Ohio Department of Natural Resources briefs


OUTDOORS

Staff Report



Getting outdoors is an ideal way to relieve stress and boost mood levels. The new Explore Ohio initiative is aimed at encouraging people to exercise outdoors and become healthier in the process. Participants can log their miles, share their photos and create friends groups on the Explore Ohio website at ExploreOh.com. Whether people are running, hiking, biking, climbing, walking or paddling, Ohioans can keep track of their progress at ExploreOh.com and share their adventures on social media using #ExploreOhio. After reaching 100 combined miles of activity on the site, each registered user will receive an email with a certificate good for 15 percent off camping at any Ohio State Park.

Ohioans Begin the 2017-2018 License Year with a New License System

Beginning March 1, Ohioans can purchase a 2017-2018 hunting or fishing license at wildohio.gov and at hundreds of participating agents throughout Ohio. Licenses are also available for purchase on a mobile device such as a smartphone.

Ohio’s hunters, anglers and conservationists will find a newly redesigned online purchasing system when they log in to buy licenses, permits, or other products. Licenses and permits are now grouped by category, such as hunting, fishing and trapping. New this year, anyone can access their online account at wildohio.gov and obtain a free reprint of their license or permit (this option is not available at license agents).

Ohio’s hunting and fishing license year begins March 1. A resident fishing license and hunting license cost $19 each. Prices for all fishing and hunting licenses and permits are unchanged from last year. Ohio’s 2017-2018 licenses are valid immediately upon purchase through Feb. 28, 2018. White-tailed deer and fall wild turkey hunting permits will go on sale later in 2017.

Ohio Wildlife Council Receives 2017-2018 Deer Hunting Proposals

The Ohio Wildlife Council heard proposals for Ohio’s 2017-2018 deer season dates and bag limits, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Among the proposals were modifications to bag limits for several counties throughout the state.

Overview of proposed deer hunting seasons for 2017-2018:

  • Deer archery: Sept. 30, 2017-Feb. 4, 2018
  • Youth deer gun: Nov. 18-19, 2017
  • Deer gun: Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2017; Dec. 16-17, 2017
  • Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 6-9, 2018

The county bag limits were proposed to be modified for several counties throughout the state. An increase in the bag limit, from two deer per county to three deer per county, was proposed for Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Fairfield, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Washington counties. These proposed changes are designed to slow the rate of growth, but still allow the herds to increase.

A reduction in the bag limit, from three deer per county to two deer per county was proposed for Allen, Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding, Putnam and Williams counties. All other county bag limits would remain the same. The statewide bag limit was proposed to remain at six deer, only one deer may be antlered and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. These proposed changes are designed to encourage herd growth in these counties.

In other proposals, the ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed to allow any straight-walled cartridge rifle with a minimum caliber of .357 to a maximum caliber of .50 be allowed for hunting deer in Ohio. There have been three seasons of hunting deer with straight-walled cartridge rifles in Ohio with no biological impacts to the herd or additional hunter incidents. Defining the allowable rifles would make the rule easily understood and easily enforced, while also being inclusive of a great number of rifle options.

A complete list of proposed rules changes can be found at wildohio.gov.

The Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on all proposals after receiving public input. Open houses to receive public comments about hunting, trapping and fishing regulations and wildlife issues will be held on Saturday, March 4. Open houses will be held at the ODNR Division of Wildlife District One, District Two, District Three and District Four offices and the Greene County Fish and Game Association clubhouse in Xenia. Directions to the open houses can be found at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).

Open houses give the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed fishing, hunting and trapping regulations with the ODNR Division of Wildlife officials. For Ohioans who are unable to attend an open house, comments will be accepted online at wildohio.gov. The online form will be available until Sunday, March 5.

A statewide hearing on all of the proposed rules will be held at the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District One office on Thursday, March 16, at 9 a.m. The office is located at 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus 43215.

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. The council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its meeting on Wednesday, April 12, after considering public input. Small game, migratory bird and wild turkey hunting season dates were proposed at the January council meeting and will also be voted on by the council on April 12.

Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments on a topic that is currently being considered by council are asked to register at least two days before the meeting by calling 614-265-6304. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.

From Shamrock Hikes to Wildlife Programs, Plenty of Outdoor Activities Available in March

March in Ohio offers several fun events at our state parks and state nature preserves. Whether individuals want to participate in the Shamrock Hike at Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve, or people are interested in learning more about Ohio wildlife, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has several activities to enjoy in March.

Bearly Awake at Lake Hope State Park – Bears do not actually hibernate so what do they do? Aren’t they hungry when they wake up? Do they really sleep in caves? Are there bears in the park? Get all of these answers and more after helping the naturalist build the perfect bear den. This event will take place on Saturday, March 18, from 2-3 p.m. at Lake Hope State Park. Meet at the nature center. For more information, call 740-596-3030.

Woodcock Watch at Lake Hope State Park – “Peent, Peent, Peent!” People may have heard this sound, but they probably didn’t realize it was a curious woodland bird who specializes in eating tasty earthworms. The woodcock puts on a show when he attempts to seduce nearby females with his aerial displays. Walk with us on Saturday, March 18, from 6:45-7:45 p.m. to look for the show. This area is subject to flooding in the spring so participants are asked to wear proper footwear. For more information, call the nature center at 740-596-3030.

