Nation’s Largest Youth Shooting Competition held in Marengo
MARENGO — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is happy to partner with the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) as they host their national championship July 8-15 at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, a half hour north of Columbus. More than 3,000 student athletes from all over the country are expected to participate in this national competition, with the shooting competitions beginning daily at 8 a.m.
The SSSF is a leader in youth development shooting sports programs across the country. Participants, ranging in age from elementary school to college, will compete in multiple shooting disciplines, including trap, pistol, rifle, skeet and sporting clays. The SSSF emphasizes a safe and supportive environment where shooting sports serve as catalysts for teaching life lessons and skills that emphasize positive character traits and citizenship values.
The Cardinal Shooting Center is the largest private shooting range in the nation, offering visitors a chance to experience trap, skeet, sporting, rifle and pistol ranges, along with more than 500 campsites, an indoor pool, fishing lake, outdoor family activities and Wi-Fi.
For more information about the SSSF, go to sssfonline.org.
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.
Outdoor Expo Returns to Shaker Woods
The second annual Shaker Woods Outdoor Expo will be held on July 22 & 23, 2017 on the Shaker Woods Festival grounds in Columbiana, Ohio. Hunters, campers, hikers, fishermen and anyone who enjoys outdoor adventures won’t want to miss this two-day show.
Special events include On Target – 3D Shooting, Shooting Simulation by Kellner Range, NRA Girls Rifle Team, Buckeye Dirt Draggers and tractor pulls both days.
Froggy will be on site both days giving away prizes. A poker run will be held on Saturday to benefit the local Caring for Kids project.
Whitewater adventure companies, sportsman’s clubs, gun ranges, taxidermy, archery, dog training, hunting and camping businesses, and collectibles are among the vendors and exhibitors.
The featured speakers are:
- Smokey McNicholas, a professional trapper by trade who’s been making lures and bait for more than 25 years. He’s been recognized throughout the tri-state area and is sought out on the proper use of his lures and live baits.
- Award-winning outdoor writer Steve Sorensen. His newspaper column, “The Everyday Hunter,” was named “Best Newspaper Column” in its first six years from the Pennsylvania Outdoors Writers Association.
- Jim Riggle, who harvested the Tionesta Giant. He plans to share advice and what he describes as the “best-kept secret that will change your way of scouting forever.”
Fin Feather Fur Outfitters will hand out free youth bow and arrow packages to the first 300 children ages 6-10.
Singer/songwriter Cody Gibson will provide entertainment at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Hillbilly Way will cap off the entertainment on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Food vendors will offer a wide assortment of Shaker Woods favorites, ranging from wings, pierogis and beef brisket to fruit cobbler and kettle corn.
The event is Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival grounds address is 44337 County Line Road, Columbiana, Ohio. Admission for adults/youth: $7; children 10 & under: free. A portion of the proceeds will go to “Catch a Dream.”
For more information on lodging or directions, visit shakerwoodsoutdoorexpo.com or call 330-482-0214.
Field reports from ODNR Division of Wildlife Officers
Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
- During Memorial Day weekend, State Wildlife Officer Michael Budd, assigned to Knox County, and State Wildlife Officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, were checking anglers at Hoover Reservoir. The reservoir and boat ramps were very busy that day, and officers Budd and Kiger spent most of their day at Baldridge Boat Ramp. During the course of the day, three fishermen were cited for stream litter. They were ordered to appear in court, and a warrant has been issued for their arrest after not appearing. Additionally, three other fishermen were cited for fishing without a license, and ordered to pay $160 in fines and court costs.
- In April, State Wildlife Officer Michael Budd, assigned to Knox County, received information from Ohio’s Turn In a Poacher (TIP) hotline regarding a turkey killed on private property without permission. The caller stated two individuals had parked, exited the truck, and shot a turkey on her property without permission. Additionally, the caller was able to provide a description of the truck and the license plate number. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the truck was driven by a local high school student. When Officer Budd contacted the individual regarding the incident, the suspect had just returned from a morning hunt where he had killed a turkey, which had not been tagged. The suspect stated he had forgotten his turkey tag at home and went hunting without it that morning. Ohio law requires that hunters carry their turkey tag with them while hunting turkey. When asked about the trespassing complaint, the suspect stated he and a friend had gone hunting on a property he believed was owned by another friend’s grandmother. He stated he had contacted his friend, and asked for permission to hunt the property prior to hunting that morning. It was later discovered the suspect’s friend had showed him the wrong property. After hearing the whole story, the landowner decided against pressing charges for hunting without permission. The suspect was issued a citation for failing to carry his turkey tag in the field. Warnings were given for failing to temporary tag and hunting without permission.
