Isaiah Gifford

Photo courtesy of Division of Wildlife

XENIA – Ohio Wildlife Officer Isaiah Gifford, of Zanesville, has been assigned to Clinton County in Southwest Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Officer Gifford is one of 11 Ohio wildlife officer cadets who completed the 31st Wildlife Officer Training Academy and was sworn in as a commissioned wildlife officer during a graduation ceremony on Friday, March 17.

The cadets completed the 21-week Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training as well as 10 weeks of specialized wildlife officer training by the Division of Wildlife. Cadets received instruction in wildlife law enforcement procedures and agency policies, wildlife and fisheries management, communications, outdoor education, all-terrain vehicle operation, hunter safety, and advanced firearms and self-defense.

Officer Gifford, 24, was homeschooled and graduated from Pensacola Christian College in 2019 with a degree in criminal justice. During his down time, Officer Gifford enjoys being outdoors, hunting, and fishing.

As a wildlife officer, Gifford has statewide authority to enforce wildlife regulations and protect state lands, waterways, and property. As a state law enforcement officer, he also contributes to public safety both locally in southwest Ohio (Wildlife District Five) and in Ohio’s vast outdoors. Each year, Ohio’s wildlife officers speak to hundreds of clubs and groups about conservation and wildlife programs; perform fish and wildlife conservation duties; and provide technical advice and instruction about wildlife management issues, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor-related recreation.

Officer Gifford is now in the field and will continue his training by working with experienced wildlife officers during the next six months. To reach Officer Gifford directly, call (937) 776-1850. To report suspicious activity involving wildlife, call (800) POACHER (762-2437). Reports can remain anonymous.

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 to find out more.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at