Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
While working in Morrow County, State Wildlife Officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, followed up with a suspect who had been mudding with a vehicle at Delaware Wildlife Area. While speaking with the suspect, the man admitted to driving his vehicle past the signs earlier in the day, and then coming back after dark with a friend and driving through the mud multiple times. He was issued a summons for the violation and was found guilty in the Morrow County Municipal Court. He paid $194 in fines and court costs.
This past June, State Wildlife Officers Austin Levering, assigned to Knox County, and Tyler Eldred, assigned to Morrow County, were informed that there had been trash dumped in the parking lot at Kokosing Wildlife Area. Upon further investigation, six bags and four boxes of household trash were discovered. The officers were able to locate mail with various names and addresses. After speaking with the first individual, the officers discovered that the trash and boxes were the property of a male suspect. Upon speaking with the male suspect, he admitted to placing several trash bags and the boxes in the wildlife area parking lot. The suspect was issued one summons for littering on state-owned lands and ordered to pay $225 in fines and court costs in the Mt. Vernon Municipal Court.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two
In June 2018, State Wildlife Officer Reid Van Cleve, assigned to Ottawa County, was patrolling the Vermillion River when he observed four fishermen return to the dock from a fishing trip. He noticed the men drinking alcohol before exiting their boat. One of the men removed a large bag containing beer cans and placed the bag under a nearby bridge. Officer Van Cleve contacted the men as they were leaving the dock. As the driver was returning to the dock, he nearly hit a parked boat. Officer Van Cleve spoke to the driver and asked for his identification, but he refused. Officer Van Cleve then called for the assistance of another state wildlife officer and the Vermillion City Police Department, since it appeared that the driver of the boat was under the influence of alcohol. The driver refused to perform any field sobriety tests or take a breath test. He was arrested by the Vermillion City Police Department and his boat was towed. Officer Van Cleve issued two litter citations for the thirty-one beer cans that were left under the bridge. One of the litter citations has been paid as a waiver in the amount of $400 and the other is pending. The driver of the boat was also charged with OVI by the local authorities.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three
While on patrol during the waterfowl season, State Wildlife Officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, and State Wildlife Officer Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, heard numerous shots coming from a remote part of the Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area. They approached the area and discovered an individual sitting in a vehicle parked next to the roadway. When asked what he was doing, the man stated that his friends were hunting ducks in the marsh and he was waiting for them. Officers Brown and Moore attempted to contact the individuals, but the high water prevented them from doing so. By the time the officers had returned to their vehicle, the man had left the area. The officers continued to hear shooting and drove to an area where the wildlife refuge begins. There the officers located the same vehicle, but no one was around. After some time, Officer Brown observed three individuals on the dike system in the marsh between the refuge and the public hunting area. All three individuals were seen walking several hundred yards into the refuge. Two of the three men shot at several ducks flying from the refuge. The officers contacted the men. Two of the three individuals were charged with trespass on a wildlife refuge, shooting after legal hours, and hunting waterfowl without an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp endorsement. The third individual was charged with trespass on a wildlife refuge. The individuals appeared and were convicted in the Wayne County Municipal Court and ordered to pay $714 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four
This past summer, State Wildlife Officer Ryan Donnelly, assigned to Washington County, was working the Little Hocking River for stream litter and fishing license compliance. Officer Donnelly watched one male subject bait a hook with chicken livers and toss it into the river. Later, the individual was seen packing up his fishing gear. He tossed the unused chicken livers into the river and then tossed the plastic container into the high weeds on the bank of the river. He then packed up the rest of his supplies and got into his truck. Officer Donnelly contacted the man and issued him a summons for stream litter. The man paid $250 in fines and court costs.
In September 2018, State Wildlife Officer Bob Nelson, assigned to Ross County, was on patrol at Ross Lake Wildlife Area and located a vehicle on the area past restricted hours. Wildlife areas are closed to all activities other than hunting, fishing, and trapping from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. from September 1 through May 1. Officer Nelson conducted a stop on the vehicle in the parking lot. The driver appeared to be extremely intoxicated and Officer Nelson contacted the Ross County Sheriff’s Office for assistance. The driver had numerous suspensions and had not held a valid driver’s license since 1994. Deputy Mays arrested the driver for disorderly intoxication. Officer Nelson filed three counts of driving under suspension and an additional curfew charge on the driver, and filed a curfew charge on the female passenger. The case is pending in the Chillicothe Municipal Court.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five
While working waterfowl enforcement at Acton Lake, State Wildlife Officer Brad Turner, assigned to Preble County, checked a group of hunters in a duck blind. As Officer Turner was checking their hunting licenses and stamps, one of the men seemed unusually nervous. The man then handed Officer Turner an actual Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp instead of an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp endorsement. Officer Turner checked the man’s license purchase record and discovered that he had never purchased an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp. When Officer Turner questioned the hunter about this, the man admitted he had been using the stamp that had been mailed to his father. Officer Turner issued the man a summons for hunting waterfowl without a valid Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp. The man paid $150 in fines for the violation.