Month: November 2010

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AEP Adds 26,000 Acres of ReCreation Land

ATHENS, OH– American Electric Power (AEP) Ohio continues to add to their conservation legacy with the opening of an additional 26,000-acres in the ReCreation Land agreement area located in Morgan, Muskingum, Noble and Guernsey counties, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).  This area will be in addition to the existing 34,000 acres of the ReCreation Land for a new total of approximately 60,000 acres in a cooperative management agreement with ODNR’s Division of Wildlife.

The AEP ReCreation Land is the largest of five agreement areas owned by AEP Ohio that allow for public use of the property including hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, and hiking and camping in designated areas.  With the addition of these acres, AEP has more than 85,000 acres of agreement land in more than nine counties including Athens, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Meigs, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble and Perry counties.   Other AEP lands that are in agreement with the Division of Wildlife include: Avondale Wildlife Area (4,919 acres), Conesville Coal Lands (14,640 acres), Gavin Wildlife Area (6,885 acres), andPoston Plant Lands (2,300 acres).

Visitors of the AEP ReCreation Land and all other AEP agreement areas must obtain and carry a lifetime permit issued by AEP.  The permit is free and can be obtained online, from the McConnelsville American Electric Power office, the Division of Wildlife or at many local convenience stores in the area.  An AEP permit allows recreational use of lands that are posted as public recreation areas only.  Visitors to all AEP agreement areas are responsible for obtaining maps of the areas and reminded to respect fences, gates and the boundaries of these areas.  Entering AEP properties that are not open to recreational use is prohibited by law.

Recreational users must obey all Ohio laws and regulations in addition to regulations specific to AEP agreement areas.  An updated map of the area is available online, by calling the McConnelsville AEP office at (740) 962-1205 or by calling ODNR’s Division of Wildlife at (740) 589-9930.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site atwww.ohiodnr.com.

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Pennsylvania Deer Gun Hunting Season

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HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s only unofficial holiday – the Monday after Thanksgiving, which marks the opening day of the two-week general deer season – will feature nearly 750,000 individuals sporting fluorescent orange and camouflage clothing throughout Penn’s Woods, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe.
“Pennsylvania’s deer season has a dramatic and beneficial effect on the Commonwealth, as it provides hunters a chance to put venison in the freezer and stimulates a multi-million dollar economic surge that local businesses rely on,” Roe said. “In addition to being a rich part of our state’s heritage, deer season also is the most important method that the Game Commission has to manage Pennsylvania’s whitetails. The efforts of hunters are far-reaching, and they help to keep deer populations in check and enable the agency to meet deer management goals that benefit almost everyone who resides, visits or travels through this state.”
Roe noted that hunters will need to make sure that they have done their pre-season scouting, as fall food conditions will impact deer movements.
“Deer will respond to food availability and hunter pressure, both of which can vary from year to year, and from one area to another,” Roe said. “Our fall food survey suggests wildlife food abundance is quite variable this year.  Some areas have good acorn crops; others have few or no acorns.  So, as always, pre-season scouting can improve a hunter’s chance for success this year, particularly in the week leading up to the start of season.”
Deer season will open with a five-day, antlered deer-only season in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 2C, 2D, 2E, 2G, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E from Nov. 29-Dec. 3. It is followed immediately in these WMUs by seven days of concurrent, antlered and antlerless deer hunting beginning Dec. 4, and continuing through Dec. 11. The rest of the state follows the two-week concurrent, antlered and antlerless season – Nov. 29-Dec. 11 – that has been in place since 2001.
Hunters must wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material on the head, chest and back combined at all times while afield during the seasons. They also are advised that it’s illegal to hunt, chase or disturb deer within 150 yards of any occupied building without the occupant’s permission if they are using a firearm, or 50 yards if they are using a bow or crossbow.
During the two-week season, hunters may use any legal sporting arm, as outlined on page 45 of the 2010-11 Digest.  Rifles are not permitted to be used in Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware or Montgomery counties.  Deer hunters in Philadelphia may only use bows or crossbows.
All hunters who take a deer must fill out their harvest tag and attach it to the deer’s ear before moving the carcass. The tag can be secured to the base of the ear with a string drawn very tightly, if the hunter plans to have the deer mounted. Cutting a slit in the ear to attach the tag will require additional work by a taxidermist.
Roe noted that there is no concurrent bear season during any portion of this year’s deer season.

