112 Chris Gilkey – Ohio Division of Wildlife

From a cozy front porch in Utah, Wayne talks with Ohio Wildlife Officer and K9 handler Chris Gilkey. Born, raised – and now based – in the Ohio foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Officer Gilkey shares the remarkable story of Big Boy, the largest typical white-tailed buck taken in North America in 2009 – and for one poacher, more ‘bucks’ than he counted on.

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Here’s what we discuss:

  • Missed connections and an epic fishing trip
  • Fifteen minutes from West Virginia
  • Ohio is a destination for white-tailed deer hunters – but also for poachers
  • Ethical hunters spotted a huge buck in the summer of 2009 and planned to hunt it in the fall
  • Wanted Officer Gilkey to be involved
  • “Big Boy” disappeared from trail cams shortly before the season
  • Months later, Big Boy is on display at an expo
  • Poacher claimed the trophy buck was taken in Kentucky
  • Stuck to his story but eventually confessed, hoping to avoid prison
  • Thirteen prior hunting convictions
  • Poacher forfeited his bow, received fines, a lifetime hunting ban and…
  • A $23,572.05 fine under Ohio’s Trophy Restitution Law
  • Received Ohio Bow Hunter Officer of the Year award for this case
  • Hunters who provided the information deserved an award
  • Report wildlife crime in all 50 states and Canada through wildlifecrimestoppers.org


Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Art & Design: Ashley Hannett

Research / Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches


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2 thoughts on “112 Chris Gilkey – Ohio Division of Wildlife

  1. I really enjoyed the interview with Ohio Wildlife Officer Chris Gilkey. I retired from the WVDNR-Police in 2021 after serving 37 years. Meigs County was across the Ohio River from where I was assigned for over 35 years. I worked many cases with Chris and a couple of officers assigned there prior to his return to Meigs County.
    Chris lives the role of Wildlife Officer 24/7. He’s always thinking of ways to make cases and learn different techniques in the process. We helped each other on a regular basis and he always answered the phone. One of the things I miss about working is sharing information and working with like minded officers with a vested interest in Wildlife Enforcement like ODNR Officer Chris Gilkey.

    Jeff Sweeney
    Retired WVDNR-POLICE Sergeant

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