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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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Ohio Duck Blind Lottery August 20th, 2011

Sunset over Grand Lake St Marys in Ohio

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COLUMBUS, OH – More than 290 permits are available to hunters wishing to hunt ducks and geese from a blind at an Ohio State Park lake this waterfowl hunting season. A lottery drawing for the permits will be held at 17 state parks and two wildlife areas the morning of Saturday, August 20.

Interested applicants must appear in person at a participating state park office with proof of a 2011 Ohio hunting license, state wetlands stamp endorsement in the applicant’s name, and a signed 2011 or 2010 federal duck stamp. Applicants under the age of 18 are encouraged to have a parent or legal guardian present to sign the permit contract, and must provide the required license and stamps.

Participating state parks include Portage Lakes and West Branch in northeast Ohio; East Harbor, Indian Lake and Lake Loramie in northwest Ohio; Adams Lake, Buck Creek, Caesar Creek, Cowan Lake, East Fork, Hueston Woods, and Rocky Fork in southwest Ohio; and Alum Creek, A.W. Marion, Buckeye Lake, Deer Creek, and Delaware in central Ohio.

Applications will be taken beginning at 7:30 a.m. at most parks, with the lottery drawings at 8 a.m. at the park office, unless otherwise noted in the listing below.

Each hunter can apply for only one duck blind permit and no one can apply or draw for another person. There is a $50 non-refundable permit fee for the state park lottery winners.  Most locations accept cash, checks or credit cards for payment, except for Portage Lakes where payment is by cash (exact change) or check only.  Lottery winners have 45 days to construct their blinds and all blinds must be dismantled by March 15, 2012.

Hunters wishing to participate in the lotteries at Delaware or Indian Lake state parks are advised that the nearby Delaware marina, and the Indian Lake park office and commissary no longer sell hunting licenses and duck stamps. Hunters should purchase their license and stamp from another vendor prior to the lotteries.

Waterfowl hunting opportunities are also available through lottery drawings for blinds at the Mercer Wildlife Area on Grand Lake St. Marys, and the Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area adjacent to Mosquito Lake State Park. The drawings will be held at the respective wildlife area offices on August 20. There is no fee for use of the blinds at these areas. Lottery participants must also have a current Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification.

Information on waterfowl hunting seasons, locations and restrictions will be discussed by park staff and wildlife officers during the lotteries. For general information about hunting seasons and regulations, call 1-800-WILDLIFE or visit wildohio.com online.

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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100 Days of Summer: June 5- Go Windsurfing

A few years ago, “Surf the North Shore” shirts were a popular area fad. I Always thought they were ironic. I mean, who would surf in Ohio?

Well Actually, This Guy:

Or, If Lake Erie is a challenge, try windsurfing of Barber Point at Moraine State Park– It’s so popular there, its featured on their web site.

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100 Days of Summer: May 29th- Bike West Branch

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West Branch State Park in Ravenna is a local treasure. A two Thousand acre lake and 5,000 acres of park means there’s lots of opportunities for things to do. It’s proximity to Akron and Cleveland means its a popular destination with a lot of amenities.

Fishing or skiing the lake, hiking the 14 miles of trails, staying at the award winning campground, swimming at the beach: If you can do it in Ohio, You can do it here.

But for a unique experience, you need to get your bike out on the 12 miles of trails that the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association Maintains. These trails range from meadows to rugged woods for every experience level. There are multiple loops to choose, all easily marked.

Head out to West Branch State Park sometime this summer to check out all that’s offered, and especially check out the bike trails for some challenges you just aren’t going to find elsewhere.

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100 Days of Summer: June 4th- Junior Fishing Derby in NE Ohio

There are two Fishing Derbys on June 4th in Northeast Ohio:

  • Youth Fishing DerbyLake Milton – June 4, 10:30 AM – 2 PM at the Meshel picnic area. For kids 15 & under. (330) 654-4989.
  • Youth Fishing DerbyQuail Hollow – June 4, 9 AM – Noon at the Shady Lane pond. For kids  14 & under. (330) 877-6652.

For More Information, Check out the Calendar on the  Explore the Outdoors Home page.

For more Ideas on Fishing with the Kids, Check out ODNR’s Fishing with the Kids Page.


