Month: October 2011

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Ohio Waterfowl Hunting Seasons Sneaking Up Fast

Geese Standing in Spokane River, near Spokane,...

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COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio hunters should have good opportunities to take some of the most popular species of waterfowl, based on the findings of biologists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The spring pond index for the prairie pothole region of North America (Kansas to central Saskatchewan) and breeding duck surveys indicate a better than average reproduction year for most duck species. Ponds are housing above normal numbers and good production has been noted from most of the primary breeding range.

Closer to home, the Upper Great Lakes states and eastern Canadian provinces showed good to excellent mallard nesting and brood rearing habitat conditions and breeding populations similar to 2010. The Upper Great Lakes are the primary breeding range for mallards harvested in Ohio. Mallards are Ohio’s most harvested duck and can be found throughout the state.

Wood ducks, which are the second most harvested duck in Ohio and the state’s number one breeding duck, appear to also have had a good production year.

Canada geese are overall the most harvested waterfowl in the Buckeye State and can be found in good numbers throughout Ohio. In-state giant Canada geese had the highest population estimate this spring and all indications are there was fair to good production across the state. Migrant interior populations (Southern James Bay and Mississippi Valley) of Canada geese have also had good production. With proper weather, the hunting outlook is good to very good.

With good habitat conditions, Ohio hunters will enjoy a liberal 60-day hunting season again this year. Pintail continued to increase in population which will allow a two-bird bag for the second year in a row. Scaup showed a slight increase in population, and will see a two-bird bag for the entire 60-day season. The canvasback population increased slightly, and there will be a full season in 2011.

The success of Ohio waterfowl hunters has more to do with weather conditions and local habitat conditions rather than continental ducks populations. State wildlife areas are in good condition with excellent fall food potential.

Details of the waterfowl and all other hunting seasons can be found in the Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations and in Ohio Waterfowl Hunting Seasons Publication 5295. Hunters can also review seasons and regulations online at wildohio.com.

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com

 

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Ohio Fall Colors Near Peak

Veterans Park, Avon Lake, OH

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COLUMBUS, OH – Near peak conditions are becoming evident across the northern part of Ohio while the rest of the Buckeye State is still seeing predominantly green hues, according to Fall Color Forester Casey Burdick with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“Honey locusts and black walnuts are now adding yellows to the mix with near peak conditions beginning to take shape in the northern part of the state,” said Burdick. “For a scenic drive, I recommend the I-77 corridor from Marietta to Canton or in the Cuyahoga Valley area, which should be a picturesque backdrop amid the weekends forecasted sunny skies.”

Burdick also noted that walnuts and acorns are beginning to drop, providing opportunities to view native wildlife attracted to such a readily available food source.

Fall wild turkey hunting opens in 48 Ohio counties on Saturday, October 8 and continues through Sunday, November 27. Ruffed grouse hunting season also starts Saturday, October 8 and runs through January 31, 2012. For more info on fall wild turkey or ruffed grouse hunting, go towww.wildohio.com.

This coming weekend, check out the following events at one of your Ohio State Parks…

Fall Festival & CampoutAlum Creek (C) – Oct. 7-8. Celebrate the season with campsite decorating and costume contests, pumpkin carving, treats & crafts.  All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis.  Check campsite availability at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (740) 548-4631.

Halloween CampoutPaint Creek (SW) – Oct. 7-8.  Get ready for Halloween with campsite decorating and costume contests, hay rides & trick or treat. All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis.  Check campsite availability at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (937) 981-7061 or (937) 393-4284.

Halloween CampoutLake Loramie (NW) – Oct. 7-9. Join fellow campers for seasonal fun including pumpkin carving, campsite decorating, trick or treat, movies, games & a potluck supper.  All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis.  Check campsite availability atwww.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (937) 295-2011.

