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Ohio Fishing Licenses Available By Phone

COLUMBUS, OH – With spring fishing heating up, anglers can now purchase one-day and three-day fishing licenses over the telephone according the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Customers have two telephone options to purchase a “last-minute” fishing license by using a credit card:

Calling 866-703-1928 between 5 a.m. and midnight to reach a live operator who will walk the customer through the transaction; a $5.50 convenience fee is included with this option.

Calling 855-764-3474 any time for an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Callers should be sure and have their nine-digit customer identification number, which can be obtained at no cost from the Wild Ohio Customer Center at www.wildohio.com. The IVR option includes a $3.25 convenience fee.

In both cases, the customer is issued a 10-digit license number and instructed to carry it along with a picture ID as proof that the angler is properly licensed. A printed copy of the license is not included. Convenience fees in either option can be avoided by purchasing licenses early at license agent outlets or online at www.wildohio.com. Customers should note $10 of the one-day fishing license can be exchanged for credit toward the purchase of an annual fishing license at any time within the license year. All license purchases include a $1 writing fee.

Also new this year, anglers have the option of buying in advance an $11 “Lake Erie Charter 1-Day Fishing License” allowing them to wait and validate the license at the dock the day of the trip. Waiting to sign and date the license allows for its future use in case the original fishing trip is cancelled due to weather or other circumstances. This license is not available for purchase over the telephone.

Customers should be aware that Social Security Numbers (SSN) will be required of all individuals, youth and adults, who plan to buy licenses and permits. United States Federal Statute 42 requires the collection of SSN of any individual to whom the state issues a recreational hunting or fishing license. When buying a license, customers are also required by law to give their full name, date of birth, gender, declaration of residency, mailing address, height, weight and hair and eye color.

For questions or clarification, contact the Division of Wildlife at 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) or visit our website at www.wildohio.com.

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

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2011 Wildlife Legacy Stamp Photo Contest

COLUMBUS, OH –The 2nd Annual Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp photo contest is underway, challenging resident photographers to enter their best snapshots of a nativedragonfly or damsel fly. The winning photograph will be featured on the second Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp to be issued March 1, 2011, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

The contest is open to Ohio residents, ages 18 years and older; one cash prize will be awarded to the winning photographer. Young photographers, age 17 and under, also are encouraged to submit their photographs of these winged jewels. The winner in this category will receive Web and print recognition.

The $15 Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp will be available for purchase online beginning March 1, 2011 at wildohio.com. By purchasing the stamp, you will be supporting restoration of endangered and threatened wildlife species, research projects, land purchases and conservation easements, and educational products for students and wildlife enthusiasts.

“The Legacy Stamp is a great way for anyone who supports wildlife causes to make a direct investment in the future of Ohio’s diverse wildlife population,” said Jim Marshall, acting chief of the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

Each year, a collectible stamp depicting a different animal will be issued to highlight the diversity of Ohio’s natural world. Last year, Russell Reynolds from Lima won the inaugural contest with his photograph of a male Baltimore oriole. Discover more about the stamp by visiting or calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

Contest details:

  • Open to Ohio residents, ages 18 years and older.*
  • One cash prize totaling $500 will be awarded to the winning photographer.
  • Youths up to 17 years of age may submit photos for Web and magazine recognition.
  • Photos must be submitted by mail to be eligible— electronic images will not be accepted. Photo submissions will be accepted by mail between August 1 and August 22, 2010.
  • Each photo must be accompanied by a completed entry form and $12 submission fee.
  • Complete contest rules are available at wildohiostamp.com.

*Employees of the ODNR and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate.

Help Keep the Wild in Ohio and enter your best photo of a native dragonfly or damselfly in this year’s Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp photo contest.

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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Peregrine Falcon Chicks at Cleveland's Terminal Tower

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 09:  An injured P...
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CLEVELAND,OH – Wildlife biologists from the ODNR Division of Wildlife will be examining peregrine falcon chicks and placing identifying metal bands on their legs on Friday, May 14th, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. A total of three chicks began hatching on April 25th. The falcon parents are Ranger (male) and S/W (female).

There are currently 34 territorial sites of peregrine falcon pairs being monitored by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, 19 of which are in northeast Ohio. A total of 19 pairs are actively nesting throughout the state. Specifically in the Cleveland area, biologists are monitoring 11 sites, of which nine are currently incubating or have hatched chicks.

These banding events not only allow wildlife experts to examine the chicks but also to obtain blood samples for DNA fingerprinting. The leg bands act like a social security number, providing very valuable information. The ability to identify each bird helps keep the Division of Wildlife as well as the public informed about their history, movement, and migration routes.