GAME COMMISSION POSTS FIELD FORECASTS ON WEBSITE
Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers (WCOs), Land Management Group Supervisors (LMGSs) and foresters spend a considerable amount of time gathering information about wildlife population trends in their districts.  With the hunting and trapping seasons in full swing, the Game Commission, once again, is sharing that information – through its website – with those who enjoy Penn’s Woods.
To view these field forecasts offered by Game Commission officers, go to the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the “Field Officer Forecasts” photo link in the middle of the homepage, then select the region of interest in the map, and choose the WCO district of interest from the map.  For LMGS or forester reports, select the link to the LMGS Group or forester link of interest within that region.
“Our field officers and foresters provide wildlife forecasts for small game, furbearers, wild turkey, bear and deer within their respective districts,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director.  “These forecasts are based on sightings field officers have had in the months leading up to the 2010-11 seasons, and some offer comparisons to previous wildlife forecasts. Some WCOs and LMGSs include anecdotal information, as well as hunting and trapping leads in their districts.
“The Game Commission offers this information to hunters and trappers to help them in their pursuits afield. Many WCO, LMGS and forester reports offer information on where to hunt or trap, as well as guidance on where to get more information, particularly for trapping certain furbearers, such as beaver and coyotes.”
Roe noted the Game Commission divides the state’s 67 counties into six regions, and then each region is divided into WCO districts comprised of about 300 square miles each.  There are 136 WCO districts statewide.  Each of the 29 LMGS groups is comprised of several counties or portions of counties within each region, and seeks to equally distribute the amount of State Game Lands and public access lands within the region.  The number of foresters ranges per region, from four to nine.

ONLINE HARVEST REPORTING AVAILABLE FOR DEER HARVESTS
Those participating in this year’s deer seasons will be able to file their harvest reports through the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s online system.
To report a deer harvest online, go to the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on “Report Your Harvest” above the “Quick Clicks” box in the right-hand column, check “Harvest Reporting,” scroll down and click on the “Start Here” button at the bottom of the page, choose the method of validating license information, and click on the checkbox for the harvest tag being reported.  A series of options will appear for a hunter to report a harvest. After filling in the harvest information, click on the “Continue” button to review the report and then hit the “Submit” button to complete the report. Failing to hit the “Submit” button will result in a harvest report not being completed.
“Hunters may report one or more harvests in a single session,” Roe said. “Responses to all harvest questions are required.”
Roe noted that hunters still have the option to file harvest report postcards, which are included as tear-out sheets in the current digest.
Tips on tagging and reporting deer also are available on the Game Commission’s white-tailed deer section. This information can be accessed by going to the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), clicking on the “White-Tailed Deer” icon in the center of the homepage and then selecting “Tagging and Reporting Your Deer” in the “Deer Hunting” section.
“We certainly are encouraging hunters to use the online reporting system, which will ensure that their harvest is recorded,” Roe said.  “Either way, the more important point is that all hunters who harvest a deer report it to the agency.”

HUNTERS REMINDED THAT LICENSES STILL MUST BE DISPLAYED
Hunters and trappers are reminded that they still are required to display their licenses on an outer garment, said Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe.
“The Game Commission is supporting legislation to remove the statutory requirement that licenses be displayed, and thereby allow hunters to place their hunting license in their wallet with other ID,” Roe said. “However, until such time as the General Assembly removes this statutory requirement, hunters and trappers will need to continue to display their licenses.”

HUNTERS CAN CHECK ON TRAFFIC AND ROAD CONDITIONS IN ADVANCE
Hunters can check traffic and road conditions on more than 2,900 miles of roadways by simply calling 511 or logging onto the Department of Transportation’s website (www.511pa.com) before heading out to deer camp this year.
“’511PA’ is Pennsylvania’s official travel information service,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “This service from PennDOT provides travelers with reliable, current traffic and weather information. This site enables hunters to check on the status of road conditions before heading out for camp.”

