ODNR wants input from state’s waterfowl hunters
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ODNR is requesting the state’s waterfowl hunters provide input on the timing of the 2013–2014 fall waterfowl hunting seasons and the locations where they prefer to hunt.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife biologists are seeking input from Ohio waterfowl hunters through an online survey, so season dates and opportunities can be matched to the preferences of as many hunters as possible within federal guidelines.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife survey will be available Jan. 22-Feb. 15 at wildohio.com. Hunters need to provide their customer identification number to participate in the survey. The customer identification number is found on all Ohio hunting and fishing licenses or at wildohio.com in the Wild Ohio Customer Center by clicking on the Manage Your Customer Account link.
Customers without Internet access can call 800-WILDLIFE (945‑3543) and take the survey from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. during the dates when the survey is open. Phone survey participants will also need their customer identification number.
Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp customers who purchased a hunting license and provided a valid email address will receive an invitation to take the survey in an effort to increase awareness and participation. Stamp customers need to provide a customer identification number to participate in the survey. Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp customers who wish to provide an email address to receive future invitations may sign up at wildohio.com in the Wild Ohio Customer Center.
The Ohio Wildlife Council will establish 2013–2014 waterfowl season dates in August after federal guidelines are provided. Similar information was solicited by the ODNR Division of Wildlife from Ohio waterfowl hunters and used to set the 2012–2013 hunting season dates.
• Sportsmen and women interested in pursuing coyotes are encouraged to attend a free, informational workshop provided by Division of Wildlife on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 in Akron. Division of Wildlife biologists will cover very basic topics such as life history, calling techniques (call types and setups), appropriate firearms and ammunition, field sets, and scouting. The workshop will be from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Wildlife District Three, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron. Pre-registration is required as seating is limited. Call Ken Fry at (330) 245‑3030.
• Three individuals from New Albany received prison time, fines and hunting license suspensions for operating an illegal hunting guide service during a two-year investigation, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The men were prosecuted by Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor Heather B. Robinson and sentenced in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas by Judge Charles A. Schneider on Jan 16.
Scott J. Walsh of New Albany advertised himself as a hunting guide, selling multi-day hunts ranging from $250 to $1,200. He lured people in by claiming to own and/or have permission to hunt on 1,600 acres of prime deer hunting property located in the New Albany area. In reality, Walsh owned no property and only had permission to hunt on 15 acres of land. He provided his clients with photographs of trophy white-tailed deer he himself had poached from the area.
In January 2010, the ODNR Division of Wildlife was contacted by a concerned citizen advising Walsh was engaging in illegal hunting activities. Investigators quickly recognized the name, as the ODNR Division of Wildlife had documented more than 30 complaints from 1990 to 2010 pertaining to Walsh violating Ohio’s wildlife laws.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife launched a two year investigation and discovered that from the dates of Nov. 2007 through Jan. 2010, Walsh had guided at least 20 hunters from Ohio, Vermont, Texas, Michigan and New Hampshire on properties owned by 40 different families in the New Albany area. At least nine deer were taken during the two-year period.
Walsh assured his clients he had permission to hunt on the various properties. It was later confirmed Walsh did not have permission to hunt and/or guide paying clients on any of the properties and made verbal threats to property owners when confronted. Walsh’s two accomplices who assisted him were his son, Justin Walsh and Steve Clemons.
In February 2010 multiple search warrants were executed on the residences, vehicles and storage units of Scott Walsh and Steve Clemons. Numerous trophy white-tailed deer mounts were seized as well as Scott Walsh’s truck and ATV.
Multiple felony and misdemeanor violations were documented during the investigation and included: discharging a firearm near a premises, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, having weapons under disability, hunting without permission, failing to wear hunter orange, no hunting license, no deer permit, possession of drugs and jacklighting.
Anyone observing or suspecting that wildlife violations are occurring may report illegal activity by calling the TIP hotline toll free at 800-POACHER.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!