It is a 1,400-mile drive to Bouctouche, in the Canadian maritime province of New Brunswick on the Atlantic coast, but for nine Toledo-area black bear hunters, the haul is worth the road-grind.
That is because all of them got their bears. Chip Evanoff, a Sylvania physician and enthusiastic bear hunter who organizes an annual New Brunswick trip, said he keeps going back simply because the place is loaded with bears.
"We were nine for nine again this year," he said. Two years ago Evanoff shot a monster of a bear, 650 pounds, which was impressive enough to make the cover of Bear Hunting magazine last year. But that was the bear of a lifetime and the bear-of-most-interest this spring was a boar of more than 400 pounds. He is still walking.
Jason Napierala of Metamora took the largest bear in the camp this year at 260 pounds, said Evanoff. The most unusual, however, was a three-legged bear of 240 pounds taken by Rachelle Raymer-Gilbert of Sylvania.
Evanoff said she was on a stand in an area frequented by the 400-pounder when the unusual bear came in. "Obviously this was not the big bear she was hoping for, but she knew that she could not let this animal go," Evanoff said. He added that an examination of the bear showed its forelimb has completely healed from an old, undetermined injury. It was Raymer-Gilbert's fifth bear.
"This area is rolling farmland with big groves of woods," summed up Evanoff. "There are a lot of bears. Every year everybody gets an opportunity. Our outfitter [Donald Hebert of HeBear Lodge] does a lot of hard work.
"We saw 72 bears in five days last year in a camp of nine people." This year Evanoff himself saw seven bears during the hunt, ultimately taking a 225-pounder with his muzzleloading rifle.
Other hunters in the crew were Lou Takacs, the East Toledo meat market proprietor; Jim Diebel of Blissfield, Mich.; Rick Bunge, Sylvania; Mick Raich of Palmyra, Mich.; Tom Napierala, Metamora, and Terry Fleck, Swanton.
Seven Defiance County individuals charged with 56 wildlife poaching-related violations have been sentenced in Defiance Municipal Court to a combined total of more than $17,000 in fines, costs, and restitution in a deer poaching case, the Ohio Division of Wildlife said.
Wildlife authorities last year had been made aware of a
series of violations through an anonymous tip. Deer were the principal targets of the group, though other animals were illegally killed when the opportunity presented itself, according to Mark Weihrauch, a Wildlife District 2 investigator.
He said the poaching took place primarily in northern Defiance County and mostly involved shooting deer at night with a rifle and spotlight. Meat from the poached animals was then turned into jerky and sold, Weihrauch said.
Last Oct. 28 state wildlife officers served a search warrant and questioned several individuals, in the process seizing more than 60 items, including an ATV and trailer, several firearms, several mounted deer heads, a mounted black bear, a mounted fox, numerous untagged deer parts, several packages of deer and wild turkey meat, a spotlight, and an array of deer-processing equipment.
Following are the individuals convicted in the case and their sentences:
•Israel S. Miller, 30, Defiance, found guilty on 32 charges and ordered to pay $10,000 in fines, costs, and restitution. He also was sentenced to 1,590 days in jail with all suspended on the condition of no similar offenses for five years. He surrendered hunting privileges for nine years.
•William G. Snook, 29, Defiance, found guilty on nine charges and ordered to pay $2,890 in fines, costs, and restitution. He was sentenced to 480 days jail with all suspended if no offenses in five years. He lost hunting privileges for nine years.
•Nathan D. Schindler, 30, Bryan, found guilty on seven charges with $2,590 in fines, costs and restitution, 420 days jail suspended if no more violations in five years, and loss of hunting privileges for nine years.
•Chris Schindler, 28, Bryan, two violations, $514 in costs, fines, and restitution, 120 days jail suspended if no further offenses for three years, and loss of hunting privileges for three years.
•John M. Coressel, 25, Defiance, three violations, $768 in fines, costs, and restitution, 180 days jail suspended if no more offenses in three years, loss of hunting privileges for three years.
•Rolland Hahn, 54, Bryan, one charge, $140 in fines and costs.
•Lynn D. Miller, 31, Defiance, charges dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
An update in the headcount of Toledo's peregrine falcon crop for 2008 now shows nine young falcons being reared in three nests, up from an initial report of seven from the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
Scott Butterworth, wildlife management supervisor for Ohio Wildlife District 2, said four chicks were banded atop the former Commodore Perry Motor Inn downtown, twice the originally posted number.
Two more chicks were banded at the nest-box in the University Hall Tower at the University of Toledo, and three at the Bay Shore Power Plant. A nest there, under a conveyor belt, was moved to an artificial box atop the roof of the plant to better protect the birds, according to Butterworth.