“Louie” Historical Drama, Malabar Farm (NE) – Oct. 7-9. Package includes a house tour, BBQ dinner, and theatrical production of Louis Bromfield’s life story.  Fri. & Sat. performances start at 7 PM; dinner at 6 PM; self-guided house tours 4-6 PM. Sun. performances start at 3 PM; dinner at 2 PM; self-guided house tours Noon-2 PM. Tickets are $35 per person. (419) 892-2784.

Fall Color WalkMalabar Farm (NE) – Oct. 8, 10 AM-Noon. Meet at the visitor center for a pleasant two-mile hike along color drenched trails through woods and meadows. (419) 892-2784.

Autumn Lighthouse FestivalMarblehead Lighthouse (NW) – Oct. 8, 10 AM-5 PM. This annual festival highlights the best of the community of Lakeside and its Lake Erie heritage with historic displays, entertainment, crafts, food & lighthouse tours. For more information about the event, call(419) 734-4424 ext. 2 or www.lake-erie.com.

Fall Color Canoe Paddle, Van Buren (NW) – Oct. 9, 2-4 PM. Get some exercise and an eyeful of stunning fall color. A limited number of canoes are provided, and a $10 donation is requested per canoe. Participants must pre-register. To pre-register and for more information about the event, call(419) 832-7662.

The ODNR fall color Web page is the premier guide to Ohio’s fall color season, posting weekly color updates and information to help plan leaf-peeping adventures. Weekly videos from Fall Color Forester Casey Burdick will highlight color hot spots around the state and provide informative tidbits about some of Ohio’s 100-plus tree species. This page also offers helpful links for leaf collecting tips,scenic road trips, and more. Looking for some great fall getaway ideas?  The Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism has numerous itinerary ideas at www.discoverohio.com under their Autumn Adventures feature.  And don’t forget to fall ODNR on Facebook and Twitter all season long.

Ohio’s 75 state parks, 21 state forests and 134 state nature preserves provide excellent locations to view fall foliage. Here are the most current reports from selected locations:

Location Region Color Condition
Alum Creek/Delaware/Mt. Gilead Central Changing
Beaver Creek/Guilford Lake East Changing
Blue Rock/Dillon East Changing
Buck Creek West Changing
Burr Oak Southeast Changing
Caesar Creek Southwest Changing
Deer Creek Central Near Peak
Harrison Lake Northwest Changing
Hocking Hills Southeast Changing
Hueston Woods Southwest Near Peak
Indian Lake West Near Peak
John Bryan West Changing
Lake Hope Southeast Changing
Malabar Farm Northeast Near Peak
Mohican Northeast Near Peak
Paint Creek/Pike Lake Southwest Changing
Punderson Northeast Near Peak
Salt Fork Southeast Changing
Shawnee Southwest Changing
Sycamore West Near Peak
Tar Hollow Southeast Near Peak
Van Buren Northwest Near Peak
Wing Foot Northeast Near Peak
Zaleski Southeast Changing

COLOR CONDITION KEY: Changing – Still mostly green, less than 25 percent color. Near Peak – Significant color showing – anywhere from 30 to 60 percent color. Peak – Peak colors – as much as 85 percent showing. Fading – Fading from peak conditions and leaves falling to forest floor.

 

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Ohio Fall Turkey Season: Might be a Bad Year

Wild turkey in flight.

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COLUMBUS, OH – Fall wild turkey hunting opens in 48 Ohio counties on Saturday, October 8, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The season continues through Sunday, November 27.

“Record rainfall and regional flooding during the nesting season negatively affected wild turkey production this year,” said Wildlife Biologist Mike Reynolds. “Some renesting may have helped to offset early nest failures, but hunters will likely find fewer turkeys this fall. Brood production in two of the last three years (2009 and 2011) has been the lowest on record.”

Hunters harvested 1,425 wild turkeys during last year’s fall season. Reynolds added that Ohio’s current wild turkey population is approximately 180,000. He anticipates as many as 15,000 people, not counting private landowners hunting on their own property, will enjoy Ohio’s fall wild turkey season.

