Outdoor briefs, May 27

Ohio Wildlife Council OKs 2018-19 hunting regs

COLUMBUS — The 2018-19 hunting and trapping seasons have been approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

White-tailed deer hunting changes include modifications to antlerless harvest on public land following the weeklong deer gun season.

An overview of deer hunting seasons for 2018-19 include deer archery, Sept. 29-Feb. 3; youth deer gun, Nov. 17-18; deer gun, Nov. 26-Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-16; deer muzzleloader, Jan. 5-8.

A reduction in the bag limit, from three deer to two deer, was approved for Jefferson County. This change is designed to encourage herd growth in Jefferson County.

All other county bag limits remain the same. The statewide bag limit remains at six deer. Only one deer may be antlered, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit.

In other rule changes, only antlered deer may be taken from public hunting areas following the weeklong deer gun season (beginning Dec. 3). In addition, no more than one antlerless deer may be taken from public hunting areas per license year, except from an ODNR Division of Wildlife authorized control hunt.

Changes to waterfowl hunting regulations include the hen mallard bag limit increased to two per day. Pintail and black duck bag limits also increased to two per day. The waterfowl bag limit for ducks and geese is consistent statewide and does not change by zone. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service oversees all migratory bird regulations, including Ohio’s hunting seasons.

Fall wild turkey hunting was expanded to three additional counties — Erie, Hancock and Lucas. Harvest records and research indicates wild turkey populations have increased in these areas to a point where a fall harvest will not impact overall numbers. Fall wild turkey hunting is Oct. 13-Nov. 25 in 70 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Controlled hunt applications accepted beginning Friday

Applications are to accepted beginning Friday for controlled deer and waterfowl hunts on selected areas during the 2018-19 season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The application period remains open through July 31.

Hunters can apply by completing the application process online using Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System at wildohio.gov. There is a non-refundable application fee of $3 per hunt.

Hunters will be drawn randomly. Successful applicants will be notified and provided additional hunt information by mail and email. Applicants are encouraged to visit Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System online to view the status of their application and, if selected, print their controlled hunt permit.

More information about hunt dates and locations, including opportunities dedicated to youth, women and mobility-impaired hunters, can be found at wildohio.gov on the Controlled Hunts page.

Wyoming approves grizzly hunt in Yellowstone area

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A debate over whether the Yellowstone ecosystem’s grizzly bear population can thrive while being hunted is to be put to the test this fall after Wyoming officials Wednesday approved the state’s first grizzly hunt in 44 years.

The hunt, approved 7-0 by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, could allow as many as 22 grizzlies to be killed in a wide area east and south of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

Hunt proponents and opponents made last-minute pleas before the commission, which held several public meetings on the hunt around the state and tweaked the hunt rules in response to some previous comments.

“Even with a hunting season, I believe there are going to be plenty of grizzly bears on the landscape for people to photograph and come and see,” Todd Stevie with the Sublette County Outfitters and Guides Association told the commission.

Environmentalists and nature photographer Tom Mangelsen, a Jackson Hole resident whose famous images include a salmon leaping into the gaping jaws of an Alaskan brown bear, doubted that.

“Killing grizzlies for fun, when there is ample scientific evidence that the population is not growing, food sources have already been diminished, and the further effects of climate change is unknown, is preposterous,” Mangelsen told the commissioners.

The region also includes parts of Montana and Idaho and is home to some 700 grizzlies, up from 136 when they were listed as a threatened species in 1975. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed federal protections for grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem in 2017.