GLADSTONE - As the summer wanes to autumn, black bear hunting season is soon approaching. The Hiawatha National Forest would like to offer a few reminders associated with the black bear hunting season.
"The Hiawatha National Forest provides nearly a million acres of public land for the use and enjoyment of the American people. We welcome hunters to the Upper Peninsula and to the forest," said Jo Reyer, Hiawatha National Forest supervisor,
To assure an enjoyable hunting experience, Reyer reminds black bear hunters dragging of Forest Service roads and trails is prohibited.
One method to detect the presence of black bear in an area is to look for tracks on roads with sandy substrates. Hunters sometimes will use a harrow or other device to smooth out the road surface to aid their ability to see bear tracks. This method, while effective is illegal when done on National Forest Service roads.
Dragging of roads causes a number of problems. First, it can increase the occurrence of non-native invasive plants by moving weed seeds from one location to another. Secondly, the drainage of the road can be negatively impacted. The creation of even a small furrow in the roadbed can result in moderate to severe erosion after a heavy downpour of rain.
Citations can be written if individuals decide to drag National Forest roads and trails.
There are some differences between hunting on state land verses National Forest land. For instance, hunters should remember that cross country motorized travel (such as OHVs) is prohibited on National Forest land, even for baiting or retrieval of big game.
Additional information on wheeled motor vehicle use, blinds, camping and special safety reminders for the Hiawatha National Forest can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/hiawatha.