• 2009-2010 Ohio Waterfowl Hunting Seasons Approved

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    COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio hunters will again enjoy a 60-day duck hunting season and a six-duck bag limit this year. The 2009-2010 waterfowl hunting season dates have been approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council and are the most liberal regulations allowed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

    The waterfowl hunting seasons are set to open October 17 in both Ohio’s north and south zones. Hunters 15 years of age and younger will have the opportunity to enjoy a special statewide season October 3-4.

    The duck hunting season in the North Zone is October 17 through December 6, followed by a late portion that opens December 26 through January 3, 2010. In the South Zone, duck season is open October 17 through November 1, followed by a late portion that opens December 12 and runs through January 24, 2010.

    The daily bag limit for ducks is six, which may not include more than four mallards (no more than one may be female), three wood ducks, one black duck, two redheads, two scaup, one canvasback, one pintail and one mottled duck. Ohio duck hunters will note that canvasback populations have recovered well enough to allow for limited harvest opportunity this year. Likewise, scaup populations have improved from 2008 and the bag limit of two applies for the entire season, unlike the regulations in place last year.
    The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, of which only two may be hooded. The daily bag limit for coots is 15. Possession limits after the first day are twice the daily bag limit.

    Ohio hunters will enjoy a slightly longer goose season this year that essentially adds an extra weekend to each zone. In the Lake Erie Canada Goose Zone, the goose season is October 17 through November 29 followed by a second segment that opens December 7 and runs through January 3, 2010.  The goose season for the remainder of the North Zone is October 17 through November 29, with a second segment that runs from December 19 through January 17, 2010. In the South Zone, goose season is October 17 through November 8 followed by a second segment that opens December 12 and runs through January 31, 2010.

    The daily bag limit for Canada geese is two. Light geese (snows, blues, Ross’) have a daily bag limit of 10, and white-fronted geese and brant have a daily bag limit of one. The possession limit for brant and geese is twice the daily bag limit after the first day.

    People planning to hunt waterfowl are required to answer several questions for the Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey when purchasing their hunting licenses.  A state wetland habitat stamp endorsement and a valid and signed federal duck stamp are required when hunting waterfowl, in addition to an Ohio hunting license.  The 2009-2010 hunting licenses and wetland stamps are on sale now and remain valid through February 28, 2010.

    Copies of this season’s waterfowl hunting regulations, which include maps of the zones (Publication 295, Waterfowl Hunting Seasons), will be available online at wildohio.com or by late September to hunters at all license vendors.

    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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  • PA Youth Mentored Hunting Program

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    HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today encouraged experienced hunters, who have historically helped pass along the state’s rich hunting heritage, to consider introducing youths to hunting through the Mentored Youth Hunting Program (MYHP).

    “Since 2006, Pennsylvania’s hunters have been taking advantage of a remarkable opportunity to introduce those under the age of 12 to hunting through the Mentored Youth Hunting Program,” Roe said. “Hunting is deeply woven into the cultural fabric that is Pennsylvania, and it is important that we recruit new hunters to carry on this tradition.”

    Roe noted that the logic behind the Mentored Youth Hunting Program is simple and clear: create expanded youth hunting opportunities without compromising safety afield.

    “This program paves the way for youngsters to nurture their interest in hunting early and allows them to take a more active role in actual hunting while afield with mentoring adults,” Roe said. “The program accommodates hands-on use of sporting arms and can promote a better understanding and interest in hunting and wildlife conservation that will help to assure hunting’s future, as well as reinforce the principles of hunting safely through the close supervision provided by dedicated mentors.”

    Under the program, a mentor is defined as a properly licensed individual at least 21 years of age, who will serve as a guide to a youth while engaged in hunting or related activities, such as scouting, learning firearms or hunter safety and wildlife identification. A mentored youth is identified as an unlicensed individual less than 12 years of age who is accompanied by a mentor while engaged in hunting or related activities.

    The regulations require that the mentor-to-mentored youth ratio be one-to-one, and that the pair possesses only one sporting arm when hunting. While moving, the sporting arm must be carried by the mentor. When the pair reaches a stationary hunting location, the mentor may turn over possession of the sporting arm to the youth and must keep the youth within arm’s length at all times.

    New this year is the requirement that all mentored youth obtain a permit through the Game Commission’s new Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS), which costs $2.70. Of that fee, one dollar goes to the Game Commission, one dollar goes to the issuing agent who processes the permit application, and 70 cents goes to the company managing PALS.

    “When we first started the MYHP, we didn’t require a permit because there was no method available to issue a permit without creating an enormous obstacle for participants,” Roe said. “With the full roll-out of our electronic license sale system this year, we can provide a method for adult mentors to enable youth to obtain a permit without too many difficulties.

    “By implementing the permit for the MYHP, we will be able to start gathering data about the level of participation in this program, which can be used to assist in better planning and scheduling our basic Hunter-Trapper Education courses. This database of MYHP participants will let us know how many young hunters are approaching 11 years of age, and where they live, so that we can make sure the number of courses we are offering will meet the expected demand.”

