Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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May 18, 2014

MARTINO: Badgers are part of Hoosier outdoors

Ivy Tech planning Hunter Education course at Tipton

(Continued)

Although they provide little in terms of economic value, they are an amazing native wildlife species. Highly temperamental, they are the only true carnivore specifically adapted for digging. They sport stocky, low-slung bodies with short powerful legs and huge claws made perfectly for excavation. As you would guess, their preferred food sources are mice, ground squirrels and moles.

In Indiana badgers have few natural enemies as they are a formidable opponent to would-be attackers. Because of their low-to-the-ground, stocky nature, they are nearly impossible to knock over and are quick to inflict injury to anything that tries. Their thick skin hangs loose, so when grabbed by would-be predators, they can easily turn to inflict a powerful bite to their opponent.

Badgers have unique facial markings. The side of their head is usually white with patches of black. They almost always have a white stripe over the center of their head from tip of nose to the back of neck. Their coat is usually grizzled looking.

“It is difficult to mistake it for any other animal,” said Scott Johnson, DNR wildlife biologist. “Although their populations do continue to grow slowly, they are secretive in nature and are only occasionally seen.”

As with any wildlife species, if you would happen to encounter a badger, it’s best to appreciate their existence and view from a distance.

HUNTER ED. IN TIPTON

In a continued effort to provide life-benefiting classes, degrees, certifications and programs to a wide variety of youth and adults, Ivy Tech Community College will sponsor an IDNR-certified Hunter Education course at its Tipton Instructional site, located at 221 N. Main Street.

The program is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 31 and again from noon to 4 p.m. on June 1. It is important to note these classes are mandatory for everyone born after Dec. 31, 1986 before purchasing a valid Indiana hunting license. All participants who complete the course and pass the final exam will receive a certification good for life. It is so informative that Indiana’s certification is honored by other states as well.

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