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Ohio Free Fishing Days 2011 May 7 and 8

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohioans are encouraged to take advantage of “Free Fishing Days” on May 7 and 8 and experience the great fishing Ohio has to offer, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. For these two days only, Ohio anglers may fish in any of the state’s public waters without having to buy a fishing license.

During the rest of the year, anglers 16 years of age and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters. An Ohio fishing license is one of the best recreation bargains available, costing only $19 a year for residents.

Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937 can obtain a free fishing license at any license vendor. Residents age 66 and older who were born on or after January 1, 1938 are eligible to obtain a reduced cost ($10) senior fishing license. A one-day fishing license is also available for $11, an amount that later can be applied toward the cost of an annual fishing license. Fishing licenses are available at bait and tackle stores, outdoor outfitters, major department stores, as well as on the Internet at wildohio.com.

Ohio’s Free Fishing Days were established in 1993 to promote fishing and allow Ohioans to experience fishing before buying a license. The offer is open to Ohio residents, and extends to all public waters including Lake Erie and the Ohio River. An estimated 1.3 million people fish each year in Ohio.

Great fishing exists around the state and throughout the year. In late winter and early spring, anglers reel in excellent catches of steelhead trout and walleye from northern Ohio streams. Spring also means great saugeye and crappie fishing. During the summer months, the fishing heats up on Lake Erie for yellow perch, walleye, and smallmouth bass, while anglers on the Ohio River enjoy excellent striped bass fishing.

The Free Fishing Free Days weekend offers Ohioans of all ages the chance to experience the fun of fishing. For anyone taking a young angler, there’s nothing more rewarding than teaching a kid to fish.  Here are some helpful tips:

  • Keep it simple. Consider the child’s age and skill level. If this is their first time, shore fishing is recommended.
  • Kids like to catch fish. The size of fish doesn’t matter to kids. But catching a fish—any fish—does. Choose a pond, lake or stream where they will easily be able to catch a few fish.
  • Use simple tackle. A good rod and reel for kids costs between $15 and $30.  A spin-cast reel is easy to use and, after a few practice casts, kids usually have mastered it.
  • Bring along a camera. Children love to show off pictures of their “big catch.” Share your fishing photos at wildohio.com.
  • Keep the trip fun-and short. Let the child have a good time, even if it means taking a break. Take time out to explore and enjoy the time together.
  • Be patient. Plan on spending some time untangling lines, baiting hooks, landing fish, and taking pictures of big smiles and wiggling fish. By concentrating all your attention on your young angler, you’ll likely be developing a fishing buddy for a lifetime.

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 Spring Turkey Season Underway

Kalkoen Turkey

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COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio hunters harvested a preliminary total of 2,646 bearded wild turkeys on the first day of the spring turkey-hunting season, which is open statewide through May 15, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

Top counties for wild turkeys killed on Monday were: Guernsey – 94; Adams – 88; Tuscarawas – 85; Muskingum – 81; Coshocton and Knox – 79; Belmont – 73; Washington – 72; Brown – 71; and Ashtabula – 70.

The Division of Wildlife estimates that more than 70,000 people will hunt turkeys during the four-week season. Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon from April 18 to May 1, 2011. Hunting hours May 2-15 will be a half hour before sunrise to sunset. Ohio’s wild turkey population was estimated at 200,000 prior to the start of the spring season.

A special youth-only hunt for hunters age 17 and younger was held statewide on Saturday and Sunday, April 16-17. Young hunters killed 1,455 birds statewide. Top reporting counties were: Ashtabula – 49; Brown and Tuscarawas – 47; Highland – 46; Licking – 45; Muskingum – 44; Carroll – 42; Jackson – 40; and Adams and Washington – 38.

Only bearded wild turkeys may be taken during the spring hunting season. A hunter is required to check in their turkey by 11 p.m. on the day of harvest. Hunters with the proper permits may take a limit of two bearded gobblers during the four-week season, but not more than one wild turkey per day.

