COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Mississippi Flyway Council recently honored Ohio Wildlife Officer Nathan Kaufmann with the Waterfowl Protection Officer of the Year award, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Officer Kaufmann has been serving Ohioans as a state wildlife officer since 2014 and is currently assigned to Richland County.
The Waterfowl Protection Officer of the Year award is presented to the law enforcement officer who exhibits exceptional dedication and service to protecting the Mississippi flyway’s waterfowl populations. This award highlights officers who go above and beyond by protecting wetlands and waterfowl in their areas of assignment, educating waterfowlers, participating in waterfowl organizations, and promoting youth activities in hunting.
Officer Kaufmann is dedicated to protecting waterfowl in Ohio. He frequently contacts the public to enforce wildlife regulations and educate them on the importance of conserving waterfowl. Kaufmann’s attention to detail and investigative skills help him successfully apprehend poachers. He attends monthly meetings for local conservation clubs and participates in numerous special events each year.
Officer Kaufmann is passionate about introducing newcomers and youth to the outdoors and is active in his community, attending shooting sports events and learn-to-hunt programs, and offering career shadow ride-along opportunities. He also works to promote outdoor activities in the local school districts.
After graduating from the wildlife officer academy, Kaufmann served as an at-large officer in northwest Ohio before being assigned to Huron County in 2015. He was assigned to his current location in Richland County in 2020. Officer Kaufmann is a graduate of Shelby High School in Richland County. In 2005, he received a degree in fish and wildlife management from Hocking College and in 2008 he received a degree in fishery and wildlife management from the University of Idaho.
In 2019, Officer Kaufmann was selected to be a K-9 officer handler. He and his K-9 partner, May, are often asked to aid in investigations to locate key pieces of evidence. The pair also conducts demonstrations to promote and educate the public about Ohio’s wildlife.
The Mississippi Flyway is composed of 14 states and three Canadian provinces. The Mississippi Flyway Council was established in 1952 to coordinate the management of migratory game birds in the Mississippi Flyway and to promote those activities of its members that serve the long-term benefit to the resources and the flyway.
The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. The visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.
Editor's Note: High-resolution version of above image here. Please credit the Divisions of Wildlife.