Monthly Archives: October 2008

Expanded Ohio Turkey Season a Success

COLUMBUS, OH – Hunters harvested 547 wild turkeys during the first five days of Ohio’s fall wild turkey hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The season opened on October 11 and will run through November 30.

Last year, hunters killed 504 birds in the same time period.  The top 10 counties for wild turkeys killed to date are: Ashtabula – 39, Noble and Tuscarawas – 21, Harrison and Washington – 20, Coshocton – 19, Columbiana and Holmes – 18, and Jackson and Trumbull – 17.

Wild turkeys can be hunted in 46 counties during the fall season with the addition of nine additional counties: Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne.  Also new this year, shotguns have been added to the list of legal implements that can be used throughout the season.  More than 19,000 hunters pursued wild turkeys in Ohio last fall.

Fall wild turkey hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset.  The bag limit is one turkey of either sex per hunter, per season. A fall turkey permit is required in addition to a current Ohio hunting license. All turkeys killed must be taken to an official turkey check station by 8 p.m. on the day of harvest.

The Division of Wildlife reminds hunters that turkey season will partially overlap the Early Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Season (October 20-25) on three state-owned areas: Wildcat Hollow in Perry and Morgan counties, Salt Fork Wildlife Area in Guernsey County and Shawnee State Forest in Scioto County. Turkey hunting will not be allowed on these areas during the muzzleloader deer hunting season.

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.gov.

Ohio Pheasant Release Dates

COLUMBUS, OH – More than 15,000 ring-necked pheasants will be released on 29 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. Ring-necked pheasants will be released on the evenings of October 24 and 31 (both Fridays) in anticipation of the following weekends’ small-game season for youth hunters. Releases will also take place on the evenings of November 6 and 14. The final release of the fall is scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, November 26 to increase pheasant hunting opportunities during the Thanksgiving weekend. Pheasant hunting season opens statewide on Friday, November 7 and remains open through January 11, 2009, with a daily bag limit of two rooster (male) birds. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset.

2008 PHEASANT RELEASE DATES

Oct. 24

Oct. 31

Nov. 6

Nov. 14

Nov. 26

TOTAL

Central Ohio

Delaware

400

400

350

200

250

1,600

Pleasant Valley

0

0

140

140

120

400

DISTRICT TOTAL

400

400

490

340

370

2,000

Northwest Ohio

Killdeer

120

140

270

250

280

1,060

Wyandot

0

0

50

50

50

150

Resthaven

100

140

160

50

100

550

Willard

0

0

100

100

100

300

Maumee

0

0

40

40

40

120

Oxbow

80

100

120

50

70

420

Turkeyfoot

150

100

150

400

DISTRICT TOTAL

300

380

890

640

790

3,000

Northeast Ohio

Beach City

0

0

180

100

70

350

Berlin

200

240

300

220

140

1,100

Grand River

200

230

300

220

140

1,090

Highlandtown

0

0

260

110

120

490

Shreve

0

0

120

60

80

260

Spencer

180

200

140

60

120

700

Wellington

80

100

100

30

120

430

West Branch

0

0

150

60

70

280

Zeppernick

0

0

130

60

70

260

Charlemont Mpk.

100

100

120

50

110

480

Camp Belden

50

70

100

70

70

360

DISTRICT TOTAL

810

940

1,900

1,040

1,110

5,800

Southeast Ohio

Dillon

200

220

140

80

100

740

Salt Fork

0

0

140

120

100

360

DISTRICT TOTAL

200

220

280

200

200

1,100

Southwest Ohio

Fallsville

130

140

220

100

120

710

Indian Creek

0

0

240

90

170

500

Spring Valley

0

0

190

100

100

390

Rush Run

100

50

210

90

100

550

Caesar Creek

210

260

210

100

100

880

Darke

50

40

100

50

80

320

East Fork

50

0

0

0

0

50

DISTRICT TOTAL

540

520

1,170

530

670

3,400

STATE TOTAL

2,250

2,430

4,730

2,750

3,140

15,300



Ohio Fall Foliage Colors Near Peak in Northeast

COLUMBUS, OH – Fall Color is still changing in the state this week, with maple and ash trees adding their traditional reds and golds to the landscape, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“It has been very nice weather for fall color. The recent onset of cool nights will help bring out the vibrancy of color,” said Casey Munchel, fall color specialist for the ODNR Division of Forestry. “Maples with their reds are really becoming noticeable – as are the bright yellows and golds of green ash.”

Munchel noted that color conditions north of Interstate 70 (across the state’s midsection) are generally changing and should see near peak color next weekend, while woodlands south of the interstate are still in the early stages of change. Areas where trees are more stressed (urban areas and areas along roadways) are showing more color. Overall, the color remains spotty, yet more vibrant than last year.

Ohio’s state parks, forests and nature preserves offer some of the best Fall Color viewing in the state, along with seasonal activities for the whole family. Seasonal events are scheduled for Mohican State Park in Ashland County, Marblehead Lighthouse State Park in Ottawa County, Malabar Farm State Park in Richland County, Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve in Greene County, Shawnee State Park in Scioto County, Paint Creek State Park in Ross County, Beaver Creek in Columbiana County, Mary Jane Thurston State Park in Henry and Wood counties, and Lake Hope State Park in Vinton County.

Travel to Geneva State Park in Ashtabula County for a weekend getaway to see northeast Ohio’s spectacular fall color. Stay in a luxurious lodge room, a comfortable cedar cabin, or camp in your own tent or camper. Then visit nearby nature preserves, scenic rivers and wildlife areas and have the opportunity to take beautiful pictures of the changing leaves while enjoying the great outdoors.