- In December 2016, State Wildlife Officer Maurice Irish, assigned to Delaware County, was dispatched to Hoover Reservoir in response to information submitted to the Turn In a Poacher (TIP) hotline. A witness reported that two individuals had caught a large amount of crappie, transported them to a vehicle, and then returned to catch more fish. Upon arrival, Officer Irish located the suspects near the bridge preparing to leave. As Officer Irish approached, one of the individuals attempted to dump a large sack of fish back into the water, but was unsuccessful. Further investigation by Officer Irish revealed another large burlap sack containing crappie in the suspect’s vehicle. Once the fish were counted, it was determined that one individual was 25 fish over the legal limit and the other was 27 fish over the legal limit. A large portion of the crappie were also under the legal length limit of 9 inches. Both individuals were found guilty in Delaware County Municipal Court and paid $320 in fines and court costs.
Florida Resident Convicted of Poaching Deer in Ohio
ATHENS, OH – John B. Williams, 31, of Monticello, Florida, was recently convicted of nine charges related to poaching deer in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
In late November 2016, Williams and two other individuals were reported to be loading a freshly killed white-tailed deer into the back of a truck in Muskingum County during restricted hunting hours. An attempt was made to contact Williams, but he eluded officers while traveling into Morgan County. A short time later Williams was stopped by a Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy. State Wildlife Officers Roby Williams, Jerrod Allison, and Brad St. Clair were called to the scene. The officers observed blood and hair in the back of the truck, but no deer. Williams admitted to the officers that he had dumped an 8-point buck near Maple Grove campground and offered to take Officer Williams to the site.
During the interview about his poaching activity Williams also admitted to shooting a buck from his vehicle on The Wilds property in Muskingum County several days prior, and also admitted to shooting a 12-point buck in Morgan County in November 2015. The 12-point buck mount was seized from his residence by a wildlife officer from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Williams was found guilty on one charge in Morgan County for failure to permanently game check a deer, and eight charges in Muskingum County, including failure to attach a valid game tag to a deer, two counts of hunting without permission, taking more than one antlered deer in a license year, shooting across a public road, two counts of shooting a deer from a motor vehicle, and possession of untagged deer parts. He was ordered to pay $500 in fines, $3,630 in court costs, and $4,749.68 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 90 days in jail with 60 days suspended. The mount and all equipment seized was forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
Repeat Wildlife Offender Sentenced in Meigs County
ATHENS – Travis Cundiff, 28, of Langsville, Ohio, was recently convicted of two hunting related charges and sentenced by the Meigs County Court of Common Pleas, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
On November 30, 2016, ODNR Division of Wildlife Officers Chris Gilkey and Dan Perko, along with Wildlife Investigator Travis Abele, were working a project in an area in Salem Township, Meigs County, which is owned by American Electric Power but leased to a hunting club. Numerous complaints of people poaching deer on the property have been reported. While they were in the area, the officers observed Cundiff shoot at a deer from the roadway. After the officers pulled over his truck, Cundiff was arrested. During the search of his vehicle, the officers discovered a pump shotgun, loose shotgun slugs, and hunting clothes and accessories on the front seat of the truck.
After appearing in the Meigs County Court of Common Pleas, Cundiff was found guilty of one felony count of improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle and one misdemeanor count of shooting from a public roadway. He was ordered to pay $2,000 in fines and court costs and was placed under five years of reporting probation and received five years of hunting license revocation. Violation of his probation would result in 18 months in prison and an additional six months in county jail. A 2001 Chevy 4×4 truck and a Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun were forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
Cundiff is a known repeat offender with 20 previous wildlife related violations. He was one of the poachers convicted in “Operation Enough” in 2007 in which nine individuals from Meigs and Franklin counties were charged with 59 wildlife violations.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife encourages anyone observing or suspecting that wildlife violations are occurring to report illegal activity by calling the Turn-In-A-Poacher (TIP) hotline toll free at 1-800-POACHER (762-2437) or submitting information online at wildohio.gov. All information received by the TIP program will remain confidential.