Fish without a license weekend

Staff Reports

On May 6 and 7, 2017, all Ohio residents are invited to experience Ohio’s fantastic public fishing opportunities without purchasing a license.


Have You Started to #ExploreOhio Yet?

This is the perfect time of year to begin tracking your miles in our new #ExploreOhio campaign. Log 100 miles and receive a discount to camp in an Ohio State Park.

We have one mission – to get more Ohioans moving in the beautiful Ohio outdoors. Whether you run, walk, bike, ride, swim or roll, there is a trail or other outdoor venue that can help you achieve the Explore Ohio Challenge. Join us today as we all strive to #ExploreOhio.

After completing any outdoor activity, Ohioans can log their miles on the ExploreOhio website. Users can utilize the site to track their own miles and also log miles together with friends, family, coworkers, etc. using the groups feature of the site. Participants will earn online badges after reaching key milestones, and are encouraged to shape their experience using the hashtag #ExploreOhio on social media. After reaching 100 combined miles of activity on the site, each registered user will receive an email with a certificate good for 15% off camping at any Ohio State Park.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is joining First Lady Karen Kasich in the effort to challenge all Ohioans to get outside and #ExploreOhio. Happiness, joy and excitement…you can find it here as you discover Ohio’s outdoors and make lasting memories with your family.

Mushroom Hunting in Ohio State Parks

Each spring, the fields and forest floors of Ohio’s state parks are scoured by thousands of mushroom hunters. Depending on where you live, mid-April through May is prime mushroom time in Ohio, and while several species of Ohio mushrooms are fit for the dinner plate, the most passionately pursued is the morel.

Many state parks permit the hunting of mushrooms but special rules do apply, so contact the park office at each park you plan to visit.

Did you know that Ohio had a Mushroom Society? Formed in 1973, The Ohio Mushroom Society has widespread membership mainly in Ohio, but also in several surrounding states. Their goal is to increase their members’ appreciation and knowledge of wild mushrooms in an informal, enjoyable manner. Those who wish may go on to acquire an extensive background in mycology, the scientific study of fungi. Their membership ranges from the beginning collector to the professional mycologist and includes several mycophagists (mushroom eaters), photographers, artists, toxicologists, and nature enthusiasts. Anyone with an interest in mushrooms is encouraged to join. You can find more information on their website,

Golfing in Ohio State Parks

All six Ohio State Park resort golf courses have been listed in Golf Digest’s Places to Play with ratings of 3 stars (very good), 3.5 stars or 4 stars (outstanding). Each of Ohio State Parks’ six championship-quality, 18-hole public golf courses offer unique challenges and rewards.

All courses offer golf cart rentals and pro shops. Online tee-time reservations can be made for Salt Fork and Hueston Woods only.

State park golf courses are ideal settings for golf outings and tournaments, and offer banquet services ranging from picnic lunches to sit-down dinners. Ask about golf packages, including overnight lodgings in a guest room or a 2-bedroom cottage, plus meals in the lodge dining room.

Deer Creek 740-869-3088

Hueston Woods 513-523-8081

Maumee Bay 419-836-9009

Punderson 440-564-5465

Salt Fork 740-432-7185

Shawnee 740-858-6681


Field reports from ODNR Division of Wildlife Officers

Central Ohio – Wildlife District One

After receiving information from a concerned citizen who had called the Turn In a Poacher (TIP) hotline, State Wildlife Officer Patrick Muldovan, assigned to Licking County, responded to a call out of Fairfield County in regards to a Canada goose being shot. Upon arriving to the location, further investigation by Officer Muldovan revealed that a man had shot a goose on his pond with a pistol to try to scare away a group of geese. The man was issued a summons and paid $140 in fines and court costs. Canada geese are a federally-protected species. Contact your local state wildlife officer or your nearest district office if you have a nuisance goose situation.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District Two

State Wildlife Officer Josh Zientek, assigned to Fulton County, was on patrol during the statewide deer gun season when he received a call from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office about someone deer hunting without permission. Officer Zientek and Deputy Brian Marvin went to the suspect’s residence and observed a nine-point buck in a pole barn. After speaking with the suspect, the officers discovered that the suspect had been driving a vehicle on the property adjacent to the complainant’s when he saw a buck lying down in the woods and decided to shoot it from the vehicle. However, based on information discovered during the investigation, the deer had not been shot on the complainant’s property. Officer Zientek issued the appropriate summonses to the suspect who appeared in Fulton County Western District Court. The suspect was found guilty and the nine-point deer was forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District Three

State Wildlife Officer Craig Porter, assigned to Jefferson County, was patrolling Fernwood State Forest when he observed two individuals shooting at the firearms range. The men made eye contact with Officer Porter and waved as he drove by. Shortly thereafter Officer Porter returned to the area and noticed that the men were gone but all of their targets and ammo boxes had been left behind. Officer Porter located the men a short time later and initiated a traffic stop. As he approached the vehicle, Officer Porter observed empty beer cans strewn throughout the vehicle. After a brief conversation, he determined that both individuals were highly intoxicated. Officer Porter quickly secured the firearm and had both individuals step out of the truck while he contacted the Ohio State Highway Patrol who arrived on scene several minutes later. Officer Porter issued both men summonses for littering on state land and open container. The Ohio State Highway Patrol charged the driver with OVI. Both the driver and passenger were released to their spouses and the firearm was turned over to the owner’s wife. Both men were convicted in Jefferson County Court and each paid $350 in fines and court costs and ordered to complete 20 hours of community service.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District Four

State Wildlife Officer Ted Witham, assigned to Jackson County, was on patrol during the deer gun weekend when he noticed a vehicle parked next to a property that is leased by several individuals who strictly bowhunt. Officer Witham contacted one of the lease members by phone to see if someone was legally hunting on the property that day, and discovered that no one had been given permission to hunt the property. Acting on this information, Officer Witham followed footprints to a tree stand in the woods. After making contact with the hunter, Officer Witham learned that two additional hunters were in the woods. Officer Witham had the hunter contact the two other individuals by cell phone and tell them to meet at the tree stand. After speaking with the group, Officer Witham determined that none of the individuals had written permission to hunt there. Officer Witham issued three citations to the group for hunting without written permission. All three individuals were found guilty in the Jackson County Municipal Court and each paid $385 in fines and court costs.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District Five

State Wildlife Officer Jasmine Grossnickle, assigned to Miami County, received a complaint concerning individuals hunting without permission at Cliffside Golf Course. The manager of the property called after he heard two shots and recovered two empty 12-gauge shotgun shells. The manager said he had seen one hunter walking toward the rental house at the front of the property. Officer Grossnickle arrived in the area and observed two men wearing camouflage and standing outside the rental house. At the base of their feet were a pellet gun and .22 caliber rifle. When contacted by Officer Grossnickle, the two men denied hunting and said that they were just walking around the property. Officer Grossnickle asked the men to walk her to the area they had come from, and as the men were walking, Officer Grossnickle discovered a loaded, 12-gauge shotgun lying along the path as a third young man walked out from behind the bushes. The third man stated that the shotgun was his and that he had shot at a squirrel twice. None of the men had completed hunter education or had a valid hunting license. The group was given a warning for hunting without permission. The two adult men were issued citations and each paid a waiver of $130 in Miami County Municipal Court for hunting without licenses. The other individual, a juvenile, was issued a warning for the violations he had committed.×300.jpg

Staff Reports