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

On the Internet at wildohio.com or ohiogamecheck.com
By telephone at 1-877-TAG-ITOH (1-877-824-4864). This option is only available to those who are required to have a turkey permit to hunt turkeys.
At all license agents. A list of these agents can be found at wildohio.com
Game-check transactions will be available online and by telephone seven days a week and during holidays. License agents’ locations will be available for turkey check-in during normal business hours. Please call the license agent for specific hours of operation. All turkeys must be checked in by 11 p.m. the day of kill.

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.

EDITORS NOTE – Below is a list of preliminary wild turkey harvest results for the 2011 spring season opening day:

Adams – 88; Allen – 7; Ashland – 24; Ashtabula – 70; Athens – 69; Auglaize – 4; Belmont – 73; Brown – 71; Butler – 30; Carroll – 41; Champaign – 14; Clark – 4; Clermont – 54; Clinton – 9; Columbiana – 56; Coshocton – 79; Crawford – 15; Cuyahoga – 1; Darke – 3; Defiance – 19; Delaware – 20; Erie – 8; Fairfield – 21; Fayette – 0; Franklin – 4; Fulton – 9; Gallia – 64; Geauga – 42; Greene – 6; Guernsey – 94; Hamilton – 30; Hancock – 5; Hardin – 8; Harrison – 67; Henry – 4; Highland – 59; Hocking – 44; Holmes – 30; Huron – 31; Jackson – 43; Jefferson – 62; Knox – 79; Lake – 11; Lawrence – 29; Licking – 67; Logan – 24; Lorain – 15; Lucas – 3; Madison – 0; Mahoning – 24; Marion – 4; Medina – 11; Meigs – 69; Mercer – 3; Miami – 5; Monroe – 55; Montgomery – 1; Morgan – 54; Morrow – 31; Muskingum – 81; Noble – 31; Ottawa – 0; Paulding – 7; Perry – 38; Pickaway – 4; Pike – 46; Portage – 29; Preble – 10; Putnam – 3; Richland – 53; Ross – 58; Sandusky – 3; Scioto – 36; Seneca – 22; Shelby – 6; Stark – 27; Summit – 4; Trumbull – 47; Tuscarawas – 85; Union – 7; Van Wert – 3; Vinton – 33; Warren – 17; Washington – 72; Wayne – 15; Williams – 24; Wood – 4; Wyandot – 14. Total – 2,646.

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Coldwater Boating Safety Tips: Be Prepared

Boat at the Canal

COLUMBUS, OH – The swamping and capsizing of a small boat resulting in occupants being unexpectedly immersed in frigid water poses a serious threat to boaters and anglers getting out on the water this time of year as water temperatures slowly begin to warm.  The best way to survive a cold water immersion and guard against hypothermia and drowning is to properly wear a life jacket and be dressed for cold water temperatures instead of warmer air temperatures, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Watercraft.

A few things anglers and boaters can do to be prepared for outings on the water is to wear an approved life jacket or inflatable vest.  This keeps a person afloat should they fall off a boat or a boat capsizes.  The second tip is to wear protective clothing, such as synthetics, wool or polypropylene that help reduce the loss of body heat when immersed in cold water.  A third safety tip is to ensure that boats are properly loaded with people and gear before launching on the water to reduce the chance of swamping and capsizing.

More cold water and other boating safety tips are available online at www.ohiodnr.com/watercraft.

The Division of Watercraft reports that among 15 fatal boating accidents last year, none of the victims were found to be wearing a life jacket or vest.  In seven of the accidents, life jackets and vest were not aboard the boats as required by state and federal laws.

The ODNR Division of Watercraft administers Ohio’s boating and scenic rivers programs.  The agency oversees watercraft registration and titling operations, provides funding to local communities for education, enforcement and boating access facilities, educates the public and enforces boating laws on Ohio’s waterways.

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

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Ohio Spring Trout Release Calendar

COLUMBUS, OH – Public fishing opportunities will be enhanced this spring when more than 80,700 rainbow trout, each measuring 10 to 13 inches long, are released into 48 Ohio lakes and ponds, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The releases will take place between mid-March and mid-May; anglers are reminded that the daily catch limit for inland lakes is five trout.

Some locations will feature special, youth-only angler events on the day of the scheduled releases. Anglers age 16 and older must have an Ohio fishing license to fish the state’s public waters. Once the youth-only events have concluded, all other anglers may fish.