Today and Tomorrow Toledo Trap and Ske et Club, 5 to 9 p.m., 3150 State Rt. 295, Berkey; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.; call the club, 419-829-5101.
Tonight Trapshoot, 6 p.m., Lakeland Trap Club, State Rt. 163 west of I-280, Lake Township, singles and doubles, practice and protection shoots; also, Thursday, 6 p.m., practice and Oakleys; also, Sunday, noon, practice; call Lynn Witker 419-308-0287.
Tonight Rain garden workshop, 6 p.m., Old Woman Creek Reserve /Visitor Center, 2514 Cleveland Road East, Huron; call the center 419-433-4601.
Tonight Toledo Sail and Power Squadron, general membership meeting, 5:30 p.m. social hour, 6:30 p.m. picnic, Indian Hills Boat Club, River Road, Maumee; call Nancy Bell 419-726-2447.
Tonight Public trapshoot, 6 to 10 p.m., Dundee Sportsmen s Club, 2300 Plank Rd., Dundee, Mich., repeats Thursday 9 a.m. to noon and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.; call the club 734-529-3581.
Tonight Public trap and skeet shooting, 6 to 11 p.m., Camp Perry Shooting Club, Camp Perry, State Rt. 2 west of Port Clinton, repeats Thursday 6 to 11 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m., call the club, 419-635-2682.
Tomorrow Friends of Pearson, 7 p.m., Pearson Metropark/Packer-Hammersmith Center; also, Saturday, tomahawk making, 1 to 4 p.m., Providence Metropark/Isaac Ludwig Mill, with blacksmith Butch Sheely; also, volunteers to help restore oak savanna, 9 a.m., Oak Openings Preserve Metropark/Buehner Center porch, call for reservations 419-407-9700; also, Sunday, program on frogs, turtles, and snakes, 10:30 a.m., Side Cut Metropark/Riverview Area, call for reservations.
Tomorrow 250-yard shoot, Sandusky County Sportsmen s Club, State Rt. 600 east of Gibsonburg, call Dave Imm 419-466-4976; also, Thursday, trapshoot, 6 p.m., call Phil Ritter 419-637-2991.
Thursday Public trapshoot, 6 p.m., Progressive Fishing Association, 7576 Schadel Rd., Whitehouse, call Mike Adcock 419-877-9393.
Thursday Trapshoot, 5 p.m., Fulton County Sportsmen s Club, County Road 14 just north of Wauseon; visit www.fultoncosportsmenclub.org.
Thursday Trapshoot, 6 to 9 p.m., Ottawa Lake Sportsmen s Club, 9480 Memorial Hwy., Ottawa Lake, Mich.; call Jim Smith 419-360-4910.
Thursday Public trapshoot, 6 to 9 p.m., Ottawa County Conservation League, Martin-Moline Road, Martin; call Bob Reinbolt, 419-855-8409.
Thursday and Friday Public trap and skeet shooting, 5 p.m., United Conservation and Outdoor Association of Hancock County, Township Road 243 north of U.S. 224, east of Findlay, Friday, 8 p.m., protection trap; call Don Borkosky, 419-427-4236.
Saturday Northwest Ohio Canoe and Kayak Club, paddling at Farnsworth Metropark, Maumee River, Waterville, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., call Herb Delventhal 419-784-3953.
Saturday Free catfi sh tournament, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mary Jane Thurston State Park, State Rt. 65 west of Grand Rapids, register at day-use lodge near Grand Rapids Dam, best flathead and best channel catcfi sh; call naturalist Natalie Miller 419-348-7679.
Saturday National Trails Day hike, 8 a.m., Wolf Creek Park/campground entrance, State Rt. 53 south of Fremont along Sandusky River; call the Sandusky County park District 419-334-4495; also, stream water-quality monitoring, 10 a.m., Sandusky River, Wolf Creek Park/canoe launch, call the park district to register.
Saturday Bowshoots: Winameg Sportsmen s Club, Blissfi eld, Mich., register 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 30 3-D targets, call Bill Strouse 517-486-3691; also, Sunday, Tomahawk Archers, 2085 Erie Rd., Temperance, Mich., register 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 30 3-D, call Jay Kimura 419-351-8190.
Monday Public trapshoot, 6 p.m., Wolf Creek Sportsmen s Association, 349 Teachout Rd., north of State Rt. 2, Curtice; voice-activated traps now available; call Rick Ferguson, 419-836-5264.
Monday through June 11 Boating education course, 6 to 9 p.m. nightly, City of Toledo boating Education offi ce, 2201 Ottawa Dr., call the offi ce 419-936-3848.