Ohio will be the next state to adopt a wildlife canine program.
As the Ohio hunting season comes to an end, the Ohio Division of Wildlife will just be getting starting in their 2018 training efforts. Ohio will be implementing a wildlife canine program that nearly 20 other states currently use.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources breaks the state down into five wildlife districts and within each district, one wildlife officer will become a handler. According to the Ohio Division of Wildlife website, these highly skilled canines undergo extensive training.
These dogs will be able to detect hidden wild game such as white-tailed deer, turkey, waterfowl, and fish. Additionally they'll be able to detect non-game scents, like ginseng, gun powder and people.
Several people commented on the Ohio Division of Wildlife Facebook page after the announcement of the program. Some are concerned this program is expensive and the money would be more useful elsewhere. But others are excited to hear of the department making efforts to help people and fight against poachers and trespassers.
Recently, Whitetails Unlimited, a nonprofit conservation organization, donated $25,000 toward the the canine program. They dedicate their resources to the betterment of white-tailed deer and their environment.
While the dogs will be able to locate downed game, this likely won't be available as a public service. With only one canine in each district, logistically, it would be unrealistic to have the canines respond to aide in the search of downed game.
The ODNR canine unit will begin their training efforts soon and should have their program ready by the 2018 hunting season.