Take a drive up to Conneaut Creek State Wild and Scenic River and witness a diversity of wildlife. The stream corridor is home to 78 fish species and 32 species of amphibians and reptiles. The heavily wooded watershed harbors more than 30 unique plants and plant communities, many of which are listed as threatened or endangered. Conneaut Creek is an excellent location to try fly-fishing and catch steelhead trout, which typically average 25 inches long.

Travel to nearby Grand River State Wild and Scenic River after fishing and rent a kayak or canoe to paddle down this natural stream. Keep an eye out for river otters that populate this area. Fall color can be seen in the extensive swamp forests of elm, ash, maple, pine, pin oak and swamp white oak that border the Grand River.

After paddling, head to Headlands Beach State Park to do some relaxing beachcombing on this mile-long natural sand beach, the largest in the state. The Park also has many plant species typically found only along the Atlantic Coast. The federal breakwall at the east end of the park offers wonderful opportunities for fishing. Some common species at Headlands Beach are smallmouth, largemouth and rock bass, yellow perch, bluegill, walleye, coho salmon and carp.

Also at the east end of the park is Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve. This preserve is one of the last of the Lake Erie beach and dune communities in the state. Many plant species not found in northeast Ohio grow here, including sand-dropseed, Canada wild-rye, wafer-ash and wild bean. It is a great place to observe migrating birds and monarch butterflies.

To view wildlife, travel to the Grand River Wildlife Area. It is one of the largest semi-wilderness areas in northeast Ohio containing twelve ponds, numerous beaver impoundments, and fifteen man-made marshes. Beaver, pheasants, woodcock, ruffed grouse, turkey, deer, squirrels and rabbits are abundant here and the number of river otters has increased dramatically. October 11 marks the beginning of wild turkey, ruffed grouse and woodcock seasons. All can be hunted at Grand River Wildlife Area.

Not far from this wildlife area is Mosquito Creek Lake Wildlife Area, which offers the chance to view unusual and rare birds such as bald and golden eagles, white pelicans, glossy ibises, king rails, ospreys, goshawks, long-eared owls and African cattle egrets. Controlled waterfowl hunting and deer hunting are provided on the area by permit. Mosquito Creek Reservoir has a diverse game fish population for outstanding fishing opportunities. Largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, bluegills, bullheads, crappies, channel catfish, and white bass can be caught with walleye, bass and crappies being the predominant species.

Just east of Mosquito Creek Lake Wildlife Area is Shenango Wildlife Area. This area is great for hunting waterfowl, rabbit, squirrel, turkey, grouse, deer, woodcock and pheasant. Trapping for muskrat and other furbearers, particularly beaver and raccoon, are also very popular. Pymatuning Creek offers fishing for white crappies, bullhead, carp, suckers, sunfish and largemouth bass.

For those who enjoy the rugged outdoors, visit Sheepskin Hollow State Nature Preserve. This preserve has no trails, but has a narrow sandstone gorge with waterfalls as well as large beech, maple, oak and hemlock trees that are great for fall color viewing.

To help Ohioans and out-of-state visitors make the most of this popular outdoor season, weekly updates are available from the best Fall Color viewing locations across the state by calling 1-800-BUCKEYE. Users can also find Fall Color information on the Internet at ohiodnr.com and at www.discoverohio.com/autumnadventures.

Here are the most current reports from selected locations:

CENTRAL

Alum Creek State Park (Delaware County)                                            Changing

Mount Gilead State Park (Morrow County)                                           Changing

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve (Licking County)                    Changing

Deer Creek State Park (Pickaway County)                                             Near Peak

NORTHEAST

Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Cuyahoga, Summit counties)             Changing

Punderson State Park (Geauga County)                                                 Changing

Mohican State Park and State Forest (Ashland County)                         Changing

Malabar Farm State Park (Richland County)                                          Changing

Kent Bog State Nature Preserve (Portage County)                                 Changing

Triangle Lake Bog State Nature Preserve (Portage County)                  Changing

Quail Hollow State Park (Stark County)                                                Changing

EAST

Guilford Lake State Park (Columbiana County)                                    Changing

Salt Fork State Park (Guernsey County)                                                Near Peak

Blue Rock State Park and State Forest (Muskingum County)                Changing

Beaver Creek State Park (Columbiana County)                                     Changing

Dillon State Park (Muskingum County)                                                 Near Peak

SOUTHEAST

Lake Hope State Park (Vinton County)                                                 Near Peak

Hocking Hills State Park and State Forest (Hocking County)                Changing

Burr Oak State Park (Morgan County)                                                  Near Peak

Tar HollowState Park (Ross County)                                                    Changing

Lake Alma State Park (Vinton, Jackson counties)                                 Changing

Zaleski State Forest (Vinton County)                                                    Changing

Trail Funding Meeting

COLUMBUS, OH – Meetings will be taking place across the state at 14 locations to discuss recreational trail funding and development issues.  The meetings will be open to the public and will be set up in an open house format so attendees are encouraged to arrive anytime.

The meeting for Mahoning, Ashtabula, Trumbull and Columbiana counties will take place on Tuesday, October 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Kent State Trumbull – Lecture Hall (4314 Mahoning Avenue NW, Warren, OH, 44483, 330-847-0571).

The discussion will revolve around identifying priority trails in the state, identifying key issues facing trail development and what assistance the Office of Trails can provide, as well as the development of an online statewide recreational trail map.  Findings from these meetings will help guide the Ohio Department of Natural Resources trail grant programs for the next several years.  Local participation is critical to producing a complete and visionary planning tool to ensure a coordinated approach to statewide, regional and community trail systems.