STATE WILDLIFE OFFICER BEGINS DUTY IN MEIGS COUNTY
COLUMBUS, OH –State Wildlife Officer Chris Gilkey, 30, of Pomeroy, Ohio began active duty in Meigs County on May 20th, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Officer Gilkey received an Associate’s Degree in Fish and Wildlife management from Hocking College in 2002. After graduating from the wildlife officer cadet academy in 2005, Officer Gilkey worked as an at-large officer in northwest Ohio before his first permanent assignment to Adams County where he has served for the past six years. Before becoming a state wildlife officer, Gilkey worked at the Division of Wildlife’s Woodbury Wildlife Area.
Originally from Meigs County, Officer Gilkey was excited when the opportunity was available for him to transfer back home. Many officers transfer counties several times throughout their career for a variety of reasons, but for Gilkey his family was reason number one.
“The decision for me was not to leave Adams County, but rather to transfer to Meigs County,” said, Officer Gilkey. “That’s where my mom and dad, my aunt, my uncles, my cousins, all live, that’s where I grew up. When I got out of the academy one day my dream was to come back home to the place I grew up and be the county wildlife officer. So it’s come full circle for me.”
Officer Gilkey leaves behind fond memories of his time spent in Adams County. “This county has allowed me to be a more well-rounded officer,” he continued. “When you’re a cadet and a county opens to you, you jump at the chance. I was from southern Ohio and Adams County placed me back in southern Ohio, near my roots and closer to home, so I grabbed it.”
As a state wildlife officer, Gilkey will be responsible for enforcing wildlife laws on public lands as well as private lands and providing assistance to other law enforcement agencies as needed. He will also contact many Ohio sportsmen and women in the field, perform fish and wildlife surveys, advise on nuisance wildlife issues, and give presentations on wildlife management, hunter education, trapping, and fishing.
He will reside within the county.