The Ohio Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) recently honored Wildlife Officer Roy Rucker with the State Officer of the Year Award. Officer Rucker has been serving Ohioans as a wildlife officer since 2005 and is currently assigned to Gallia County according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The outstanding qualities that Officer Rucker’s award is based on include his strong record in law enforcement this year and years past. Rucker is dedicated to protecting Ohio’s fish and wildlife, demonstrated by his participation in numerous enforcement projects this year. Projects included targeting; turkey bait, spotlighting complaint areas, stream litter, sport fishing, state property protection, ATV enforcement on agreement areas, taxidermists, processors, ginseng, waterfowl, and deer harvest follow-ups.
Officer Rucker is also active in the community and in promoting the Division of Wildlife and its mission through participation with conservation organizations, civic groups, and schools. The local NWTF Chapter states that he has “improved our communities’ overall attitudes towards ODNR in a very positive way.” Officer Rucker is also known as a leader in the local law enforcement community, providing assistance to other agencies whenever needed.
The NWTF initiated the State Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award in 2000 to highlight the contributions from wildlife officers across the country. This award recognizes that without the support for wild turkey conservation from wildlife officers, restoration efforts and wildlife management strategies would not have the success they do today.
By earning the State Wildlife Officer of the Year award, Wildlife Officer Rucker and other state winners are eligible for the NWTF’s National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award, which will be presented at the NWTF’s national convention.
Image courtesy National Wild Turkey Federation