    Currently, the agency has used its annual Game-Take Survey to estimate the level of participation in the MYHP. According to the agency’s annual Game-Take Surveys, participation in the MYHP has increased in terms of adult mentors and youths. In 2006, the first year of the program, 43,780 youths were mentored by 32,913 adults. That year, the mentored youths harvested 52,788 squirrels and 36,351 woodchucks. In 2007, the number of mentored youth grew to 58,883, and there were 51,141 adult mentors. That year, mentored youths harvested 61,160 squirrels, 52,114 groundhogs, 5,199 antlered deer and 3,496 spring gobblers.

    The species identified as legal game for the upcoming license year are woodchucks (groundhogs), squirrels, spring gobbler, coyotes and antlered deer. Those youths participating in the MYHP are required to follow the same antler restrictions as a junior license holder, which is one antler of three or more inches in length or one antler with at least two points. Antlerless deer are not legal game for participating MYHP youth.

    The program also requires that both the mentor and the youth must abide by any fluorescent orange regulations, and that the mentored youth must tag and report any antlered deer or spring gobbler taken. As part of the MYHP permit, youth will be provided the necessary harvest tags for antlered deer and spring gobbler.

    The youth must submit a harvest report card, which is available as inserts in the 2009-10 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, within five days for any antlered deer or spring gobbler he or she takes. Harvest report cards also are available in the “Forms & Programs” section of the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us).

    For more information on the program, visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on “Mentored Youth FAQs” in “Quick Clicks” box in the upper right corner of the homepage. Information also is included on page 13 of the 2009-10 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations.

    To continue hunting once a youth reaches the age of 12, they will need to and pass a basic Hunter-Trapper Education course and purchase either a junior hunting license or a junior combination license. For a listing of HTE courses, visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the “Hunter Education Classes” link in the center of the homepage.

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  • Beaver County Regatta August 14th-16th

    The Beaver County River Regatta is set for this weekend  in Bridgewater, just at rte 18 and the river. Iit’s just a few miles past Brady Run Park, So I’m Sure you’re familiar with the area.

    Events include a children’s fishing derby, anything that floats contest and Duck Derby for the little ones, and an Antique boat parade, drag races and ski shows for the big ones.Not into Boating? Well there’s All-American Activities like a Wing Eating Contest and Zambelli fireworks over the river.

    Chck out the link  above to for their newly redesigned website.

    And please let me know if you get any good pictures this year. I’ll be out with mfamily for my mother-in-law’s birthday and won’t be able to make it.

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  • Mosquito Creek Dove Hunting

    Mosquito Creek Reservoir in Trumbull County, O...
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    AKRON, OH- Dove hunting will be permitted on portions of the Mosquito Creek Wildlife Refuge by permit only. Access to this portion of the property is restricted to permit-only hunting. The refuge is not open to the public otherwise.

    A postcard drawing will be held and 30 permits will be drawn for both the first and the second day of dove season, September 1st or 2nd 2009. A total of 15 permits will be drawn for each day. Hunters are asked to mail one postcard per person to Wildlife District Three, attn: wildlife management, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron, OH 44319. The hunter’s name, address, and telephone number must be included on the entry card and entries must be received at Wildlife District Three by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 17th, 2009. A total of two (2) hunters may hunt per permit.

    Beginning September 3rd through 30th, this field will be available on a first come, first serve basis, however, hunters must obtain permits before hunting.  Permits can be picked up daily at the Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area Headquarters.

    Dove hunting will be also available for youth hunters ages 17 and younger on a special youth hunting dove field located on the waterfowl refuge. Starting September 1st, self-serve applications and permits will be available at the area headquarters daily. A map of the area will be posted and a drop box for applications will be provided. One or two youths and one adult may hunt per permit. Hunters must follow all hunting rules and regulations for the season according to the 2009-2010 Ohio Hunting Digest and Early Migratory Bird Dates (publication #298).

    The Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area Headquarters is located at 8303 North Park Avenue in North Bloomfield (one mile south of State Route 87). Contact the headquarters at 440.685.4776.

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  • Last Free National Park Weekend

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    Free Admission, Special Events, Photo Contest and More!

    WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The National Park Service’s third entrance fee free weekend of the summer is August 15-16.  All 391 national parks across the nation will offer free admission to all visitors.

    “America’s national parks have always been popular vacation spots,” said Acting National Park Service Director Dan Wenk. “The fee free weekends were launched in June as a way to provide opportunities for everyone to visit national parks in these economically challenging times. Whether you can stay for just a few hours or the whole weekend, we hope you’ll take advantage of the free admission and come out and experience your national parks.”

    To plan a park visit or check out promotions offered this weekend by park partners who operate tours, hotels, restaurants, and gift shops look online at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.

    Visitation to national parks is up more than three percent from this time last year.  The national parks have hosted almost 200 million visitors so far this year.

    This weekend and all month-long, special events in national parks include festivals, historical encampments, concerts, star gazing gatherings, bike tours, nature walks, and a coral reef recovery project. For a list of family fun activities visit http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/parks2009/index.htm.

    If you take some great photos of your visit to a national park, think about entering the annual Share the Experience Photo Contest. Through December 31, 2009, amateurs can submit up to three photographs of scenes from national parks or other federal lands. Prizes include Olympus digital cameras, trips to federal recreation areas, and Federal Recreation Lands Passes. The winning image will be featured on the 2011 Annual Federal Recreation Pass. Details are available at www.sharetheexperience.org.

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