Tag: United States Fish and Wildlife Service

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2011-2012 Ohio Hunting Seasons Approved

A white-tailed deer

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COLUMBUS, OH – Hunting and trapping regulations for 2011-12 seasons were passed by the Ohio Wildlife Council at the April 6 meeting, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

The proposed change to move Fayette County from Deer Zone B to Zone A was approved.  A rule to eliminate the requirement for all packages of deer meat produced during the butchering process to be marked with the tag, seal or certificate number was also passed.  The tag, seal or certificate must be maintained until the entire deer has been consumed, but the package no longer needs to be marked.

Hunters can again buy antlerless deer permits at reduced prices for hunting in an urban zone, participating in a Division of Wildlife-authorized controlled hunt or hunting during the September 24 to November 27 portion of the deer season.  The sale of reduced priced antlerless permits will cease after November 27, so hunters need to commit early to buying and using the extra reduced-cost permits to take full advantage of this opportunity. The deadline for using the antlerless permit will be extended to December 4 for those hunting in Deer Zone C.  Cost of the antlerless deer permit remains $15.

Deer Limits

The maximum number of deer that a hunter may take in Deer Zone A is two.  Prior to November 28, hunters may take up to two deer in Zone A, one of which may be on a $15 antlerless deer permit.  Beginning November 28, hunters may take only one deer in Zone A and antlerless permits may not be used.

The maximum number of deer that a hunter may take in Deer Zone B is four.  Prior to November 28, hunters may take up to four deer in Zone B, two of which may be on $15 antlerless deer permits.  Beginning November 28, hunters may take only two deer in Zone B and antlerless permits may not be used.

The maximum number of deer that a hunter may take in Deer Zone C is six.  Prior to December 5, hunters may take up to six deer in Zone C, three of which may be on $15 antlerless deer permits.  Beginning December 5, hunters may take only three deer in Zone C and antlerless permits may not be used.

Those hunting in urban zones and at Division of Wildlife-authorized controlled hunts will again have a six-deer bag limit, and those deer will not count against the hunter’s zone bag limit.

Either a $15 antlerless deer permit and a valid hunting license or $24 deer permit and a valid hunting license are required to hunt deer in Ohio.  A hunter may take only one antlered deer in Ohio, regardless of zone, hunting method or season.

2011-12 White-tailed Deer Seasons and Dates

  • Archery season  September 24 through February 5, 2012
  • Special area muzzleloader hunts October 17-22
  • Youth deer-gun season  November 19-20
  • Statewide deer-gun season  November 28 through December 4 and December 17-18
  • Statewide muzzleloader season  January 7-10, 2012

During the 2010-2011 season hunters killed a total of 239,260 deer.  Approximately 475,000 people hunt white-tailed deer in Ohio.

Hunting seasons for rabbit, pheasant, quail, squirrel, crow, and wild turkey were approved as proposed.  So were trapping seasons for beaver, mink, muskrat, and river otter, along with the hunting and trapping seasons for beaver, fox, raccoon, skunk, and weasel.

2011-12 Hunting and/or Trapping Seasons and Dates

  • Squirrel  September 1 through January 31, 2012
  • Ruffed grouse – October 8 through January 31, 2012
  • Fall Wild Turkey – October 8 – November 27, in specified counties
  • Youth upland season – October 22-23 and October 29-30
  • Cottontail rabbit  November 4 through February 29, 2012
  • Ring-necked Pheasant November 4 through January 8, 2012
  • Bobwhite Quail – November 4-27, in specified counties
  • Fox, raccoon, skunk, opossum, and weasel – November 10 through January 31, 2012
  • Mink and muskrat  November 10 through February 29, 2012
  • Mink, muskrat, raccoon, skunk, opossum, and weasel (Lake Erie Marsh area)  November 10 through March 15, 2012
  • Beaver – December 26 through February 29, 2012
  • River Otter – December 26 through February 29, 2012
  • Youth Spring Wild Turkey Season – April 21 and 22, 2012
  • Spring Wild Turkey – April 23, 2012 through May 20, 2012
  • Crow (Fri, Sat, Sun only) – June 3, 2011 through March 12, 2012 and June 2, 2012 through March 11, 2013
  • Coyote and woodchuck – No closed season

Rules and season dates for migratory birds including mourning dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen, snipe, woodcock, and waterfowl hunting will be set in August, in compliance with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service‘s 2011-12 framework.

