By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show
I love this idea: adults interested in learning how to hunt turkeys are invited to apply for a mentored hunt in northwest Ohio this spring. The opportunity is targeted to adults who want to learn how to pursue gobblers with hands-on help from an experienced hunter, who will determine the time and place of the hunt and accompany the newbie through the process. If only this type of program were available when I decided to set my sights on gobblers a few decades ago!
You can apply for the hunt by calling Andrea Altman at 419-429-8321 by 4 p.m. Friday, March 15. You must be at least 18 years old and must have eave never previously held a turkey tag in Ohio or have held a turkey tag in Ohio but were unsuccessful at harvesting a turkey.
All applicants will need to provide a customer identification number, telephone number and/or email address. Hunters must possess a valid Ohio hunting license or apprentice license to apply. Participants will be selected through a random drawing. Prior to hunting, participants will be required to attend a one-day workshop on April 6 in Wyandot County. The workshop will cover turkey hunting equipment, identification, firearms, and hunting techniques. Successful applicants will be notified with additional information on the time and location of the workshop. At the conclusion of the workshop participants will be paired with a turkey hunting mentor, who will determine the exact date and location of the hunt. All hunts will be held during the spring turkey season which runs from April 22 to May 19. To learn more about Ohio’s wild turkeys and hunting opportunities, visit wildohio.gov.
If fact, the outdoor news this issue is dominated by opportunities to learn how to better enjoy Ohio’s wild resources, so read on!
Youth Hunts at Lake La Su An offered
Speaking of turkey hunting opportunities, a special drawing will be held Saturday, March 23, at the Lake La Su An Wildlife Area headquarters for youths age 17 and younger interested in turkey hunting there this spring. The Lake La Su An Wildlife Area headquarters is located at 9455 County Road R, Pioneer and registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and will continue until the drawing at 10 a.m. Youth hunters must possess a valid 2019-2020 hunting license but are not required to be present to register; adults may register a youth by presenting the youth’s hunting license. Successful applicants will select an available section of their choice for a three, four, or five day permit for the youth and spring wild turkey seasons. There are 56 spots (date/ section combinations) available. For more information, contact the Lake La Su An Wildlife Area headquarters at 419-485-9092, or the Division of Wildlife District Two Office at 419-424-5000 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fishing instructor programs offered
Any adult, group, or conservation club who has an interest in taking kids fishing should consider becoming a certified Passport to Fishing instructor via courses offered statewide throughout the year. Passport to Fishing is a one-day instructor training program that qualifies individuals to become ODNR Division of Wildlife certified fishing instructors, similar to a hunter education instructor.
A certification course is being offered on Wednesday, March 20 at the ODNR Division of Wildlife District Two Office, located at 952 Lima Ave, Findlay 45840 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring a packed lunch and dress for the weather. It is free of charge, but preregistration is required by March 15, as space is limited. Interested individuals can register by calling Andrea Altman at 419-429-8321. Participants will be required to complete a background check prior to registering.
Passport to Fishing was developed by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and utilized by state agencies like ODNR Division of Wildlife. Workshops teach volunteers the basics of fishing and how to run a four-station program within a fishing event. These instructors then go back to their communities, with a written curriculum and training aids, to teach kids and beginning anglers the basics of fishing. Resources available include grants, equipment, publications and brochures, and training. For more information on additional educational opportunities available through the ODNR Division of Wildlife, visit wildohio.gov.
Landowner deer management workshop
A deer management workshop is being offered to landowners and wildlife enthusiasts who want to manage land and deer successfully. The workshop is sponsored by Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) Twin Creek Branch and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife and will be held Saturday, March 23, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Miami Valley Career Center, Adult Education Building located at 6801 Hoke Rd., Clayton, 45315.
Matt Dye, owner and operator of Land & Legacy wildlife consultation will present the keynote on food plots and edge habitat. Division of Wildlife Deer Program Manager, Mike Tonkovich, will share information on Ohio’s statewide deer management plan. Also on the agenda are deer biologist Clint McCoy, state forester Pat Migliozzi and private lands biologist Caleb Shields. They will discuss tracking deer movement, blending timber and wildlife management, and establishing native grasses and forbs. The workshop is free, and pizza will be provided. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. To register call 937-347-0926 by March 21. For more information on habitat management visit wildohio.gov, qdma.com or landandlegacy.tv/.
Outdoor Life Field & Stream Expo
Formerly known as the Ohio Deer & Turkey Expo, the Outdoor Life Field & Stream Expo will be held March 15 through 17 at The Ohio Expo Center. The event offers a multitude of exhibits and seminars, a trick shot show, and a 3D archery tournament and the display of record whitetail trophies, including some of the largest and most impressive white-tailed deer ever taken, along with many unusual non-typical sets of antlers. There will also be an extensive display of some of intriguing trail camera photos, as well as a contest that allows hunters to bring their mounted trophies to the expo to be judged. The expo offers hunters throughout the region the opportunity to speak with representatives from the top gear and equipment companies, and see the latest products on the market. There are also special sales associated with the expo and plenty of tips and advice from some of the most knowledgeable people in the hunting field. The Expo is open from 2-9 p.m. on March 15, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 16, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 17. For more information, visit fieldandstreamexpo.com/outdoor-life-field-stream-expo-r-oh.