The 2011-2012 fishing license can be purchased now and is required on March 1. An annual resident fishing license costs $19 and is valid through February 29, 2012. A one-day fishing license is available and may be purchased for $11 by residents or non-residents. The one-day license may also be redeemed for credit towards purchase of an annual fishing license.

Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937 may obtain a free fishing license where licenses are sold. Persons age 66 and older who were born on or after January 1, 1938, and have resided in Ohio for the past six months, are eligible to purchase the reduced cost resident senior license for $10.

Additional information about spring trout releases is available by calling toll-free 1-800-WILDLIFE. Information is also available from Division of Wildlife district offices in Akron, Athens, Columbus, Findlay, and Xenia.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources 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.

Lake County Date/Notes
ASHLEY UPGROUND DELAWARE 5/7/2011 (youth only 10am – 1pm)
CANAL FULTON (OH CANAL #4) STARK 4/30/2011 (youth only 8am – 11am)
CENCI PARK POND FAIRFIELD 4/9/2011 (youth only 10am – 11:30pm)
EYMAN PARK PONDS FAYETTE 4/30/2011 (youth only)
LITTLE TURTLE POND SUMMIT 4/16/2011 (youth only 9am – 2pm)
PUNDERSON LAKE GEAUGA 4/16/2011 (youth only 9am – Noon)
ROCKY FORK LAKE HIGHLAND 4/2/2011 (youth only 1pm – 4pm)
STONELICK LAKE CLERMONT 3/26/2011 (youth only 11am – 3pm)
SUNBURY DELAWARE 5/7/2011 (youth only 9am – 2pm)
VAN WERT RESERVOIR #1 VAN WERT 4/30/2011 (youth only)
YOCTANGEE PARK LAKE ROSS 3/26/2011 (youth only)
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104,000 Pounds of Venison Donated to the Hungry

A white-tailed deer
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COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio deer hunters have donated more than 104,100 pounds of venison to local food banks so far this deer season, according to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

“I am happy to see this program continue to grow each year. Ohio hunters once again have shown their generosity so Ohio’s food pantries will receive the nutritious red meat they so desperately need,” said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife.

The 104,100 pounds equals approximately 416,400 meals for needy Ohioans. To date, 2,082 deer have been donated with plenty of deer hunting opportunity left in the 2010-11 season. Last year at this time, 1,910 deer had been donated representing 95,500 pounds of venison.

Last year FHFH collected 116,750 pounds of venison from 2,336 deer through the entire season, which ran from September 2009 to February 7, 2010. Ohio county chapters with the highest numbers of deer donations so far are: Licking-208; Muskingum, Morgan and Perry-189; Coshocton, Tuscarawas, and Knox-160; Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Meigs, Vinton and Washington-137; and Franklin-121.

“We are thrilled that the partnership between FHFH and ODNR has resulted in greater numbers of donated deer – and meals provided – across Ohio again this year. With high unemployment in many areas fueling an even greater need for nutritious food items at food banks and feeding ministries, this growth could not have come at a better time, ” according to Josh Wilson, FHFH national operations director.

Hunters still have a weekend of deer-gun hunting, December 18-19, and eight weeks of archery hunting in Ohio. Archery season remains open until February 6. The statewide muzzleloader deer-hunting season will be held, January 8 – 11, 2011.

The Division of Wildlife collaborated with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry in an effort to assist with the processing costs associated with donating venison to a food bank. So far, a $100,000 subsidy grant was provided in two $50,000 allotments that are to be matched with funds generated or collected by FHFH. The division subsidized this year’s FHFH operation as an additional deer management tool, helping wildlife managers encourage hunters to kill more does.

Venison that is donated to food banks must be processed by a federal, state or locally inspected and insured meat processor that is participating with FHFH. Hunters wishing to donate their deer to a food bank are not required to pay for the processing of the venison as long as the program has funds available to cover the cost. There are currently 71 participating meat processors across the state. A list is provided atwww.fhfh.org.

Currently there are 31 local chapters across the state with a need for more. Anyone interested in becoming a local program coordinator or a participating meat processor should visit the “Local FHFH” page atwww.fhfh.org. The Web page includes a current list of coordinators, program names and the counties they serve.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources 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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