To watch the banding take place, go to www.falconcam-cmnh.org The “Falconcam” is managed by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to provide educational and research opportunities for falcon enthusiasts around the world.

Because of nesting success in Ohio and across the nation, the peregrine falcon was removed from the federal endangered species list in 1999; it is listed as threatened in Ohio, downgraded from state endangered in 2008.

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Poland North Elem. Newest 'Wild School" Site

Mahoning County school 104th in the state; fifth in the county

POLAND, OH –  Poland North Elementary School was dedicated on May 6, 2010 as an official WILD School Site according to ODNR Division of Wildlife. The school is the 104th site dedicated in Ohio. The school celebrated during a small ceremony for the students and staff.

Only the fifth school to be dedicated in Mahoning County, Poland North has performed many projects to learn about and benefit from wildlife and the environment while enhancing habitat for wildlife in the school’s enclosed courtyard. Projects include: erecting bird feeding stations and working in their on-site greenhouse to produce flowers for the school property. A beautiful pond structure with a small waterfall was recently installed by PondScape of Youngstown. Students who attended ceremony helped release fish into the water feature. Wildlife that benefits includes countless migratory birds and a variety of reptiles and amphibians, just to name a few.

Poland North is also a 2010 WILD School Sites grant recipient. Only 40 grants of $500 each are distributed by the Ohio Division of Wildlife each year. The grant funding will help Poland North to further enhance the pond feature as well as provide additional habitat enhancement for wildlife on the school grounds. Follow Principal Masucci’s school blog by visiting www.poland.k12.oh.us/North

The WILD School Sites program is considered an action extension of the national Project WILD program. Any school property used by students, teachers, and the school community as a place to learn about and benefit from wildlife and the environment can be certified. The sites function within the premise that every school, regardless of size and location, can provide outdoor educational opportunities that can and should be part of an integrated environmental education program. WILD School Sites that demonstrate program development and site enhancement consistent with the premises outlined in this program are eligible for certification as an official Ohio WILD School Site.

For information on WILD School Sites, Project WILD, and grants click here or call 1-800-WILDLIFE to be connected with your District Office.

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How To Avoid Being Eaten By Bears, 2010 Edition

Despite being quadrupeds, bears can stand and ...
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HARRISBURG – With spring well underway across the state, many Pennsylvanians are spending more time outdoors and seeing more wildlife – and signs of wildlife – in their yards and other places they frequent. Among the wildlife becoming more visible are Pennsylvania’s roughly 17,000 black bears, all of which are looking for food.

Since bears are found throughout most of the state, Mark Ternent, Pennsylvania Game Commission black bear biologist, said bear sightings are common at this time of year.   Food for bears is naturally scarce in spring until green-up, which is ahead of schedule this year. But that doesn’t mean bears emerging from dens aren’t getting into trouble. After several months of hibernation, they are once again searching for food.  Thus, sightings and, in some cases, conflicts are increasing.

Spring: When A Bear’s thoughts turn to Food

“Now is the time to keep bears from becoming a nuisance later in the summer,” Ternent said.  “Bears that wander near residential areas in search of springtime foods are less likely to stay or return if they do not find anything rewarding.  Conversely, if bears find food in backyards, they quickly learn to associate food with residential areas and begin to spend more time in those areas.  As a result, encounters between humans and bears, property damage and vehicle accidents involving bears may increase.”

Ternent noted capturing and moving bears that have become habituated to humans is a costly and sometimes ineffective way of addressing the problem.  That is why wildlife agencies around the country tell people that a “fed bear is a dead bear.”

“The best solution is to prevent bears from finding something to eat around your house in the first place,” Ternent said.  “Anything edible placed outside for any reason – whether it is food for wildlife or pets or unsecured garbage – gives bears a reason to visit your property.  Homeowners should begin now to remove food sources that might attract bears.”

5 Things to do to keep Bears off your Property

Ternent listed five suggestions that could prevent attracting bears to a property:

Play it smart. Do not feed wildlife. Food placed outside for wildlife, such as corn for squirrels, may attract bears.  Even bird feeders can become “bear magnets.”  Bear conflicts with bird feeding generally don’t arise in the winter because bears are in their winter dens.  But at other times of the year, birdfeeders will attract problem bears.  If you do chose to feed songbirds during the summer, Audubon Pennsylvania offers some tips, including: avoid foods that are particularly attractive for bears, such as sunflower seeds, hummingbird nectar mixes or suet; bring feeders inside at night; or suspend feeders from high crosswires so they are at least 10 feet above the ground and four feet from anything a bear can climb, including overhead limbs.