HUNTERS SHARING THE HARVEST A WORTHY CAUSE
Hunters who are successful in the upcoming deer hunting seasons are encouraged by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to consider participating in the state’s Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) program, which channels donations of venison to local food banks, soup kitchens and needy families.  Pennsylvania’s HSH program is recognized as one of the most successful among similar programs in about 40 states.
“Using a network of local volunteer area coordinators and cooperating meat processors to process and distribute venison donated by hunters, HSH has really helped to make a difference for countless needy families and individuals in our state,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “Pennsylvanians who participate in this extremely beneficial program should be proud of the role they play. HSH truly does make a tremendous difference.”
Started in 1991, HSH has developed into a refined support service for organizations that assist the Commonwealth’s needy.  Each year, Hunters Sharing the Harvest helps to deliver almost 200,000 meals to food banks, churches and social services feeding programs for meals provided to needy Pennsylvanians.
“This program is all about the generosity of hunters and their desire to help make a difference,” Roe said. “It’s a program that many hunters have become committed to and enjoy supporting. After all, what is more gratifying than providing needed food to families?”
As part of the program, hunters are encouraged to take a deer to a participating meat processor and identify how much of their deer meat – from an entire deer to several pounds – that is to be donated to HSH.  If the hunter is donating an entire deer, they are asked to make a $15 tax-deductible co-pay, and HSH will cover the remaining processing fees.  However, a hunter can cover the entire costs of the processing, which is tax deductible as well.
HSH established a statewide toll-free telephone number – 866-474-2141 – which also can answer hunters’ questions about where participating meat processors can be found or other general inquiries about the program.
To learn more about the program and obtain a list of participating meat processors and county coordinators, visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on “Hunters Sharing the Harvest” in the “Quick Clicks” box in the right-hand column of the homepage, or go to the HSH website (www.sharedeer.org).

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Ohio Hunting Hotline 1-800-WILDLIFE

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COLUMBUS, OH – Individuals seeking information about the upcoming youth gun and white-tailed deer hunting seasons, or to report violations of state wildlife laws, can take advantage of extended call center hours from November 20 to December 5, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

The 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) general hunting information hotline will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.on Saturday, November 20 and Sunday, November 21, for the eighth annual youth deer-gun season.

Staff will also be available to answer calls prior to and during the regular deer-gun season, which begins Monday, November 29, and ends Sunday, December 5. Special call center hours prior to and during the state’s popular deer-gun season are as follows:

  • 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.on Friday, November 26
  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.on Saturday and Sunday, November 27-28
  • 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, November 29-December 3
  • 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.on Saturday and Sunday, December 4-5
  • The hotline will be closed on Thanksgiving Day

The extremely popular deer gun season is a period when many of Ohio’s hunters have last-minute questions and the Division of Wildlife will be ready and available to assist them. Hunters are encouraged to contact the division with any question that may arise.

Ohioans also are encouraged to help enforce state wildlife laws by reporting violations to the division’s Turn-in-a-Poacher (TIP) hotline at 1-800-POACHER (762-2437). The TIP hotline will also be open extended hours during the upcoming hunting seasons. Established in 1982, the TIP program allows individuals to anonymously call toll free from anywhere in the state to report wildlife violations. The 1-800-POACHER hotline is open for calls 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

Tipsters may be eligible to receive a cash award and are urged to leave a message during closed hours with as much information about the suspected violation as can be provided. Tips can also be submitted online at wildohio.com.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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Ohio Deer-Gun Season opens Nov. 29th

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COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio’s popular deer-gun season opens statewide on Monday, November 29, offering hunters a full week to harvest a whitetail. The upcoming season will again include an extra weekend of gun hunting on December 18-19, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

Deer can be hunted with a legal muzzleloader, handgun or shotgun from one half-hour before sunrise to sunset through December 5 and December 18-19. With a pre-hunting season population estimate of 750,000 white-tailed deer, the ODNR Division of Wildlife anticipates 115,000 to 125,000 deer will be killed during the nine-day season. Approximately 420,000 hunters are expected to participate in this year’s season, including many out-of-state hunters.

The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio ranks 8th nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with the hunting-related industry. Each year, hunting has a $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.

