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Wildlife chief cleared

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) Chief Kendra Wecker has been cleared of an alleged hunting violation after an investigation conducted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“ODNR’s Office of Law Enforcement completed an investigation,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz stated in a release. “The results of that investigation were reviewed by the Delaware City Prosecutor, who concluded there was no evidence of hunting on public land or turkey baiting. The anonymous allegations were unfounded. We appreciate their thorough review of this case.”

It was alleged that Wecker violated Ohio’s hunting laws while pursuing turkeys on private property in Delaware County, within 50 yards of a game feeder.

“On April 25, 2020, the ODNR received an anonymous complaint of turkey hunting by shotgun on an area restricted to archery hunting only,” the ODNR release stated. “An additional complaint alleged that hunters were harvesting turkey over a baited area. Ohio law states that it is “unlawful to hunt or take wild turkeys with the aid or use of bait.”

According to the statement from the ODOW, “Using the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System, Division of Wildlife officers identified that a turkey was recorded as being harvested by Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker.”

The allegation was reportedly made anonymously on the state’s Turn-in-a-Poacher (TIP) hotline, allegedly by an ODNR employee.

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