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Blade Hunting Report: Veterans' hunt a tribute to Toledo Marine

The Blade - 12/16/2020

Dec. 16--FOSTORIA -- The Third Annual Rudy Beham Memorial Veterans' Hunt took place in ideal weather on Sunday at a farm north of town, with 16 veterans from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines taking part, along with one service member on active duty with the Ohio Army National Guard.

The military heroes were divided into small groups and, working with guides and bird dogs, they harvested 50 ring-necked pheasants.

As part of the event, each veteran introduced themselves to the gathering and received thanks for their service to our country. There was a hearty meal donated by Anderzack-Pitzen Construction, door prizes and a gun raffle.

The event honors Toledo native Rudy Beham and is sponsored by his sons. Beham, who grew up in West Toledo and graduated from DeVilbiss, enlisted in the Marines at 19 and a short time later he was part of a small American force that engaged a massive Chinese army in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. Outnumbered likely 10-to-1 and facing temperatures of 30-below zero, the Marines fought their way down an enemy-filled gauntlet that took them through narrow mountain passes and along a treacherous roadway as they tried to reach the relative safety of the coast. The battle lasted 17 days and there were more than 7,000 confirmed cases of frostbite on the U.S. side, including Rudy. He was part of "The Chosin Few", revered by service members of every era for their bravery, heroism and tenacity when facing overwhelming odds.

After returning to Toledo, Beham married, raised seven children with his wife Betty, and worked at Toledo Pipe Threading, and then at Libbey-Owens-Ford, spending 36 years there before retiring. Rudy Beham passed away at age 88 in 2018.

--Ohio/CWD: Hunters and wildlife watchers got the news they dreaded but feared was inevitable recently when the Ohio Division of Wildlife revealed that it had received a positive test for Chronic Wasting Disease in a deer from Ohio's wild herd. The diseased deer was an adult male taken earlier this fall by a hunter on private property in Wyandot County. After tissue samples were submitted for testing by a taxidermist, the CWD positive result came back on Dec. 10. CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer and other related species, such as mule deer, elk, and moose. There is no strong evidence that CWD is transmissible to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but hunters are advised to take precautions when handling and processing any harvested deer. The Division of Wildlife plans to implement its CWD response program which involves increased surveillance within a 10-mile radius of the location where the diseased animal was harvested. Mandatory deer disease sample collection will occur on all remaining Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area controlled hunts. Hunters who harvest a deer in Wyandot County during the remainder of the deer hunting archery and muzzleloader seasons will be contacted by Division of Wildlife staff to obtain samples to test for the disease. In a testing program that has been in place since 2002, biologists with the Division of Wildlife have tested more than 25,000 deer without finding a CWD positive deer in the wild herd. CWD has previously been detected at captive deer breeding facilities in Ohio, and in 26 states and four Canadian provinces since the disease was first identified in the western U.S. about 50 years ago. More information on CWD and the monitoring program in Ohio is available at the website.

--Bonus weekend: Hunters in Ohio will have two additional days of gun hunting available this Saturday and Sunday. The Division of Wildlife reported that an estimated 310,000 hunters participated during Ohio's weeklong deer-gun season Nov. 30 to Dec. 6. The state's muzzleloader season takes place Jan. 2 to 5, 2021, while the lengthy archery season in Ohio continues through Feb. 7, 2021.


--Pumpkin head: Allen County wildlife officer Craig Barr got word that fellow officer Antoinette Jolliff in Hancock County was trying to help a button buck that had its head stuck inside a plastic pumpkin. Several other people were on hand to assist, but the animal's erratic and panicked movements in the farm field made it challenging. Finally, one of the individuals was able to control the deer while another person grabbed the orange bucket, which had its handles stuck on the buck's antler buttons. Barr said the deer appeared to be unharmed and quickly ran off. "It was a much better ending than having to put the animal down," he said. "We see stuff like this on occasion because when you are a wildlife officer, there is no such thing as a normal day."


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