Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

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Beyond Ohio: Raccoon numbers surge in Iowa amid less trapping

In 2006, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources counted 2,417 raccoons in its nocturnal surveys in all of Iowa’s 99 counties. This year, it counted 6,486 – a surge of over 268% in the last 16 years. (Photo by Craig Bihrle)

Fond du Lac, Wis. — A deer hunter was rescued from the Fond du Lac River when his kayak overturned in the ice-filled water. Authorities said hunter had scouted the area prior to the incident when conditions were more favorable. The hunter launched the kayak at 6:15 a.m. and paddled upstream for about 60 minutes. At that point, he hit some ice and the kayak overturned. The water was mid-chest deep, but the man was not wearing waders or a life vest. His knee boots filled with water and eventually came off in the muck bottom.

The hunter was unable to get back into the kayak that was partially filled with water, so he tried to walk a quarter-mile to a launch point while carrying the gear he was able to salvage and later called 911. Rescuers found him leaning on a clump of cattails, he didn’t have the strength to stand. Rescuers said the man was suffering from cold exposure.


Raccoon Numbers Surging Amid Less Trapping

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (AP) — With the raccoon population in Iowa nearly tripling since 2006, more and more homeowners are becoming privy to raccoon issues.

In 2006, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources counted 2,417 raccoons in its nocturnal surveys in all of Iowa’s 99 counties. This year, it counted 6,486 – a surge of over 268% in the last 16 years, and an increase of 23% in the last year alone, despite localized outbreaks of fatal canine distemper virus.

The increase in raccoons coincides with a decrease in furbearer trapping license sales in Iowa and low pelt values in international fur markets, according to the Iowa DNR. Markets in Russia and China, some of the largest purchasers of furs, have been complicated by difficult foreign relations spurred by American support for Ukraine and Taiwan.

Data reported by the Des Moines Register shows that even in the last decade, the number of raccoons trapped has dramatically declined from about 308,000 in 2011 to about 34,500 in 2021.


7,400 Acres Acquired In Central Vermont

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A conservation deal is going to protect nearly 7,400 acres in Vermont’s Addison, Orange, and Windsor counties. The deal includes terrain along the spine and eastern flank of the Northfield Mountains. There are also six significant streams in the area that help form the headwaters of the Third Branch of the White River, a major tributary of the Connecticut River.

The land was bought from a timber company in 2014 by the Conservation Fund, then sold to Green Ridge, LLC, which conserved the property. The land will be managed for timber, its ecological value and provide public access for non-motorized recreational activities.


Arrests Made In 2018 Slaying Of Deer Hunter

Bath Township, Mich. (AP) — Two men have been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a hunter in a Michigan state park during the 2018 deer season.

Thomas Olson and Robert Rodway, both 34, were arraigned Dec. 22 on charges of felony murder and using a firearm during a felony. Chong Moua Yang’s body was found Nov. 16, 2018, in the Rose Lake State Wildlife Area in Bath Township, northeast of Lansing.

Yang, 68, frequently hunted in the area and his wife became alarmed when he failed to return home. Yang’s family located his car in a parking lot and followed two sets of footprints that led them to his body. Yang’s shotgun had and other items were stolen.

Witness testimony and a plastic bag with hunting spray recovered near the scene led police to Olson and Rodway. They were arrested Dec. 21.

North Dakota

Bismarck Man in Pickup Truck Hits Moose, Isn’t Seriously Injured

Bismarck, N.D. (AP) — A Bismarck man escaped serious injury after he struck a moose with his truck.

Steve Fleckenstein, 50, was heading home from work at the Falkirk Mine around 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 27 when he hit the bull moose on U.S. Highway 83 between Baldwin and Wilton, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

Burleigh County Sheriff’s Maj.

Jim Hulm said the animal was a “smaller bull moose” but it still caused major damage to Fleckenstein’s 2013 Chevrolet pickup. The vehicle had to be towed to a body shop.

“It took me and the (responding) deputy all we had to get (the moose) off the shoulder and into the ditch,” Fleckenstein said.

The sheriff’s department can issue a tag that allows a person to keep an animal killed in a vehicle crash. If the driver or no one nearby wants the carcass, deputies will call around to find a taker, Hulm said.

In this instance, a deputy ended up claiming the moose.

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