Field reports from ODNR Division of Wildlife Officers
Central Ohio – Wildlife District One
During the 2016 deer gun season, State Wildlife Officer Tyler Eldred, assigned to Morrow County, and State Wildlife Investigator Chris Rice were on patrol in Knox County. Shortly after dark, information was received from the Turn In a Poacher (TIP) hotline indicating that a vehicle was observed jacklighting from the roadway. The caller was able to obtain a vehicle description as well as a license plate number. The officers responded to the area and soon spotted a vehicle matching the description provided by the caller. As the vehicle passed the officers, spotlights in the vehicle were turned on, illuminating the nearby fields. A traffic stop and further investigation by the officers revealed that the two occupants were shining for wild animals and had a loaded 12-gauge shotgun in their possession. It was also determined that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol. The Knox County Sheriff’s office responded, arresting the driver for OVI. The passenger was arrested for multiple wildlife charges. Several hundred dollars in fines and fees were paid for the wildlife violations, and the firearm and other equipment used in the violation were forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
During a youth trout derby event at Eyman Park, State Wildlife Officer John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, received a complaint about an adult fishing during youth hours. Officer Coffman witnessed the man reel in two trout and place them into a basket. Officer Coffman contacted the man who admitted to catching all eight trout in the basket. The man was issued a summons for over the bag limit on trout and was ordered to pay $125 in fines and court costs.
Black Bear Sightings Expected to Increase in Summer Months
June and July are peak months for bear movement
Columbus – Approximately 70 or so different black bears are reported annually in the Buckeye State according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). While the population of Ohio’s largest mammal may not exactly increase in 2017, sightings of black bears are expected to rise in the summer months.
ODNR Division of Wildlife biologists explain the young adult bears disperse annually, typically as a result of being driven off by their mother as she prepares for the breeding season. Male bears have a larger home range and may travel several hundred miles in search of a mate. Female bears have a smaller home range and seldom venture as far to establish territories.
If a bear is sighted, individuals should contact the Division of Wildlife District Office (614-644-3925) to report the sighting, and then leave the bear alone. Every year, some bear reports in Ohio are associated with nuisance situations. When people remove potential food sources, conflicts with bears often diminish. Moving bird feeders higher, removing uneaten pet food, keeping trash inside until pick up day, and cleaning up after grilling out all help to deter bears from frequenting an area and becoming nuisances.
Read more about what to do if you encounter a black bear in Ohio at wildohio.gov.
Efforts to monitor black bears in Ohio are supported by the Endangered Species and Wildlife Diversity Fund, which receives donations through the sale of Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamps, the state income tax checkoff program, and the purchase of cardinal license plates. More information is available at wildohio.gov.
The black bear is listed as an endangered species in Ohio and protected by state law.
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.