Clearing out some notes and tidbits as we head into a new year …
Each year people you deal with in the outdoors retire. One of them this year was Bob Radcliff, state wildlife officer supervisor in Unit A in northwest Ohio. Three Limaland counties are part of Unite A including Allen, Putnam and Van Wert. Other counties in that unit are Defiance, Henry, Paulding and Williams.
Radcliff retired Nov. 30. He had been a supervisor since 1993. He had been the wildlife officer in Williams County prior to becoming a supervisor. He also worked for the Division of Wildlife in other capacities including at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area.
“I have enjoyed my career with the Division of Wildlife (DOW), especially the opportunities to contribute to the direction of the Division,” said Radcliff in a DOW news release. ” I have thoroughly enjoyed working with like-minded individuals who are committed to the wildlife resources of the state. I am looking forward to non-law enforcement business opportunities in the future.”
Other wildlife officers and personnel from the DOW have retired. Wildlife officer positions may be filled from officers transferring from other counties. Supervisor positions likely require a posting and interview process, according to one DOW source.
Before Radcliff retired, he and Allen County wildlife officer Craig Barr encountered what they thought was an odd situation while attending the Lt. Col. Ted Epple Veterans With Disabilities Deer Hunt in Allen County.
During the hunt, they saw a man at a nearby house fire two shots at passing geese. Radcliff had already seen a goose fall from the sky after hearing a shot, which was from the man standing by the house. This was all perfectly legal and the man showed his licenses to the officers who had approached him.
Noting the man had his legal licenses, Barr checked the shotgun to see if it was capable of holding only three shells — the maximum allowed to hunt waterfowl.
It did not. The gun could hold six shells after Barr was able to put five shells into the gun magazine tube. The gun already had one shell in the chamber. The hunter received a ticket for hunting waterfowl with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.
Radcliff helped the hunter cut a piece of wood and put it into the gun’s magazine, which allowed the maximum three shells to hunt waterfowl while Barr was writing out the ticket.
The hunter wound up paying $210 in fines and costs in Lima Municipal Court.
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A hunter in Mercer County during the deer-gun season discovered his philosophy did not coincide with deer hunting regulations.
According to the DOW, the man harvested a deer without having a valid deer permit. Wildlife officers Ryan Garrison and Kelsey Brockman learned the man stated he had not harvested a deer in prior years while purchasing a deer permit. He decided he would hunt and after killing his deer went and bought a deer tag. He had stated he did not want to spend the money on a permit unless he killed a deer.
The hunter was charged with hunting without a valid deer permit and possessing a deer without a valid deer tag. He was assessed $500 in fines and court costs.
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The final firearms season for deer comes up next weekend with the annual muzzleloader season slated for Jan. 2-5. Bow season continues through Feb. 1.
During the season DOW biologists will be collecting tissue samples from deer harvested in certain townships of Holmes County. Hunters are requested to submit the heads of harvested deer. They will work at the Millersburg Fire Station Jan. 2, 3 and 5.
Following the recent detection of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a captive white-tailed deer from a private Holmes County operation, the DOW has been increasing its efforts to monitor the health of Ohio’s wild deer herd in the vicinity of the affected facility.
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Any time a new hunting rule goes into effect, one hears what the negative ramifications might be. Such was the case a year ago when firearm hunting seasons for deer were extended until 30 minutes after sunset. After sunset shooting was nothing new to bow hunters and small game hunters.
The change was not all that huge for many hunters. The change helped eliminate confusion when someone archery hunted one day then gun hunted the next.
Granted there were and will be days when it is just too dark to hunt that late. This is decision time for hunters. Remember, safety should always be your primary concern. I have left a blind or a treestand over the years early because it was just too dark to hunt. One waterfowl hunter I know commented there have been days when it is too foggy to ID ducks. Consequently, he has waited to shoot.
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A pair of Ohio’s sister states — Michigan and Pennsylvania — allow a limited elk season.
Michigan’s is broken into an early and late season and a possible third one in January. However, since the first two seasons achieved Michigan DNR’s goal, there will not be a January hunt this year.
Amazingly nearly 30,000 eligible Michigan hunters applied for 100 elk licenses. The early season was Aug. 26-29, Sept. 12-15 and Sept. 26-29 while the late season was Dec. 6-14. Each season had quotas of 15 any — elk or bull licenses and 35 antlerless licenses. Hunters during the early season harvested 37 elk — 13 bulls, 23 cows and 1 calf, while late-season hunters harvested 41 elk — 14 bulls and 27 cows.
Hunters follow strict rules.
Each elk hunter must have his harvest checked by DNR staff. Harvest location, sex of the animal, antler information and field age are recorded. An incisor tooth also is pulled on each elk to determine an exact age of the animal at the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab in East Lansing at a later date. Because elk can travel within the bovine tuberculosis area and can contract TB, every elk harvested is tested for TB and the harvest site is field-checked by DNR staff to ensure the health of the animal and legality of the kill site.