All hunting and trapping season dates and rules can be found at wildohio.com.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.  Visit the ODNR Web site atohiodnr.com.

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Ohio Waterfowl Hunting Seasons 2010-2011 and Bag Limits

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COLUMBUS, OH – The 2010-2011 waterfowl hunting season dates have been approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council and are the most liberal regulations allowed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The waterfowl hunting seasons are set to open October 16 in both Ohio’s north and south zones. Hunters 15 years of age and younger will have the opportunity to enjoy a special statewide season October 2-3.
The duck hunting season in the North Zone is October 16 through November 14, followed by a late portion that opens November 20 through December 19. In the South Zone, duck season is open October 16 – 31, followed by a late portion that opens December 11 and runs throughJanuary 23, 2011.
The daily bag limit for ducks is six, which may not include more than four mallards (no more than one may be female), three wood ducks, one black duck, two redheads, two scaup, one canvasback, two pintail, and one mottled duck. The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, of which no more than two may be hooded. The daily bag limit for coots is 15. Possession limits after the first day are twice the daily bag limit.
In the Lake Erie Canada Goose Zone, the goose season is October 16 through November 14 followed by a second segment that opens November 20 and runs through January 2, 2011.  The goose season for the remainder of the North Zone is October 16 through November 28, with a second segment that runs from December 18 through January 16, 2011. In the South Zone, goose season is October 16 through November 7 followed by a second segment that opens December 11 and runs through January 30, 2011.
The daily bag limit for Canada geese is two. Light geese (snows, blues, Ross’) have a daily bag limit of 10, and white-fronted geese and brant have a daily bag limit of one.  The possession limit for brant and geese is twice the daily bag limit after the first day.

Licensed falconers may hunt in the north, south and Lake Erie Canada Goose zones whenever these zones are open to waterfowl hunting; in addition properly licensed falconers may hunt ducks and coots statewide from February 5, 2011 through March 4, 2011 and geese from February 5 – 18, 2011.
People planning to hunt waterfowl are required to answer several questions for the Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey when purchasing their hunting licenses.  A state wetland habitat stamp endorsement and a valid and signed federal duck stamp are required when hunting waterfowl, in addition to an Ohio hunting license.  The 2010-11 hunting licenses and wetland stamps are on sale now and remain valid through February 28, 2011.

Copies of this season’s waterfowl hunting regulations, which include maps of the zones (Publication 295, Waterfowl Hunting Seasons), will be available online at wildohio.com or by late September to hunters at all license agent outlets.

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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Passport to Fishing Class in Akron: Register Now

AKRON, OH — Any adult, group, or conservation club who has a sincere interest in taking kids fishing should consider becoming a certified Passport to Fishing instructor, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife. A free workshop is available on Thursday, August 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will take place at Wildlife District Three, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron.
Passport to Fishing is a one-day instructor training program that qualifies individuals to become Division of Wildlife certified fishing instructors, similar to a hunter education instructor.

Passport to Fishing was developed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and adopted by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.  Workshops teach volunteers the basics of fishing and how to run a four-station fishing program with a fishing event. These instructors then go back to their communities, with a written curriculum and training aids, to teach youngsters and beginning anglers the basics of fishing.

By becoming a certified instructor, you will not only be able to help in reconnecting students with the outdoors, but you will also have the skills and resources to help you do it in a more successful way.  Resources available include grants, equipment, brochures, and training.

To register for a workshop, please call 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).

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NPS Let's Go Outside! Flickr Group

This summer, get out into nature and see some wildlife – in your backyard, at a local park or on a nearby national wildlife refuge.  You will create family memories to last a lifetime, and if you take your digital camera, you can capture these memories and share them through a new Flickr group called “Let’s Go Outside.”

Hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the “Let’s Go Outside”[http://www.flickr.com/groups/1385215@N24] group allows Flickr users to upload images of themselves, their family and friends outside in nature.  You can use Flickr’s Map function to identify where your photos were taken and see the places where group members explore nature.  You can also describe where the image was taken and what it was like, blog about particular photos and your experiences in nature, and chat on the Flickr Discussion board with other group members about their favorite places to go.  You can even upload images from your cell phone.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Let’s Go Outside” initiative encourages children, educators and parents to get outside and enjoy nature and wildlife.  To learn about activities in nature, including the basics of digital nature photography, visit http://www.fws.gov/letsgooutside.