Only one turkey of either sex may be taken during the entire fall season. A Fall Turkey Hunting Permit is required. Hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Shotguns using shot, crossbows, and longbows are permitted. Hunting turkeys over bait is prohibited. Turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. on the day the bird is shot.

All hunters must still report their harvest of turkeys, but they are no longer required to take their turkey to a check station for physical inspection. Hunters will have three options to complete the automated game check:

Game-check transactions will be available online and by telephone seven days a week and during holidays. Landowner hunters who are not required to purchase a fall turkey permit must use the Internet or any license agent to check their turkey. Hunters who tag their turkey as a landowner harvest cannot use the phone-in method. All authorized license sales agents will also check in your game. A list of these agents can be found at www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/dow/regulations/vendor.aspx or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife advises turkey hunters to wear hunter orange clothing when entering, leaving or moving through hunting areas in order to remain visible to others.

Additional details regarding fall wild turkey hunting and safety information can be found in Publication 85, Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations, or online at wildohio.com.

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at ohiodnr.com.


 

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Oct. 1 Fall Colors and Weather Starts With a Bang: Ohio Fall Festivals

Ginkgo leaves shown in their fall color, yellow.

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COLUMBUS, OH – The first week of autumn is ushering in an array of colors as Ohio begins its fall color transformation, according to Casey Burdick, Fall Color Forester for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“Many maple and ash trees are welcoming us into this year’s fall color season,” said Burdick. “The white ash are showing dark purples while the green ash are glowing with vibrant yellows and golden oranges. Various maples, especially along the edges of woods and in urban areas, are showing some early color; dogwoods are also showing some awesome dark reds.”

Trees in urban or wet areas, which are more prone to stress are starting to show a little color as well. The stress can be caused by extra heat, soil compaction, irregular watering, or even pollution.

Ohioans and out of state visitors who are waiting for peak fall color are encouraged to head outside and enjoy the crisp fall days leading up to it. Ohio state parks and nature preserves are offering a variety of activities that all can enjoy. The burst of color at the onset of the season provides a perfect backdrop for hikers, bikers or horseback riders who make their way across the hundreds of miles of publicly accessible trails. The brilliance of fall color will add to the excitement disc golf and golf, which can be played on beautiful, award-winning courses at several state parks. Anglers and boaters can also get priceless perspectives of amazing fall foliage as it reflects in the rippling water along miles of shoreline and waterways.

This coming weekend, check out the following events at one of your Ohio State Parks…

Fall Festival, Delaware (C) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1 at the campground. Welcome fall with fall crafts, games, wagon & boat rides, movies, decorated campsite & costume contests. All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis. Check campsite availability at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (740) 548-4631.

Halloween Campout #1, East Harbor (NW) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1. Get ready for Halloween with scarecrow & decorated campsite contests, kids’ crafts and games, hayrides, a haunted house, bonfire & cookout. All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis. Check campsite availability at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (419) 734-4424 ext. 2.

Fall Campout, Findley (NE) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1. Enjoy seasonal crafts, trick or treating, hayrides and haunted trail.  All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis. Check campsite availability atwww.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (440) 647-5749.

Halloween Bash, Mosquito Lake (NE) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1. This family friendly weekend of Halloween fun for campers includes trick or treating, movies, games, a decorated bike & stroller parade, campsite & costume decorating contests, and a potluck dinner. Check campsite availability and reserve your site at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (330) 637-2856.

Pioneer Days, Beaver Creek (NE) – Oct. 1-2 at the pioneer village & Gaston’s Mill. Enjoy the backdrop of fall color for this heritage event featuring craft displays and demonstrations of pioneer life, including the working grist mill. (330) 382-9227. The nearby Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center is open from 10 AM-5 PM, with fun duck races held at 3 PM on Sunday. For more information about the event, call (330) 385-3091or visit www.beavercreekwildlife.org.

