COLUMBUS — Josh Shields, State Wildlife Officer assigned to Union County, has been named Wildlife Officer of the Year by the Ohio Bowhunters Association, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Officer Shields is a 2009 graduate of the Wildlife Officer Academy. He has been employed with the ODNR Division of Wildlife for 12 years and served as the officer assigned to Meigs County prior to moving to Union County. Officer Shields has also served in the Ohio Army National Guard and is an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran.
The Ohio Bowhunters Association, Inc. was founded in 1967. Their purpose is to foster, expand, and upgrade the practices of bowhunting in the state of Ohio by creating a spirit of fellowship within the bowhunting community, educating youth in proper archery methods, and working with resource agencies and conservation organizations to conserve wildlife and its habitat.
More information about becoming a state wildlife officer or the ODNR Division of Wildlife can be found at wildohio.gov.
New State Wildlife Officer Assigned to Knox County
State Wildlife Officer Austin Levering has recently been assigned as the new state wildlife officer in Knox County, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Officer Levering is a 2008 graduate of River Valley High School in Marion County. In 2013, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Akron. Prior to the academy, Officer Levering was a seasonal creel clerk at Atwood and Delaware Lake. He also volunteered at the Cleveland Metroparks where he conducted radio-telemetry studies on white-tailed deer fawns. Levering has been the State Wildlife Officer assigned to Mercer County since 2015.
As a state wildlife officer, Levering has statewide jurisdiction to enforce wildlife regulations, investigate allegations of waterway pollution, protect state property, and make arrests. He also conducts educational programs, performs fish and wildlife management duties, and advises landowners on dealing with wildlife. Wildlife officers serve an important role as a point of contact with law enforcement and other agencies on topics of mutual interest, providing assistance and expertise.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.