Recreational shooters both young and old are invited to experience one of Ohio’s premier public shooting ranges on Saturday, Aug. 17, during Ohio’s Free Range Day, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. On this day, the shooting range permit requirement is waived at all Division of Wildlife Class A, B and C shooting ranges.
The Division of Wildlife is partnering with the National Shooting Sports Foundation as part of a continued effort to provide more opportunities for recreational shooters. New shooters can gain hands-on experience with firearms at no charge from certified instructors at one of five ranges from 12-4 p.m. (Indian Creek Wildlife Area will be staffed from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.). Staff will offer on-site instruction to new or beginning shooters and will provide equipment, ammunition, as well as ear and eye protection free of charge.
The following ranges will have Division of Wildlife staff on-site to assist new shooters: Deer Creek Wildlife Area, corner of State Route 207 and Cook Yankeetown Road NE, Mt. Sterling 43143; Grand River Wildlife Area, 6693 Hoffman Norton Road, Bristolville 44491; Woodbury Wildlife Area, 41384 State Route 541, Warsaw 43844; Cardinal Shooting Center, 3389 County Road 225, Marengo 43334; and Indian Creek Wildlife Area 4258 Snowhill Road, Fayetteville 45118.
The Division of Wildlife shooting ranges provide the public with comfortable, safe places to shoot archery or firearms. A complete list of range facilities can be found at wildohio.gov. Free Range Day is being offered as part of the National Shooting Sports Foundation Inc.’s National Shooting Sports Month.
• Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities on Thursday, Aug. 15 according to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
The Division of Wildlife will be holding drawings for waterfowl hunts occurring at Pipe Creek Wildlife Area and East Sandusky Bay Metro Park (Putnam Marsh Nature Preserve). Both drawings will be held at Osborn Park located at 3910 Perkins Avenue, Huron 44839. Registration is from 5 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. and the drawing will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.
To be eligible to apply all applicants (adult and youth) must be properly licensed to hunt the species for which the hunt is being held (i.e. possess a current hunting license, any necessary permits, stamps, or certifications such as HIP). Applicants must be present to be eligible.
• Amendments to previous proposals concerning regulations of allowable fishing lines were presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Thursday, Aug. 8, according to the ODNR Division of Wildlife. If approved, proposed regulations will take effect Jan. 1, 2020.
The Division of Wildlife previously proposed to allow three lines per angler while fishing in Ohio’s portion of Lake Erie, including areas immediately upstream in creeks, rivers and tributaries. This proposal was amended to include Ohio River fishing. This change will continue to align fishing regulations with neighboring states along the Ohio River. If approved, three lines would be legal in the Western Unit and the Eastern Unit of the Ohio River, and applies on tributaries to the first dam or riffle. Current regulations allow a person to fish with up to two lines simultaneously statewide.
A complete list of proposals is available at wildohio.gov. A statewide public hearing on the proposed rules will be held at the Division of Wildlife’s District One office on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 9 a.m. The office is located at 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus 43215. Public comments concerning current proposals are accepted online at wildohio.govor during the hearing. The public comment period closes Sept. 12.
• August is here and so are the dog days of summer in terms of fishing. The bite has slowed down quite a bit in many of the area lakes. Lake Erie is going through the traditional summer transition as well. The walleye are still numerous but the hot bites are in very deep water in the central and eastern basins. The perch bite still remains slow. The western basin fishermen will have to remain patient until the walleye and perch return during their fall migration. Until then, expect the western basin bite to be spotty at best.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!
Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.