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Field reports from Ohio Division of Wildlife Officers

Central Ohio – Wildlife District One

State Wildlife Officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, received information regarding a potential violation during the 2023-24 white-tailed deer hunting season. Office Grote found that an individual harvested a buck before purchasing a deer permit, and then falsified information during the game check process. The individual was found guilty in Mt. Vernon Municipal Court for failure to purchase a deer permit before hunting and paid $370 in fines and court costs. The antlers were forfeited to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

State Wildlife Officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, was contacted by an individual at Indian Lake State Park who needed to replace a broken piece of medical equipment. Although it was not an immediate emergency, the individual did not have a vehicle or form of communication to obtain the part. Officer Smith contacted the Indian Lake EMS and coordinated delivery of new medical equipment.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two

During Ohio’s white-tailed deer gun hunting season in 2023, State Wildlife Officer Nathan Robinson, assigned to Van Wert County, and State Wildlife Officer Supervisor Troy Reimund observed a hunter carrying a shotgun who avoided the patrol vehicle. The officers contacted the individual, who claimed to be using a crossbow and did not possess a deer permit. A hidden shotgun was discovered, and the officers learned that the suspect was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of prior criminal convictions. The suspect was charged for hunting deer without a deer permit and indicted for having weapons while under disability.

State Wildlife Officer Brock Williamson, assigned to Seneca County, responded to a call about an injured Canada goose in Tiffin. Officer Williamson captured the goose and safely removed fishing line from the goose’s leg. The bird was released unharmed into the Sandusky River to join a nearby goose flock.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three

In fall 2023, State Wildlife Investigator Brian Bury, assigned to Lake Erie, and State Wildlife Officer Zach Hillman, assigned to Summit County, patrolled the Rocky River. The officers contacted numerous steelhead anglers. Three misdemeanor summonses were issued to individuals for fishing without valid fishing licenses. The three anglers were found guilty and ordered to each pay $187.20 in fines and court costs.

During the 2023-24 white-tailed deer hunting season, State Wildlife Officers Michael Budd and Scott Cartwright, assigned to Tuscarawas and Carroll counties, respectively, received a complaint of hunting without permission. The officers responded with Wildlife Officer Supervisor Eric Bear and located the trespassers. Each individual was issued a summons for hunting without permission, found guilty in Harrison County Court, and ordered to pay $760 in fines.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four

In June, State Wildlife Officer Darin Abbott, assigned to Lawrence County, received a call from the local sheriff’s office about a black bear sighting near an apartment complex. Deputies were dispatched to the site, but by the time they arrived the bear had run off into the surrounding woods. Later in June, Officer Abbot received information regarding another black bear sighting farther east in Lawrence County. A landowner had a trail camera picture of a bear. Although black bears are rare in Ohio, young, male black bears in search of a mate regularly wander through the state during the summer. Black bear sightings, including pictures and videos, can be reported at or on the HuntFish OH mobile app.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five

State Wildlife Officer Isaiah Gifford, assigned to Clinton County, recently served as a project judge for the Clinton County 4-H. Judges interview the participants to compare their projects against a standard and determine what was learned by completing the project. Judges evaluate projects in subject matters where they have previous experience. Officer Gifford judged projects in beekeeping, basic fishing, birds of Ohio, basic archery, geology, wonders of the outdoors, and insect adventures.

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