Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
During the 2019 spring wild turkey hunting season, state wildlife officer Austin Levering received a complaint of a suspect shooting from a roadway in Knox County. The caller stated that while attempting to call in a turkey, he observed someone stop on the road and fire three shots at the same bird he was hunting. The caller was not sure if the turkey was killed. Officer Levering contacted the owner of the vehicle, who was not aware of the incident. The owner of the vehicle said a friend had borrowed his vehicle that day. Officer Levering spoke to a second suspect. Further investigation revealed that he had been driving the vehicle and observed a wild turkey near the road. He grabbed his shotgun from the front seat, stepped out of the vehicle, and loaded the shotgun. He put both feet on the road and fired three times at the turkey. He missed the turkey and left the area. The suspect was issued one summons for hunting from a public roadway, and another summons for hunting without written permission from the landowner. He was also ordered to pay $350 in court costs and fines in the Mt. Vernon Municipal Court. The caller was awarded a Turn In a Poacher reward of $150 for reporting the violation.
Prior to the start of the statewide ginseng season, state wildlife officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, and state wildlife officer Maurice Irish, assigned to Delaware County, were on patrol in Coshocton County when they noticed a vehicle parked in a secluded area on state property. Officer Irish observed a woman walking through the woods toward the roadway. She was carrying a plastic bag, which she hid in the brush before walking down the road. She was met on the road by a man, and they continued to walk toward the vehicle where officer Kiger was waiting. Initially, the couple denied digging ginseng, telling officer Kiger they had been hiking and looking for mushrooms. Officer Irish retrieved the plastic bag and discovered several freshly dug ginseng roots. The couple then admitted they were digging ginseng on state property. They both received charges for digging ginseng during the closed season and on state property. They paid $600 in fines and court costs to Coshocton Municipal Court.
This summer, state wildlife officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, observed three men fishing while working from a boat along the banks of Alum Creek Reservoir. Officer Grote contacted one of the men after he had moved away from the other two. The man did not have a fishing license. As officer Grote brought the boat to the shore, the man walked toward the parking lot where the other two men were fishing. Officer Grote secured the boat and contacted the other two men, but the first man left. It was determined that neither had a fishing license. They were able to contact the third man on a phone and he came back to speak with officer Grote. All three men were issued a summons for fishing without a license and paid $480 in fines and court costs.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
State wildlife officer Josh Zientek, assigned to Fulton County, was on patrol during the statewide deer gun season when he observed a vehicle parked near a woodlot. He determined that the owner of the vehicle was hunting in the woodlot and had checked in two deer that season, one in Lucas County and one in Fulton County. Officer Zientek contacted the hunter and upon further investigation, it was determined that the individual had provided false information when checking in one of the deer. The hunter had harvested both deer in Fulton County, which has a two-deer limit, and checked one deer in Lucas County so he could continue hunting in Fulton County. The suspect was charged and found guilty in Fulton County Eastern District Municipal Court.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
While patrolling Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area, state wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, contacted an individual who had parked on state property near the middle of an intersection. When officer Brown contacted the man, he could smell a strong odor of marijuana. The man stated he had previously been smoking it. Officer Brown retrieved contraband from inside the vehicle. The individual became agitated after he was asked for his identification. Further investigation revealed the man had an active felony warrant from an adjacent county. Officer Brown arrested the man on the warrant and issued him a summons for the drug paraphernalia. The individual appeared in court on the drug offense, was convicted, and ordered to pay $216.
During the 2018 deer hunting season, state wildlife officer Scott Cartwright, assigned to Carroll County, responded to a hunting without permission complaint. He located the man who was trespassing on the property and learned that he was a Florida resident. Officer Cartwright later discovered that the man had hunted on three different properties without permission. In addition, he had neither a hunting license nor a deer permit. He was charged with the offenses, convicted in Carroll County Municipal Court, and paid $845 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
Prior to the statewide deer archery season, state wildlife officer Anthony Lemle, assigned to Guernsey County, was informed of an illegal bait site discovered by a concerned hunter on Salt Fork Wildlife Area. Officer Lemle searched the location and located the bait site. On the opening day of Ohio’s deer archery season, officer Lemle contacted the individual responsible for the bait site. The suspect was issued a citation for baiting on public lands. The suspect was found guilty in Cambridge Municipal Court and paid $155 in fines and court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
State wildlife officer Brad Turner, assigned to Preble County, and state wildlife officer Aaron Ireland, assigned to Butler County, were checking for fishing licenses at Acton Lake. As they checked the licenses of several anglers at the lake, one man suddenly got up and headed to the parking lot, leaving his two fishing poles and a tackle box behind. The officers proceeded to check the licenses of the rest of the anglers in that area. After the man did not return for several minutes, the officers searched for him. When they contacted him, he initially denied he had been fishing, but then admitted to the officers that he did not have a fishing license and had decided to hide. The man paid $145 in fines and court costs for fishing without a license.
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