Maple Syrup Festival at Indian Lake State Park – Everyone is invited to attend the Maple Syrup Festival to be held at Indian Lake State Park in Logan County on March 18-19 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Free wagon rides will be available to visit the Sugar Shack for demonstrations on turning sap into maple syrup. Wagon rides will be from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sunday. For a small fee ($5 for adults and $3 for kids), visitors can enjoy a pancake breakfast with sausage and beverages from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sunday. There will be pints, quarts and gallons of maple syrup for sale. For more information, call 937-843-2717.

Shamrock Hike at Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve – Celebrate spring and discover a very special shamrock, the running buffalo clover, on Saturday, March 18, from 1-4 p.m. This rare and federally endangered species grows here and it happens to stay green year-round. We will also discuss the vernal equinox and model the positions of the sun and earth throughout the year. A short hike will reveal changes taking place in our fields and woods with the increasing daylight. Green tea will be served following the hike. Meet at Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve office, 7211 Bremen Road, Logan. For questions, contact lauren.metcalf@dnr.state.oh.us.

Hike to Buckeye Cave at Burr Oak State Park – Join the naturalist at Burr Oak State Park for a 2.5-mile hike to the sandstone rock recess known as “Buckeye Cave” on Saturday, March 18, at 2 p.m. We will enjoy the beauty and geology of the area. Wear hiking boots or shoes with good ankle support. Meet at the office at the front of the park. For more information, call 740-767-3570.

Cold-Blooded Critters at Lake Hope State Park – What do snakes, frogs, and turtles do in the winter? Some of the answers might be surprising! Plus, learn about what spring means for many of these creatures. Join the naturalist at Lake Hope State Park on Sunday, March 19, from 10-11 a.m. to learn about the adaptations that help reptiles and amphibians survive the winter. Meet at the nature center. For more information, call 740-596-3030.

Vernal Equinox Hike at Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve – Join us in celebrating the celestial arrival of spring by taking a hike on Sunday, March 19, from 1-3 p.m. We will observe what changes are taking place in our environment and discuss the astronomical significance of the equinox. Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve is located at 11027 Hopkins Road, Garrettsville. For more information, call 330-527-5118 or email adam.wohlever@dnr.state.oh.us.

Spring into Fitness Hike at Caesar Creek State Park – Meet at the Nature Center for a 5-mile guided hike on Sunday, March 19, from 1-4 p.m. See Pioneer Village, the swinging bridge, Horseshoe Falls and a rock gorge during the hike. For more information call the nature center at 513-897-2437.

Ohio Botanical Symposium at Villa Milano Banquet and Conference Center – The flora of Great Lakes alvars; geology and flora of a meteorite crater in southwest Ohio; the status of our eastern deciduous forest; medicinal plants; lady-slipper orchids; lichens; and best plant discoveries will be highlighted at the 2017 Ohio Botanical Symposium in Columbus on Friday, March 24. The event also features displays from a number of private and public conservation organizations, as well as vendors offering conservation-related items for purchase. More than 400 botanical enthusiasts attend this event offered every other year. Registration is required. More information is available at naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/obs.

Spring Clean Up at Shawnee State Park – The Spring Clean Up at Shawnee State Park will be held the week of March 27-31. People are invited to show their appreciation for the big woods by volunteering to clean up waterways, trails, roadsides and more during this weeklong clean up. People should register their group at the park office by calling 740-858-6652. Bags, buckets and litter tongs will be available for pick up at the park during orientation and sign in.

Paw Patrol at Lake Hope State Park – People are invited to bring their friendly, furry four-legged companion along a paved 2-mile hike at Lake Hope State Park on Friday, March 31, from 5-6:30 p.m. Pets must be on a leash. Remember to bring the clean-up bags, and meet at the nature center. For more information, call 740-596-3030.

Return of the Bobcat at Burr Oak State Park – After a 150-year absence, the bobcat has returned to Ohio. Cheryl Mollohon, a wildlife biologist, will be sharing a presentation about when and where bobcat females den and raise their kittens in southeast Ohio on Friday, March 31, at 7 p.m. The program will be held at Burr Oak State Park in the Lodge Chickadee Room, and it will also provide current information about Ohio’s other native wild cat, the mountain lion or cougar. For more information, call 740-767-3570.

To learn more about family-friendly events at Ohio State Parks, go to parks.ohiodnr.gov/calendar.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2017/03/web1_web1_ODNR-logo11.jpg
OUTDOORS

Staff Report

Getting outdoors is an ideal way to relieve stress and boost mood levels. The new Explore Ohio initiative is aimed at encouraging people to exercise outdoors and become healthier in the process. Participants can log their miles, share their photos and create friends groups on the Explore Ohio website at ExploreOh.com. Whether people are running, hiking, biking, climbing, walking or paddling, Ohioans can keep track of their progress at ExploreOh.com and share their adventures on social media using #ExploreOhio. After reaching 100 combined miles of activity on the site, each registered user will receive an email with a certificate good for 15 percent off camping at any Ohio State Park.

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

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