DOW zeroes in on area where CWD found

By Al Smith - Guest Columnist

Now that there are two confirmed cases of CWD in Ohio’s wild deer herd, the next step for the Division of Wildlife (DOW) is trying to zero in on the area where both were killed and also the population that exists there.

Both deer, a mature buck and a mature doe, were taken within a 10-mile radius of where the buck was killed in Wyandot County. The buck was harvested on private property while the doe was taken on the Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area near Harpster.

The DOW plans continued surveillance in that specific area and plans on thinning the herd in the Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area. By reducing the deer density there, the wildlife agency hopes it can remove deer that have CWD. Citing a need for more tissue samples, the DOW is using this science-based method for that purpose. The agency wants to accomplish this before spring fawning season. The DOW had allowed additional deer to be killed on the area after the first deer was found to have CWD.

The deer taken during this operation will be held in cold storage. Following testing, those that do not have CWD will be processed with local food pantries being the recipients of that meat.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer and other similar species, including mule deer, elk, and moose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no strong evidence that CWD is transmissible to humans.

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Lima area bass pro Kyle Weisenburger had a couple of up and down tournaments during March.

After dealing with more cold and frozen weather and breaking ice to fish the first day of the Lake of the Ozarks event in Osage Beach, Missouri, in the Plains Division of the Toyota Series, the Columbus Grove angler wound up 29th and in the money.

He actually managed to get a limit in the last hour the opening day and sat in 21st place with 12 pounds, 8 ounces. He had four keepers the second day that weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and wound up with 19 pounds, 12 ounces for his two days.

“After the week of practice I had, I will call that week a success,” Weisenburger said.

That finish made him decide he would fish the other two tourneys in the Plains Division. His next tourney in the division is April 8-10 on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. The final tourney in that division is May 6-8 on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Arkansas. The top 25 anglers in each division of the Toyota qualify for the season-ending championship.

Weisenburger was not near as successful the following week on Lewis Smith Lake in Cullman, Alabama, on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit.

He would up 129th in the event and caught five bass that weighed 8 pounds, 14 ounces. His first day total was 3 pounds, 11 ounces on two keepers and his second day total was 5 pounds, 3 ounces on three keepers.

“This past tournament definitely did not go as well as I had hoped and really set me back in the points race (122nd). It’s time to regroup and get the train rolling on a hot streak,” Weisenburger said.

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Lawmakers have identified symbols to represent the state since the early 19th century since Ohio became a state in 1803. Over the next two centuries a dozen natural animals, plants, etc. have been among these symbols. Some of them are:

Quite likely the most recognizable is the northern cardinal. The cardinal is the state bird in seven states. The male is easily recognizable by its red color. It is a year-round resident of the state and has a beautiful song that it starts singing in the spring shortly before the sun rises. It was adopted as the state bird in 1933.

Another easily recognized state symbol is the white-tailed deer. Although is was extirpated from the state in the early 20th century, the population came back as deer were brought into the state or either made their way from Michigan or Pennsylvania. Deer now populate every part of Ohio, including suburbs and cities. A fun fact shows the state tree - the buckeye - is named because its nut resembles a male deer or a buck’s eye. The white-tailed deer was adopted in 1988.

The buckeye tree was adopted as the state tree in 1953. Ohioans referred to themselves as Buckeyes at least a century before that. The tree grows in conditions many other trees won’t and survives in an array of weather conditions. It’s wood does not burn well and its nut is toxic.

The state frog is a bullfrog, which is known by its deep croak that connects male bullfrogs with their own chorus line. It legs make great table fare although it is not easy to catch. It was adopted in 2010.

The Black Racer is the state snake, which was adopted in in 1995. It can grow to five feet long and has sharp teeth which inflict a painful bite. It can climb as high as 10 feet into trees. It is found mainly in eastern Ohio.

The state amphibian is the spotted salamander which was adopted in 2010. It is nocturnal, moving under the cover of night. It spends most of its time underground.

The state insect is the ladybug, which was pushed for by school children in Toledo. It was adopted in 1975. It’s a favored insect because it is not harmful and eats other insects. It also traveled into space as part of a NASA experiment.

The state wild flower is the large-flowered trillium, which was adopted in 1986. It is a perennial that can bloom for up to 25 years. The flower is a favorite of white-tailed deer, which eat it like children would candy.

Ohio does not have a state fish. Species have been proposed, but a consensus of which one has never been reached.

By Al Smith

Guest Columnist

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

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