Keep it clean. Don’t put out garbage until pick-up day; don’t throw table scraps out back; don’t add fruit or vegetable wastes to your compost pile; and clean your barbecue grill regularly.  If you have pets and feed them outdoors, consider placing food dishes inside overnight. Encourage your neighbors to do the same.

Keep your distance. If a bear shows up in your backyard, stay calm. Shout at it like you would to chase an unwanted dog. Don’t approach it.  If the bear won’t leave, call the nearest Game Commission regional office or local police department for assistance.

Eliminate temptation. Bears that visit your area are often drawn there. Neighbors need to work together to reduce an area’s appeal to bears. Ask area businesses to keep dumpsters closed and bear-proofed (chained or locked shut with a metal lid).

Check please! If your dog is barking, or cat is clawing at the door to get in, try to determine what has alarmed your pet. But do it cautiously, using outside lights to full advantage and from a safe position, such as a porch or an upstairs window. All unrecognizable outside noises and disturbances should be checked, but don’t do it on foot with a flashlight. Black bears blend in too well with nighttime surroundings providing the chance for a close encounter.

Pennsylvanians also are reminded that if they see cubs alone, it does not necessarily mean they have been abandoned or orphaned.

“During the spring, sows may leave their cubs for several hours, typically up in a tree, while they forage,” Ternent said. “If you encounter cubs, leave the area the way you entered it and leave the cubs alone.  Staying in the vicinity prevents the mother from returning, and attempting to care for the cubs is illegal and may result in exposure to wildlife diseases or habituate the young bears to humans.

“Cubs that have been removed from the wild and habituated to people are difficult to rehabilitate for release back into the wild and may result in the cub being euthanized.”

Ternent noted that, as a result of Pennsylvania’s large human and bear populations, it is not uncommon for people and bears to encounter one another.

“Bears needn’t be feared, nor should they be dismissed as harmless; but they should be respected,” Ternent said.  “In the past 10 years fewer than 20 people have been injured by bears in Pennsylvania, and there are no known records of a Pennsylvania black bear killing a human.

“Injury from a black bear is often the result of a human intentionally or unintentionally threatening a bear, its cubs, or a nearby food source, and the best reaction is to defuse the threat by leaving the area in a quiet, calm manner.”

More Bear Tips:

Ternent also advised:

Stay Calm. If you see a bear and it hasn’t seen you, leave the area calmly.  Talk or make noise while moving away to help it discover your presence.  Choose a route that will not intersect with the bear if it is moving.

Get Back. If you have surprised a bear, slowly back away while talking softly.  Face the bear, but avoid direct eye contact.  Do not turn and run; rapid movement may be perceived as danger to a bear that is already feeling threatened.  Avoid blocking the bear’s only escape route and try to move away from any cubs you see or hear.  Do not attempt to climb a tree.  A female bear may falsely interpret this as an attempt to get at her cubs, even though the cubs may be in a different tree.

Pay Attention. If a bear is displaying signs of nervousness – pacing, swinging its head, or popping its jaws – about your presence, leave the area.  Some bears may bluff charge to within a few feet.  If this occurs, stand your ground, wave your arms wildly, and shout at the bear.  Turning and running could elicit a chase and you cannot outrun a bear.

Fight Back. If a bear attacks, fight back as you continue to leave the area.  Black bears have been driven away with rocks, sticks, binoculars, car keys, or even bare hands.

“Learning about bears and being aware of their habits is a responsibility that comes with living in rural and suburban Pennsylvania or recreating in the outdoors,” Ternent said.

In 2003, a regulation prohibiting the feeding of bears went into effect.  The regulation made it unlawful to intentionally “lay or place food, fruit, hay, grain, chemical, salt or other minerals that may cause bears to congregate or habituate an area.”  The exceptions to this regulation are “normal or accepted farming, habitat management practices, oil and gas drilling, mining, forest management activities or other legitimate commercial or industrial practices.”

The regulation enables Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers (WCOs) to issue written notices that direct landowners to discontinue wildlife feeding, even if not intended for bears, including songbird feeding, if the feeding is attracting bears to the area and causing problems with bears nearby.

Report a Bear

To report nuisance bears, contact the Game Commission Region Office nearest you.  The telephone numbers are: Northwest Region Office in Franklin, Venango County, 814-432-3188; Southwest Region Office in Bolivar, Westmoreland County, 724-238-9523; Northcentral Region Office in Jersey Shore, Lycoming County, 570-398-4744; Southcentral Region Office in Huntingdon, Huntingdon County, 814-643-1831; Northeast Region Office in Dallas, Luzerne County, 570-675-1143; and Southeast Region Office in Reading, Berks County, 610-926-3136.

