Field reports from Ohio Division of Wildlife Officers

Central Ohio – Wildlife District One

State Wildlife Officer John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, observed two individuals throw empty cans into the woods after dove hunting on Deer Creek Wildlife Area. Officer Coffman contacted the hunters and issued each a summons for littering on public property. They were found guilty and paid $115 in fines and court costs.

State Wildlife Officer Maurice Irish, assigned to Delaware County, and Wildlife Management Supervisor Gary Comer presented to students at Otterbein University enrolled in the wildlife, fish, and wildlands science major. They covered the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s work and mission; human-wildlife conflicts; and a wildlife officer’s authority, jurisdiction, and duties. Officer Irish has participated in this course for Otterbein University students since 2016.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two

State Wildlife Officer Ryan Kennedy, assigned to Hardin County, received a call from a concerned landowner regarding several squirrels that appeared to be entangled. Officer Kennedy responded and located four young fox squirrels that had become entangled with their tails. He captured the squirrels and transferred them to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. The squirrels were successfully untangled and released back into the wild.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three

State Wildlife Officer Evan Huegel, assigned to Ashland County, received a report of a trespassing hunter. Officer Huegel identified a suspect and found the individual had trespassed. The suspect was issued a citation for hunting without permission, was found guilty, and paid $337 in fines and court costs. In addition, the individual was ordered to serve 365 days on probation, as well as 30 days in jail suspended pending no further violations.

State Wildlife Officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, presented on waterfowl identification at the annual Shreve Spring Migration Sensation in Wayne County. The event was hosted by the Village of Shreve and offered many interactive experiences to celebrate bird migration in and around Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area. Officer Brown’s presentation attracted a great crowd of interested birders.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four

In the fall of 2023, State Wildlife Officer Ryan Donnelly, assigned to Athens County, noticed evidence of vehicle use in restricted sections of Poston Wildlife Area despite signage indicating the area was closed to motor vehicles. Officer Donnelly responded to a report of a vehicle in the restricted area and called State Wildlife Officer Chris Dodge, assigned to Hocking County, for assistance. The officers located the suspects and issued summonses for driving in a non-designated area. The suspects paid $190 in fines and court costs.

In April, State Wildlife Officer Taylor Combs, assigned to Guernsey County, followed up on a wild turkey harvest report from a landowner’s tenant. Officer Combs determined that the hunter did not meet the tenant license exemption requirements and did not have a valid hunting license. The suspect was issued a summons for hunting without a license.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five

During the 2024 white-tailed deer muzzle loader hunting season, State Wildlife Officer Micah Collier, assigned to Brown County, and State Wildlife Officer Gus Kiebel, assigned to Adams County, contacted a hunter who did not possess a valid deer permit. Officers Collier and Kiebel issued the suspect a summons for hunting deer without a valid permit. The individual paid a $175 fine.

State Wildlife Officer Chase McDonald, assigned to Clermont County, State Wildlife Officer Jason Keller, assigned to Warren County, and K-9 Officer Scout recently attended several education events. The officers took part in Little Miami Early Childhood Center’s vehicle day, attended by approximately 1,000 people. They also helped with Lebanon High School’s Trout in the Classroom program. Trout in the Classroom enhances science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics curriculums. Students study water quality and a fish’s life cycle by raising trout from eggs to fingerlings in an aquarium during the school year. It is a unique opportunity used to teach the importance of watersheds. The program culminates with a field trip to a stream, river, lake, or pond where students release the fish into an approved location.

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