Ohio is divided into three deer hunting zones. Beginning on the opening day of gun season and continuing through December 5 a limit of one deer may be taken in Zone A (20 counties) and two deer in Zone B (30 counties). A total of six deer may be harvested in eastern and southeastern Ohio’s Zone C (38 counties) through the week long gun season. The antlerless deer permit will be valid for deer-gun week only in Zone C.

Beginning on December 6, the bag limit is three deer in Zone C and antlerless deer permits are no longer valid. Any time a hunter is allowed to take more than one deer, they must purchase an additional permit.

Those hunting in urban units and at Division of Wildlife-authorized controlled hunts will have a six-deer bag limit, and those deer will not count against the hunter’s zone bag limit. Antlerless deer permits can be used for the entire season in urban deer units or Division of Wildlife-authorized controlled hunts. Antlerless deer permits must be purchased by November 28.

Hunters may take only one antlered deer, regardless of zone, hunting method or season. A deer permit is required in addition to a valid Ohio hunting license.

Approximately 60 to 75 sales agents throughout Ohio will be testing the newly designed fishing, hunting and trapping license and permit sales system during the 2010 fall hunting season. This test will be for licenses and permit sales only, electronic game check begins in spring 2011. Pilot licenses and permits will look different, but will still be valid. Each license buyer must have a Social Security Number (SSN) recorded in the system. Youth hunters and those hunters who have never had a driver’s license swiped during the license buying process must provide their SSN. The Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey process will be different than in the past. Hunters will be asked to call a toll-free number to register. More information on the testing can be found at wildohio.com.

Hunters are encouraged to kill more does this season using the reduced-priced antlerless deer permit and donate any extra venison to organizations assisting Ohioans in need. The division is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who donate their deer are not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer are taken to a participating processor. Counties being served by this program can be found online at fhfh.org.

Additional hunting regulations and maps of the state’s deer zones are contained in the 2010-2011 Ohio Hunting & Trapping Regulations. This free publication is available wherever hunting licenses are sold, online at wildohio.com or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

The 2010-2011 licenses will not be printed on weatherproof paper. Sportsmen and women should protect their licenses and permits from the elements by carrying them in a protective pouch or wallet.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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In Flanders Field

In Flanders Field at the Butler Institute of American Art

In Flanders Field, Robert Vonnoh, On display at the Butler

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


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Everything Pennsylvania Bear Hunting 2010

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HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania bear hunters will be able to enjoy a full-week of archery bear season (Nov. 15-19), followed by a Saturday opener of the three-day firearms bear season, which will run Nov. 20, and the following Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 22 and 23, according to Carl G. Roe, Pennsylvania Game Commission executive director.

“Pennsylvania’s bear population covers more than three-quarters of the state, and includes a number of world-class trophy bears,” Roe said. “This has earned Pennsylvania recognition as one of the top states for bear hunters. Every year, we have a number of bears exceeding 500 pounds included in the harvest.”

Since 1992, six bears with an estimated live weight of 800 pounds or more have been taken in Pennsylvania. The possibility of another 800-pounder being taken by a hunter is always in play when Pennsylvania’s bear season opens.

In 2009, the largest bear taken was a 668-pound (estimated live weight) male taken in Jefferson Township, Dauphin County, by Edward Bechtel, of Lykens, on Dec. 3.  In all, 13 bears taken by hunters weighed 600 pounds or more, further illustrating Pennsylvania’s status as a major bear hunting destination.

The 2009 bear harvest of 3,512 is second only to the 2005 bear harvest, in which hunters took a record 4,164 bears.  Other recent harvests were: 3,075 in 2000; 3,063 in 2001; 2,686 in 2002; 3,000 in 2003; 2,972 in 2004; 3,122 in 2006; 2,360 in 2007; and 3,458 in 2008. Over the past ten years, hunters have taken more black bears than in any other decade since the Game Commission began keeping bear harvest records in 1915.

“Conditions this year are favorable for another record harvest,” said Mark Ternent, Game Commission black bear biologist. “Bear populations are up in many parts of the state relative to past years; hunter participation is expected to be good, based on the number of bear licenses being purchased; and acorns are plentiful, which tends to keep bears out of dens and active through the fall hunting season. The only unknown is if we will have favorable weather for hunters on opening day.

“Weather can have a huge impact on the season’s outcome, but so can fall food conditions. However, our fall food surveys indicate that acorn production is exceptional over large parts of Pennsylvania this year. But, even with good food conditions, pre-season scouting will still be important.”

