With spring comes wildlife rule: enjoy from afar

The new white-tailed deer hunting regulations were approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council last week.
Deer-muzzleloader season will begin on Friday, Jan. 2, and end on Monday, Jan. 5, compared to last year when the season began on a Saturday and concluded on a Tuesday.
The October antlerless deer-muzzleloader weekend will be held for the second year.
Deer bag limits reflect the reduction of deer in many counties as numbers continue to move closer to target levels. Bag limits were reduced in 44 counties, increased in five, and 39 counties stayed the same.
The council also approved straight-walled cartridge rifles for deer hunting. The rifles are the same caliber and use the same straight-walled cartridges already legal for use in handguns. These rifles have reduced recoil compared to larger shotguns, while offering enhanced accuracy.
Legal cartridges are: .357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, .38 Special, .375 Super Magnum, .375 Winchester, .38-55, .41 Long Colt, .41 Magnum, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .444 Marlin, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .45 Long Colt, .45 Winchester Magnum, .45 Smith & Wesson, .454 Casull, .460 Smith & Wesson, .45-70, .45-90, .45-110, .475 Linebaugh, .50-70, .50-90, .50-100, .50-110 and .500 Smith & Wesson.
A new regulation states that both rifles and shotguns used for deer hunting be loaded with no more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined. This is a change from the law which required shotguns to be plugged.
This year’s deer seasons are:
• Archery: Sept. 27-Feb. 1.
• Antlerless deer muzzleloader: Oct. 11-12.
• Youth deer gun: Nov. 22-23.
• Deer gun: Dec. 1-7.
• Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 2-5, 2015.
All rule changes can be found at http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/.
Along the Way:
Spring has arrived and so has the season for young wildlife to start appearing. Please leave wildlife alone and enjoy from a distance.
“When a wildlife biologist or a wildlife officer receives a call regarding a seemingly abandoned fawn, for example, the first thing we suggest is to take the animal back to where it was found,” stated Scott Peters, wildlife management supervisor for northeast Ohio.
“Many wild animals are raised by only one adult or are not tended to during the daylight hours. A doe will hide her young from predators by leaving it alone in a secluded spot, such as a grassy meadow or a flower bed,” he said.
“A hidden fawn has virtually no scent and, when left alone, is difficult for predators to find. The doe tends to the fawn several times each night,” Peters said.
The Division of Wildlife offers this advice:
• Check for nests before cutting down trees or clearing brush. It’s best to cut trees and clear brush in the autumn when nesting season is over.
• Observe the animal from a distance for at least a few hours before calling officials for advice.
• Leave the animal in the wild. If you disturb a nest, wear gloves and replace the young animals and the nest material as close to the original location as possible.
• It’s a myth that wildlife parents won’t tend to young because of human scent.
• Keep pets under control so they don’t raid nests and injure wildlife. Keep pets inoculated against parasites and diseases.
• Educate children to respect wildlife and their habitat and not to handle wild animals.
Call 1-800-WILDLIFE or visit wildohio.com to be connected with a wildlife professional.
Step Outside:
• Today: Three-gun shoot. Set-up begins at 9 a.m. UCOA, 6943 Marion Township 243, Findlay.
• Tuesday: Women on Target evening shoot, 5:30 p.m. HCCL, 13748 Jackson Township 168, Findlay.
• Thursday-Friday: Trap and skeet, opens 5 p.m. UCOA, 6943 Marion Township 243, Findlay.
• April 27: IDPA Shoot, registration begins at 9 a.m. UCOA, 6943 Marion Township 243, Findlay.
Abrams is a retired wildlife officer supervisor for the state Division of Wildlife in Findlay. He can be reached at P.O. Box 413, Mount Blanchard, OH 45867-0413 or via email at jimsfieldnotes@aol.com

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