You can also visit the “Let’s Go Outside” web site to locate one of America’s 550 remarkable national wildlife refuges and discover what nature has to offer.  Most metropolitan areas are within an hour’s drive of at least one wildlife refuge.  But experiencing nature can also be as convenient as visiting a local state park, bird watching in your backyard or even taking a walk around the neighborhood to admire wildlife.  Watching wildlife is an extremely easy, fun and free way to enjoy the environment, spend time with family or just to relax.

“Let’s Go Outside” strives to promote environmental awareness while reconnecting Americans with nature – encouraging healthier lifestyles and helping to ensure future generations appreciate the natural world around them.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.  We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service.  For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

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Eagles in Pittsburgh: On the River at the Point

Jamie On the River
Image by lcthulou via Flickr

PITTSBURGH – Steeler Country is now home to the Eagles! No, not the cross-Commonwealth rival Philadelphia Eagles; a pair of American bald eagles.

“While bald eagles are not an uncommon sight as they hunt for fish in the Three Rivers area of Pittsburgh, this is the first confirmed nesting pair of bald eagles in Allegheny County,” said Gary Fujak, Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer for western Allegheny County. “The nest is in Crescent Township, but – in order to protect the nest from disturbances – we are not going to disclose the exact location, and we are working with the landowner to keep the area secure.”

The Game Commission annually monitors bald eagle nests – both existing and new – to measure nesting population trends and nesting success. Monitoring helps the agency to continue to follow bald eagle’s recovery and let’s biologists know immediately if problems are occurring, both locally and statewide. Wildlife Conservation Officers protect nests and work with landowners to ensure the safety of bald eagles and their future success. When discovered, new nest sites are protected and reproduction is monitored.

Matt Hough, Game Commission Southwest Region Director, noted that this marks the third new nest in the region.

“We encourage anyone who believes he or she saw a bald eagle nest to notify the Southwest Region Office,” Hough said. “In addition, we encourage wildlife viewers to enjoy viewing eagle nests from a distance to eliminate possible disturbances.

“Please remember that bald eagles receive federal protection under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which safeguard the birds and their nests from disturbances and destruction, and such acts carry heavy fines and penalties.”

The Game Commission’s management plan for bald eagles calls for more public education about eagles. An informed public guided by good “eagle etiquette” will be the best advocate for a continued bald eagle recovery and the best chance that any Pennsylvanian can see a bald eagle near his or her home in the future.

When the Game Commission announced its 2009 bald eagle nesting tally last June, there were at least 170 known nests in 48 counties; by the end of the year, the number increased to 174 known nests. In 2008, Game Commission biologists estimated Pennsylvania had 140 known nests in 47 counties. The final nest count turned out to be 156.

As recently as 1983, there were only three eagle nests remaining in Pennsylvania. That year, the Game Commission began a seven-year bald eagle restoration program in which the agency sent employees to Saskatchewan to obtain eaglets from wilderness nests. The Richard King Mellon Foundation of Pittsburgh and the federal Endangered Species Fund provided financial assistance for this effort. In all, 88 bald eaglets from Canada were released from sites at Dauphin County’s Haldeman Island and Pike County’s Shohola Falls.

Since 1983, Pennsylvania’s eagle nests have produced more than 1,200 eaglets, and the population has increased by about 15 percent annually. But, while this growth and expansion are to be celebrated, there has been some “crowding” reported in some areas.

“There’s still plenty of new or sparsely-used territory for nesting pairs in the Commonwealth,” said Doug Gross, Game Commission biologist. “Some of the best remaining eagle nesting habitat includes the Susquehanna’s north and west branches, the Monongahela River, the Youghiogheny River and the Lake Erie shoreline. There also are many large lakes and impoundments scattered across the state with more than adequate fisheries and no eagles.”

While the Game Commission currently classifies the bald eagle as a threatened species in Pennsylvania, they were removed from the federal Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2007, because delisting goals had been achieved.

For more information on bald eagles in Pennsylvania, visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on “Wildlife,” choose “Endangered Species,” then select “Bald Eagle” in the list of “Threatened Species.”

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