Bears were taken in 54 counties last year, which was the same as 2008, but an increase from 2007, when bears were taken in 49 counties. The state’s top five counties — all from the Northcentral Region – along with the 2008’s harvest results in parentheses, were: Clinton, 295 (139); Lycoming, 280 (252); Tioga, 217 (236); Cameron, 214 (75); and Potter, 181 (294).

The total bear harvest by WMU for 2009, including 2008’s harvest results in parentheses, were: WMU 1A, 8 (21); WMU 1B, 36 (67); WMU 2C, 247 (227); WMU 2D, 128 (166); WMU 2E, 77 (117); WMU 2F, 282 (246); WMU 2G, 1,027 (729); WMU 3A, 255 (313); WMU 3B, 292 (392); WMU 3C, 73 (177); WMU 3D, 276 (199); WMU 4A, 125 (145); WMU 4B, 43 (43); WMU 4C, 141 (105); WMU 4D, 442 (456); WMU 4E, 58 (53); WMU 5B, 1 (0); and WMU 5C, 1 (1).

Hunters will need to have a general hunting license and a bear license.  Bear licenses are not part of the junior or senior combination licenses, and must be purchased separately.

All hunters who harvest a bear must immediately tag it with their field harvest tag that is part of the bear license, and, if during the statewide three-day season, transport the carcass – minus entrails – to one of the Game Commission bear check stations within 24 hours, and present it along with their general hunting license and bear license. During the archery season, hunters should contact a PGC region office within 24 hours to have their bear checked.


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LOCAL BLACK BEAR INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON-LINE

Interested in learning more about what’s going on with black bears in your county? Please consider visiting the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s “Field Officer Game Forecasts” found on the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). Developed to share field officer perspectives and observations on game and furbearer trends in their respective districts and to help hunters and trappers get closer to the action afield, the field reports have been warmly received by many hunters and trappers since they were added to the website.

“Our field officers spend a tremendous amount of time afield, often in areas hunters and trappers are eager to learn more about,” said Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. “Their observations have value to hunters and trappers so we decided to make them accessible to anyone who enjoys hunting and trapping in Pennsylvania – resident or nonresident.”

BEAR CHECK STATION HOURS OF OPERATION

Hunters who harvest a bear during the three-day statewide season (Nov. 20, 22-23) must take it to one of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s check stations within 24 hours. Check stations will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 20; from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 22 and 23.  In addition, all check stations will be open on Sunday, Nov. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

During the five-day archery bear season (Nov. 15-19) or after 8 p.m. on Nov. 23, hunters with bears to be checked should contact any of the Game Commission region office that serves the county in which the harvest took place for assistance. Office telephone numbers are listed on page 5 of the 2010-11 Hunting and Trapping Digest, issued with hunting licenses.

Check station information is listed on page 38 of the 2010-11 Digest. The only changes in bear check station information since the printing of the digest is that the Mifflin County and Southcentral Region Office bear check stations have been moved.

The new Mifflin County check station will be opened at the Brown Township Municipal Building, which is about one mile from the previous site at the Mifflin County Youth Park. The Brown Township building is about 80 yards off Route 655, one mile west of the Route 322/655 interchange.

The Southcentral Region Office check station has moved to the new Pennsylvania Army National Guard Readiness Center (aka “Armory”) on Route 26, 0.3 miles south of the Routes 22/26 interchange that is one mile west of Huntingdon, Huntingdon County.

Also, the Game Commission has made several operational changes at check stations, including the use of handheld scanners, to expedite the processing of bears and to improve hunter satisfaction during this important process.

HUNTERS CAN CHECK ON TRAFFIC AND ROAD CONDITIONS IN ADVANCE

Hunters can check traffic and road conditions on more than 2,900 miles of roadways by simply calling 511 or logging onto the Department of Transportation’s website (www.511pa.com) before heading out for bear season.

“’511PA’ is Pennsylvania’s official travel information service,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “This service from PennDOT provides travelers with reliable, current traffic and weather information. This site enables hunters to check on the status of road conditions before heading out to their bear hunting destination.”

