Despite some very rough weather conditions, hunters checked 9,447 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s 2015 two-day deer-gun hunting season, Dec. 28-29, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Locally, the harvest numbers were pretty light but heavy rain fell in the area during the short season. The last time Ohio held a two-day December deer-gun season was in 2012 with 14,365 deer harvested. That year, the season was held on a weekend and accounted for just more than 6 percent of the entire deer harvest. This year’s two-day season total is projected to account for slightly more than 5 percent of all deer harvested. Hunters still have opportunities to pursue deer this winter, as archery season remains open through Sunday, Feb. 7.
• Outdoors enthusiasts interested in learning to hunt/ trap coyotes are encouraged to attend a free informational workshop provided by the ODNR Division of Wildlife on Sunday, Jan. 31,. There are certainly plenty of the critters around here that need cleaned out. Trained professionals will cover topics such as life history, hunting and trapping techniques and game care.
The workshop will be held from 1- 4:30 p.m. at the Wildlife District One Office, located at 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus, 43215. The workshop is free of charge. Pre-registration is required as space is limited. Register by calling Jordan Phillips at 614-902-4196, or email Jordan.Phillips@dnr.state.oh.us.
A similar workshop will be held in Akron on Wednesday, Jan. 27, in Akron. The workshop will be from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Wildlife District Three, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron. Pre-registration is required as seating is limited. Call Joe Ferrara at (330) 644-2293 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on Ohio’s coyote seasons, please visit wildohio.gov.
• A training academy for individuals interested in becoming hunter education instructors will be offered in Athens, Ohio March 11 and 12 according to the ODNR. Training will be held at the ODNR Division of Wildlife District Four office located at 360 East State Street in Athens. Friday, March 11 will be from 5-9pm, and Saturday, March 12 will be from 9am-7pm. There is no cost to participate in the hunter education instructor academy, but all participants are required to complete a background check prior to the start of the academy so registration must be submitted at least a month in advance. Forms must be postmarked by February 11.
Participants must attend both days of training, be at least 18 years of age and have successfully completed a hunter education course. Ohio currently has 1,700 volunteer instructors who train thousands of hunters each year to be safe and responsible in the field. For more information on becoming a hunter education instructor visit the hunter education pages at wildohio.gov.
• A two-year long joint investigation between two state wildlife agencies brought a Columbiana County wildlife violator to justice and curtailed poaching across state borders according to the ODNR.
ODNR Division of Wildlife and the Pennsylvania Game Commission worked together for over two years to collect and investigate tips of wildlife crimes submitted to the agencies by concerned citizens. These tips lead to the conviction of Kenneth Kelm, 67 of Leetonia, Ohio. There is a subsequent arrest warrant for an accomplice from Pennsylvania.
Kelm was found guilty in Columbiana County Municipal Court on 38 counts of records violations (failure to keep accurate records required of taxidermists), and one count of buying and selling wildlife. He was fined $2,000, ordered to serve 10 days in jail, received a two-year hunting privilege suspension, was ordered to forfeit all illegally possessed taxidermy mounts and wildlife parts which were seized by ODNR Division of Wildlife, and was ordered to serve a two-year probation. While serving probation, Kelm is not permitted to accept any new taxidermy business.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife encourages anyone who is aware of a possible violation of wildlife laws to call the Turn In a Poacher (TIP) line at 1-800-POACHER or to submit information online.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!