Apple Butter Festival, Hueston Woods (SW) – Oct. 1-2 at the pioneer farm. Savor the sights, smells and tastes of fall with demonstrations of traditional apple butter making and pioneer crafts. Apples and apple products, pumpkins and decorative gourds are for sale. There is a $2 admission fee for adults; children under 12 are free. Proceeds benefit the Oxford Museum Association. For more information about this event call (513) 524-4250.

The ODNR fall color Web page is the premier guide to Ohio’s fall color season, posting weekly color updates and information to help plan leaf-peeping adventures. Weekly videos from Fall Color Forester Casey Burdick will highlight color hot spots around the state and provide informative tidbits about some of Ohio’s 100-plus tree species. This page also offers helpful links for leaf collecting tips,scenic road trips, and more. Looking for some great fall getaway ideas?  The Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism has numerous itinerary ideas at www.discoverohio.com under their Autumn Adventures feature. And don’t forget to fall ODNR on Facebook and Twitter all season long.

Ohio’s 75 state parks, 21 state forests and 134 state nature preserves provide excellent locations to view fall foliage. Here are the most current reports from selected locations:

Location Region Color Condition
Alum Creek/Delaware/Mt. Gilead Central Changing
Beaver Creek/Guilford Lake East Changing
Blue Rock/Dillon East Changing
Buck Creek West Changing
Burr Oak Southeast Changing
Caesar Creek Southwest Changing
Deer Creek Central Changing
Harrison Lake Northwest Changing
Hocking Hills Southeast Changing
Hueston Woods Southwest Changing
Indian Lake West Changing
John Bryan West Changing
Lake Hope Southeast Changing
Malabar Farm Northeast Changing
Mary Jane Thurston/Van Buren Northwest Changing
Mohican Northeast Changing
Paint Creek/Pike Lake Southwest Changing
Punderson Northeast Changing
Salt Fork Southeast Changing
Shawnee Southwest Changing
Sycamore West Changing
Tar Hollow Southeast Changing
Wing Foot Northeast Changing
Zaleski Southeast Changing

COLOR CONDITION KEY: Changing – Still mostly green, less than 25 percent color. Near Peak – Significant color showing – anywhere from 30 to 60 percent color. Peak – Peak colors – as much as 85 percent showing. Fading – Fading from peak conditions and leaves falling to forest floor.

 

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Ring Necked Pheasant Hunting In Ohio

The Common Pheasant, the most important bird f...

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COLUMBUS, OH – More than 15,000 ring-necked pheasants will be released on 28 public hunting areas across the state this fall as part of a seasonal effort by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife to enhance hunting opportunities for this popular game bird.

Youth-only hunts will be held October 22, 23, 29 and 30 prior to the statewide season, which kicks off on November 4.

Ring-necked pheasants will be released after shooting hours on the evenings of Friday, October 21 and Friday, October 28 in anticipation of the weekends’ small-game season for youth hunters. Hunters age 17 and younger can hunt statewide for rabbit, pheasant and all other legal game in season during two designated weekends, October 22-23 and October 29-30.

Ohio’s small game hunting season begins on November 4, with pheasant releases to take place on the evenings of Friday, November 3 and Thursday, November 10. Hunters should take note that no pheasants will be released on Friday, November 11 in observance of Veteran’s Day. The final release of the fall is scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, November 23 to increase pheasant hunting opportunities during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Hunting the Ringneck Ridge Area in Sandusky County, for both the youth and regular pheasant hunting seasons, requires a free permit from the Sandusky County Park District. For more information regarding the issuance of these free hunting permits, contact the Sandusky County Park Office at 419-334-4495 or the Sandusky County Park District Ranger Office at 419-637-2900.

Pheasant hunting season opens Friday, November 4 and remains open through January 8, 2012, with a daily bag limit of two rooster (male) birds. Statewide hunting hours are sunrise to sunset.

The ODNR ensures a balance between the wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at ohiodnr.com

 

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