Field reports from Ohio Division of Wildlife Officers


Central Ohio – Wildlife District One

State Wildlife Officer Matt Teders, assigned to Madison County, observed debris being blown from a truck and trailer, littering the highway. Officer Teders conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle for littering and discovered the trailer was not registered, no license plate was visible on the truck, the truck was not registered or insured, and the driver did not have a valid driver license. Officer Teders requested the assistance of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and turned the case over to them.

State Wildlife Officer Adam Smith, assigned to Logan County, gave a presentation to students at Indian Lake Elementary School for Agriculture Education Week, coordinated by the Ohio Farm Bureau. Officer Smith taught the students about Ohio mammals, and the students were able to handle various animal pelts. The students were reminded that wild animals are best left alone, and that injured or orphaned wild animals should only be handled by trained wildlife professionals or a certified wildlife rehabilitator.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two

State Wildlife Officer Matt D. Smith, assigned to Huron County, received a call from a concerned landowner regarding a young owl that was out of its nest. Officer Smith responded to the call and found an eastern screech-owl that had left the nest too early and could not fly. He transported the owl to Back to the Wild wildlife rehabilitation, where it is expected to make a full recovery. Help keep wildlife wild this spring by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543) or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator before taking any action if you find an injured or orphaned animal.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three

State Wildlife Officer Jason Warren, assigned to Lake Erie, observed an individual operating an ATV near the confluence of a small creek and Lake Erie. Officer Warren noticed a fishing rod and a bucket with trout tails visible on the rack of the ATV. Officer Warren contacted the angler, who was found to be in possession of four steelhead trout, two more than the daily limit. The angler was issued a citation and paid a total of $280 in fines and court costs in Ashtabula Municipal Court.

State Wildlife Officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, was approached by a distressed motorist with a flat tire. Officer Turner gladly changed the tire despite a heavy downpour. The driver held an umbrella over Officer Turner as he worked and was extremely grateful for his assistance. The driver made it safely to the closest tire shop for repair.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four

While on patrol this spring, State Wildlife Officer Anthony Lemle, assigned to Noble County, discovered a pull-behind camper on fire on private property. Two individuals had purposely set fire to the camper to destroy it. The Noble County Sheriff’s Office and local fire departments responded to the scene. The fire was suppressed before it spread to adjacent woodlands. The two individuals were charged with violating Ohio’s burn ban period. They pleaded guilty in Noble County Court and each paid $290 in fines and court costs. ODNR and the Division of Wildlife would like to remind Ohioans of the state’s burn ban law, which prohibits open burning from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the months of March, April, May, October, and November. Please help stop the spread of forest fires.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five

State Wildlife Officer Jacob Losekamp, assigned to Hamilton County, Wildlife Officer Supervisor Matt Hunt, and Law Operations Manager Eric Lamb recently assisted with an elementary field day at the Ohio Division of Wildlife District Five headquarters in Xenia. The officers helped teach archery and fishing skills. Approximately 60 students attended, with everyone catching a fish.

State Wildlife Officer Houston Wireman, assigned to Shelby County, received a complaint of a hunter who harvested white-tailed deer without a hunting license or deer permit. Officer Wireman followed up on the complaint and discovered that the suspect had taken a buck on private property without a deer permit or hunting license. The deer was falsely game checked by the landowner. The hunter was issued a summons for hunting without a hunting license and deer permit. The landowner was issued a summons for providing false information during the game check process. The deer was seized as evidence. The hunter pleaded guilty in Sidney Municipal Court and paid a $300 fine, and the landowner pleaded guilty and was fined $175.

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