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Tuesday, February 27th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Tuesday, February 27th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Ohio Mixed Bag: Franklin County gets new wildlife officer

Columbus — Ohio wildlife officer Mark Williams, of Vermilion, has a new assignment in Franklin County, according to the Ohio DNR (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. A 2023 graduate of the Wildlife Officer Academy, Williams previously served as an officer in Ashtabula County. He replaces Ohio wildlife officer Brad Kiger, who was recently promoted to wildlife officer supervisor.

Williams graduated from Vermillion High School, then from Bowling Green State University with a degree in criminal justice. During his down time, Officer Williams enjoys reading, writing, and target shooting.

To reach Officer Williams directly, call 614-902-4212. To report suspicious activity involving wildlife, call (800) POACHER (762-2437). Reports can remain anonymous.

East Funk Bottoms, Muddy Fork Projects Completed Through H2Ohio

Wooster, Ohio — As part of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, the Ohio DNR (ODNR) recently celebrated the completion of the new East Funk Bottoms and Muddy Fork wetland projects and the beginning of the new West Funk Bottoms project.

The East Funk Bottoms Project has been transformed into wetlands to help reduce erosion and filter sediment and runoff from a heavy agricultural use area. It is adjacent to the Muddy Fork project. Both projects will help filter nutrients during heavy rain events and limit the amount of nutrient flow into the Kiser ditch which ultimately feeds into the Ohio River. They are both within the Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area, a popular place for hunting and birding.

The East Funk Bottoms Project was completed in partnership with The Wilderness Center and the Wayne County Community Foundation. The Wilderness Center purchased the project site and restored the wetland area that sits within the floodplain of the Mohican River. The project will capture drainage from nearby farm fields while holding and treating water through the addition of multiple shallow vernal pools. The site will be seeded with native warm season grasses and trees to further aid in sediment erosion and nutrient reduction.

The Muddy Fork project was also in partnership with the Wayne County Community Foundation as well as the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. The 135 acre project will reduce the amount of nutrient runoff into the Muddy Fork River. A shallow wetland was also constructed to capture any additional runoff.

Deer-Related Crashes On The Increase

Columbus — The Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Insurance, Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio DNR, Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission, and AAA want to remind motorists of the increase in deer-related traffic crashes this time of year.

Statistics from the Ohio State Highway Patrol show there have been 104,328 deer-related crashes on Ohio’s roadways since 2018. While 95% of deer-related crashes resulted only in property damage, 33 crashes resulted in fatal injuries to motorists, with a total 34 people being killed. Additionally, 47% of these crashes occurred in October, November, and December.

“Ohio drivers should keep in mind that deer activity always increases during this time of year – especially at dawn and dusk,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “With Ohio’s strengthened distracted driving laws now in place, we anticipate that more drivers will stay alert to their surroundings, and as a result, we hope fewer deer-related crashes will take place this fall.”

Deer Hunters Can Donate Venison

Columbus — The Ohio DNR (ODNR) Division of Wildlife is once again partnering with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to support local food banks with donated venison. Through this program, FHFH and participating processors donate harvested deer to charitable organizations throughout Ohio.

RELATED STORY FROM OUTDOOR NEWS:

Partnerships in Ohio help hunters serve the hungry

Hunters who harvest a deer and would like to donate the venison can bring it to one of 26 certified deer processing shops in Ohio. Each donated deer is provided to a verified charitable organization that offers food assistance. One harvested deer yields approximately 50 pounds of venison and 200 meals.

Find the complete list of processors accepting donations of harvested deer at feedingthehungry.org. Hunters who donate their deer are not required to pay for the processing of the venison.

This program encourages the harvest of deer for the purpose of wildlife management in Ohio, as well as provide for the wise and charitable use of the wildlife resource for direct public benefit. During the 2022-23 hunting season, FHFH coordinated the processing of 1,132 deer donated by Ohio hunters. Approximately 60 charitable organizations then distributed venison.

$52 Million Headed To Ducks Unlimited

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced major investments in climate-smart agriculture practices, including four projects totaling $52 million awarded to Ducks Unlimited (DU).

The grants are awarded under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), which incentivizes a voluntary, partnership-driven approach to conservation on working agricultural lands. The DU-led projects to receive funding are located in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The funding is part of a $1.7 billion investment by USDA.

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