More information on bears is available on the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on the “Wildlife” tab in the menu bar at the top of the homepage, and then selecting “Black Bears” From the “Mammals” section.

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Springtime Safety Alert: Leave that Cute and Cuddly Critter Alone

Close-up of a dog's face during late-stage &qu...
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HARRISBURG – Whether hiking in the woods, driving through the countryside or simply enjoying nature in your backyard, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials encourage outdoor enthusiasts to leave wildlife alone, and in the wild, especially young of the year.
“Being outdoors in the spring is an enjoyable way to spend time and learn more about nature,” said Calvin W. DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director. “In the coming months, it will become common to find young deer, rabbits, birds, raccoons or other wildlife, some of which may appear to be abandoned. Rest assured that in most cases, the young animal is not an orphan or abandoned and the best thing you can do is to leave it alone.”

Meet The Parents?

DuBrock noted adult animals often leave their young while the adults forage for food. Also, wildlife often relies on a natural defensive tactic called the “hider strategy,” where young animals will remain motionless and “hide” in surrounding cover while adults draw the attention of potential predators or other intruders away from their young.

“While it may appear as if the adults are abandoning their young, in reality, this is just the animal using its natural instincts to protect its young,” DuBrock said. “Nature also protects young animals with camouflaging color to avoid being detected by predators.

No, We Cannot Keep It

“Wild animals are not meant to be pets, and we must all resist our well-meaning and well-intentioned urge to want to care for wildlife. Taking wildlife from its natural settings and into your home may expose or transmit wildlife diseases to people or domestic animals. Wildlife also may carry parasites – such as fleas, ticks or lice – that you wouldn’t want infesting you, your family, your home or your pets.”
DuBrock noted that, each year, people ignore this advice by taking wildlife into their homes and then are urged to undergo treatment for possible exposure to various wildlife-borne diseases, such as rabies.
“In nearly all cases, people’s well-meaning and well-intentioned actions still require that the animal be put down in the interest of public health,” he said. “Unfortunately, pop-culture has instilled in people a certain stereotype of what a rabid animal looks like. And, while some animals will act vicious and even foam at the mouth, many times an infected animal will be quiet and still, or simply appear uncoordinated or unafraid. Handling these animals can result in exposure to rabies and require that someone undergo treatment as a precaution, especially if the animal can’t be captured for testing.”
In addition to protecting public health, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Protection Director Rich Palmer said that the agency also is concerned with wildlife implications from humans handling wildlife.

Humans Can Be Habit Forming

“Habituating wildlife to humans is a serious concern, because if wildlife loses its natural fear of humans it can pose a public safety risk,” Palmer said. “For example, a few years ago, a yearling, six-point buck attacked and severely injured two people. Our investigation revealed that a neighboring family had illegally taken the deer into their home and fed it as a fawn. This family continued to feed the deer right up until the time of the attack.
“This particular incident was the subject of numerous news stories around the state, and serves as a fitting example of the possible consequences that can stem from feeding or simply getting too close to wildlife.”
In addition, Palmer noted that it is illegal to take or possess wildlife from the wild. Under state law, the penalty for such a violation is a fine of up to $1,500 per animal.

“Under no circumstances will anyone who illegally takes wildlife into captivity be allowed to keep that animal,” Palmer said. “While residents love to view wildlife and are very compassionate, they must enjoy wildlife from a distance and allow nature to run its course.”

Rabies

Palmer also pointed out that, under a working agreement with state health officials, any “high risk” rabies vector species confiscated after human contact must be euthanized and tested; it cannot be returned to the wild. Though any mammal may carry rabies, species identified in the agreement are: skunks, raccoons, foxes, bats, coyotes and groundhogs.

“Except for some species of bats, populations of all other rabies vector species are thriving,” Palmer said. “Therefore, to protect public health and safety, it only makes sense to put down an animal for testing, rather than risk relocating a potentially rabid animal, and to answer the question of whether any people were exposed to the rabies virus.”

DuBrock said it is always wise to avoid wild animals and even strange domestic pets because of the potential rabies risk.

“Animals infected with rabies may not show obvious symptoms, but still may be able to transmit the disease,” DuBrock.

People can get rabies from the saliva of a rabid animal if they are bitten or scratched, or if the saliva gets into the person’s eyes, mouth or a fresh wound. The last human rabies fatality in Pennsylvania was a 12‑year‑old Lycoming County boy who died in 1984

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