GAME COMMISSION OFFERS BEAR HUNTING TIPS

Pennsylvania Game Commission officials point out that one of the biggest mistakes bear hunters make is failing to locate areas with good fall food supplies – acorns, beechnuts, apples, corn – before the hunting season and overlooking areas of dense cover where bears like to hide.

“Signs to look for while scouting include droppings; bedding areas, which are scratched out depressions, usually at the base of a tree or log; and active trails with tracks,” said Mark Ternent, Game Commission black bear biologist. “In beech stands, look for fresh claw marks on tree trunks indicating that bears are feeding in the area, and in oak stands look for fresh droppings that are almost completely composed of acorns bits. Either of these signs suggests bears are feeding nearby and, if food conditions are right, they will likely still be there come hunting season. A good time to scout is early November, so you can assess local mast conditions.”

Other bear hunting tips include:

● Look for bears in the thickest cover you can find, such as: swamps and bogs, mountain laurel/rhododendron thickets, north-facing slopes, regenerating timber-harvest areas, wind-blown areas with lots of downed trees, and remote sections of river bottoms. Bigger bears are notorious for holding in thick cover, even when hunters pass nearby.

● Organized drives are effective. Hunters working together often increase their odds of taking bears, especially those bears holding out in thick cover. Develop plans to safely drive likely bear hideouts and follow them to the letter. A minor slip-up by a driver, flanker or stander is all a bear needs to elude even the best-planned drive. Regulations limit the size of organized drives to 25 people or less.

● Hunting on-stand early and late in the day gives hunters a great chance to catch bears traveling to and from feeding and bedding areas. Hunt areas that provide cover to traveling bears and ensure there is either a good supply of mast or cornfields or cover near where you plan to hunt.

● Use the wind to your advantage. If a bear gets a whiff of you, you’re busted as a hunter. Bears have an outstanding sense of smell. They often let their noses guide the way as they travel. Always place yourself downwind of expected travel lanes when hunting on-stand or driving. Bears are cagey enough without giving them more advantages.

●Stay focused and assume nothing. Black bears blend in well in forest settings at dawn and as dusk approaches. Spend too much time looking one way and you can miss a bear. Even though bears are quite heavy, they often are surprisingly quiet moving through the forest. You may see a bear before you hear it coming. Staying alert and remaining vigilant are critical.

BEAR HUNTING BULLETS

● A bear license is required to participate in any bear season.

● Only one bear may be harvested per license year from all seasons combined.

● A hunter who harvests a bear must complete all information on his or her bear harvest tag and attach it to the ear of the animal immediately after harvest and before the carcass is moved. In addition, within 24 hours, hunters who kill a bear must take it, along with their general hunting and bear licenses, to a Game Commission check station for examination. Bear check stations are maintained at the agency’s six regional offices and at other locations listed on page 38 in the 2010-11 Hunting and Trapping Digest.

● Once a hunter has used his or her bear harvest tag, it is unlawful to possess it in the field. Also, hunters are reminded to remove old licenses from their holder before placing a new one in it. If you keep an old license in the holder, you may accidentally use it to tag big game and unintentionally violate the law.

● It is unlawful to kill a bear in a den; use a radio to locate a bear that has a radio transmitter attached to it; hunt in areas where artificial or natural bait, hay, grain, fruit, nuts, salt, chemicals, minerals, including residue or other foods are used, or have been used, as an enticement to lure wildlife within the past 30 days; use scents or lures; pursue bears with dogs; or to hunt bears in a party of more than 25 persons.

● During the firearms bear season, hunters are required to wear at all times 250 square inches of fluorescent orange on their head, chest and back combined, visible 360 degrees. In WMUs where the archery bear season and fall wild turkey season run concurrently, bowhunters, when moving, are required to wear a hat containing 100 square inches of solid fluorescent orange. The hat may be removed when the hunter is stationary or on stand.

● Bears may be hunted with: manually-operated center-fire rifles, handguns and shotguns with an all-lead bullet or ball, or a bullet designed to expand on impact – buckshot is illegal; muzzle-loading long guns 44-caliber or larger; long, recurve or compound bows or crossbows with broadheads of cutting-edge design. Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds. Also, crossbows are legal for the archery bear season.

