By Dan Armitage, Buckeye Sportsman
Sam Timm’s painting of an American wigeon pair was selected as the winner of the recent 2023 Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp Design Competition. Timm’s painting will be displayed on the Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp that is issued in 2024. A panel of five judges selected Timm’s artwork from a field of nine original pieces of art. Timm, from Wisconsin, is a two-time winner of the competition, most recently in 1992. Second place was awarded to Diane Ford of Maryland for a painting of gadwalls.
The Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp program has raised more than $11 million for wetland conservation since 1982. Proceeds from stamp sales help fund vital wetland habitat restoration projects in Ohio. Those projects have restored or enhanced thousands of acres of waterfowl habitat. These habitats are important to many resident wildlife species, including state-endangered trumpeter swans, wetland birds, amphibians, and migratory species.
The Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp is $15 and is required for anyone 18 years or older hunting waterfowl and migratory birds in the Buckeye State. The stamp is also purchased by many birders who want to make a voluntary contribution to wetland habitat.
The first Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp was designed in 1982 by well-known Ohio artist John A. Ruthven and featured two wood ducks. Since then, notable winning artists have included Harold Roe and Adam Grimm. In 2022, Jeffrey Klinefelter of Michigan won the contest for a sixth time with his painting of three lesser scaup. That stamp is on sale now through the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System at wildohio.gov.
P-I-B Land Acquisition Effort Underway
The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy and Put-in-Bay Township Park District are in the midst of a three-part acquisition program for property on the Duff homestead, just to the west of downtown of the village of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island. The organizations are asking for donations to preserve a historic home site and nearly 30 acres of forest, meadow and bayfront property on South Bass Island. The property owned and operated by the Duff family for decades is home to a house, a garage, multiple outbuildings and includes one of the last undeveloped stretches of Put-in-Bay harbor frontage.
The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy formed in 2000 when a small group of volunteers banded together with one goal: to protect and conserve natural and agricultural lands on the South Bass and Middle Bass islands’ local archipelago. They aim to protect natural lands from expanding commercial and private development encroachment for the benefit of this and future generations.
Together the groups have preserved, protected and provided access to more than 155 acres of natural areas on South and Middle Bass islands. LEIC became a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2015. The LEIC and Put-in-Bay Township Park District have broken the Duff homestead project acquisition into three phases.
LEIC and PIBTPD recently received a Clean Ohio grant of more than $1.3 million for the second phase and the PIB Township Park district has received $500,000 in pledges from LEIC, Julene M. Market Fund and others. $200,000 is still needed to secure the purchase, and LEIC and the Park District are seeking donations to restore the historic home site, which can be sent to the Put-in-Bay Township Park District, P.O. Box 177, Put-in-Bay, Ohio 43456 with “Duff Homestead” on the memo line or electronic donations can be sent on the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy website at LakeErieIslandsConservancy.org.
2023-24 Ohio Hunting and Fishing Licenses on Sale
Hunting and fishing licenses for 2023-24 are on sale. Licenses can be purchased at wildohio.gov, on the HuntFish OH mobile app, or at participating agents statewide. License sales fund the Division of Wildlife’s projects and programs that benefit wildlife and people. The Division of Wildlife manages or cooperatively manages more than 2 million acres of water and 750,000 acres of diverse wildlife areas. These habitats support popular game species such as deer, turkey, and walleye as well as key species such as bald eagles and monarch butterflies.
Annual resident fishing licenses cost $25, are valid for one year from the date of purchase and can be purchased up to 30 days prior to the expiration date. A fishing license is required to fish in Ohio public waters for anyone 16 and older.
Ohio’s annual resident hunting licenses for the 2023-24 seasons are $19 for adults ($10 for youth) and are available now. Hunting licenses are valid immediately after purchase through Feb. 29, 2024. All hunters, regardless of age, are required to carry a valid hunting license to hunt or trap in Ohio.
Customers also have the option of choosing automatic renewal when purchasing a license online or when using a smartphone. The selected license renews automatically once the previous year expires. Multiyear hunting and fishing licenses are also available, with three-year, five-year, 10-year, and lifetime licenses on sale. Visit wildohio.gov to learn more.
A Grand Shooting Range
The Grand River Wildlife Area Shooting Range, operated by the ODNR Division of Wildlife, will open to the public on Wednesday, April 5. The shooting range features accessible parking, shooting benches, and restroom facilities. The supervised rifle and pistol range offers 60 benches, 30 of which are under shelter. Shooting distances of 25, 50, and 100 yards are available. The shotgun range is an unsupervised hand trap range, where visitors should bring their own targets.
The rifle and pistol range will be open Wednesday through Sunday each week from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except on state holidays. The shotgun range is open sunrise to sunset every day. Range users ages 18 and older are required to purchase either a one-year shooting range permit ($24), an annual shooting range permit and hunting license combo ($29.12), or a one-day shooting range permit ($5) before visiting. All options are available at hunting and fishing license outlets, online at wildohio.gov, or via the HuntFish OH mobile app. Permits are not sold at the site.Visitors ages 17 and under do not need to purchase a permit but are required to be accompanied and directly monitored by a permitted adult aged 18 years or older. View range rules or call 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543) for answers to additional questions.