Local outdoor folk know well what roams in the Ohio countryside.
But did you ever wonder what life was like in the 1700s and early 1800s and what wild creatures were roaming Ohio in those Good Old Days? The answers might surprise you.
Readers may think that our area was once an unending expanse of huge forest trees, and that was true for the most part. But there were also large areas of swamps and prairies, kept that way by frequent fires set by the Indians. Those fires brought new grass and herbs, and made good forage for many animals from deer to buffalo.
When Ohio became a state in 1803, there were plenty of black bear, wolves, deer, and wild turkey. But the bears were hunted hard for their meat (bear bacon), skins, and most particularly fat, which was used for everything from cooking to smearing on face and hands as a mosquito repellent. They didn't last long after 1820 or so.