. He was sentenced to 100 hours of community service under probation and was ordered to pay $345 in fines and court costs.