A friend of mine with a law degree called the supervisor in Xenia and was told they were enforcing the law. I contacted my state representative Bob Hackett, who made some phone calls only to find I did not have any legal leverage against these demands. I decided to buy 20 tags for $200, and had Dr. Dan Brauer tag 20 native turtles. I then released all the other turtles native to Ohio rather than tag them.
Months later I was at a meeting where I just happened to sit next to the Director of Commerce of the state of Ohio. He turned out to be a very caring man who just happened to report directly to Governor Kasich. He said he would rather see if he could help me. The next day I received a phone call from two officers with the Division of Wildlife in Columbus. They were interested in rectifying my concerns with the wildlife department over tagging my turtles.
One week after this phone conversation, the ranger in Xenia called me and asked if he and his two supervisors could make an appointment to see my set-up. They were blown away with the size and arrangement of my turtle facility. I told them it was better than the turtle exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo. They agree.
On March 9 I received a letter by certified mail informing me that by tagging 20 native turtles, and having log books documenting all the dates of birth, deaths and transfers of my turtles, I have resolved the past issues of PIT tagging and I was compliant with Ohio’s reptile regulations. Our 2-year confrontation is over. Thanks to all who helped me.