● It is unlawful to intentionally lay or place food, fruit, hay, grain, chemicals, salt or other minerals that may cause bears to congregate or habituate in an area.

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Sandhill Cranes back in Trumbull County

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COLUMBUS, OH – The population of sandhill cranes in Ohio has gradually been increasing in recent years.  In the past decade, the number of pairs in the state has grown from two to 25 this year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The division has been seeking ways to improve the accuracy of the count of the birds and is currently undertaking a study to help with this process.

Satellite transmitters have recently been attached to five adult and three juvenile sandhill cranes in Ohio.  Following the movements of these marked birds will improve biologists’ understanding of migration and allow Wildlife managers to find the birds and/or their locations in order to establish a more reliable count.  Ohio is joining Ontario, Canada, Wisconsin, Minnesota,Indiana and Tennessee in this study.

Birds marked with transmitters for this study were located in Lucas, Geauga, Holmes and Trumbull counties.

Greater sandhill cranes are listed as a state endangered species in Ohio. Observations of breeding pairs and confirmed sightings of nests or young (colts) indicate breeding by sandhill cranes in Ohio since 1985. At least 23 crane pairs were observed in 2008 with 19 young cranes fledged. The number of nesting pairs declined to 19 in 2009, but 23 young were fledged.

Growth of the breeding population has been slow, primarily centered in the Killbuck/Funk Bottoms region, and Geauga, Trumbull and Williams counties.

Wildlife enthusiasts are encouraged to follow the birds’ movements online at wildohio.com under Wild Resources. Also, sing up for updates from the Division of Wildlife on Facebook at facebook.com/ohiodivisionofwildlife or on Twitter attwitter.com/ohiodivwildlife.

Federal funds for the sandhill crane project and other wildlife diversity efforts of the Division of Wildlife are provided through the State Wildlife Grant Program, which targets species with greatest conservation need.

The division’s sandhill crane project is funded by the sale of cardinal license plates, the division’s new Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp, and contributions to the state Wildlife Diversity and Endangered Species Tax Check-off Fund. Taxpayers may donate directly or designate all or part of their state income tax refunds to the effort by checking the box on the Ohio Income Tax Form. Donations can also be made online at wildohio.com.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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Federal Grants to Fight Emerald Ash Borer available for NE OH Communitites

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COLUMBUS, OH – Federal grant funds totaling $600,000 are available to communities impacted now or in the future by the emerald ash borer (EAB) in 61 Ohio counties, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Forestry. Grant funding, which requires a 50 percent local match, will support the removal and replacement of publicly owned ash trees by cities, villages and townships.

“These funds provided by the USDA Forest Service will aid local jurisdictions in the response and recovery of urban forests from EAB infestations,” said David Lytle, state forester and chief of the Ohio Division of Forestry. “Removing hazardous and soon to be hazardous trees from public streets and restoring lost canopy cover are the primary objectives of this grant program.”

Since the emerald ash borer was first discovered in northwest Ohio in 2003, millions of ash trees have been killed by this devastating invasive insect, which can claim the life of an otherwise healthy, mature tree in as little as one year. Due to the insect’s spread, many Ohio communities are now confronted with the costly expense of dead ash tree removal and replacement.

Communities in the following counties are eligible to apply for these Ash Removal and Canopy Restoration grant monies: Adams, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Butler, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Darke, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Gallia, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lake, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Madison, Mahoning, Meigs, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Portage, Preble, Ross, Scioto, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Union, Vinton, Warren, Washington and Wayne.

To access Ash Removal and Canopy Restoration grant instructions and application forms, go to http://www.ohiodnr.com/default/tabid/23073/Default.aspx or e-mail drew.todd@dnr.state.oh.us or call (614) 265-6707. Applications must be submitted electronically no later than close of business on December 15.

Healthy, safe and functional trees improve our cities and towns by enhancing clean air and water, increasing property values, reducing erosion and stormwater runoff, providing wildlife habitat, moderating temperature, lessening energy demands, and offering year-round enjoyment. For more information of the many benefits of trees, urban tree care and this grant program, visit www.ohiodnr.com/forestry.

Ohio grows more acres of trees than corn and soybeans combined. The ODNR Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, visit the Division of Forestry’s Web site at www.ohiodnr.com/forestry.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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