Al Smith: Controlled deer hunt drawing slated

By Al Smith - Contributing Columnist

Limaland bow hunters have the opportunity of hunting one of six sessions during a controlled deer hunt on the Mercer Wildlife Area, near Celina.

A one-time drawing for the hunt is slated for 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 at the area headquarters, located along state Route 703, about a third of a mile east of U.S. 127.

Participants must be 18 and older and must register prior to 9 a.m. They must show a valid 2015 hunting license and deer permit. Antlerless permits are valid for the controlled hunts.

“Participants should arrive at the Mercer Wildlife Area Headquarters at 8:45 a.m. to allow enough time to register,” advised Bruce Terrill, wildlife management assistant supervisor. “We will begin the drawing promptly at 9.”

Permits will be mailed to the drawing winners. The chosen hunter may designate a partner for the hunt. The permit is transferable. Participants should be aware that it is unlawful for any person to buy, sell, trade or barter any Division of Wildlife-issued controlled hunting, fishing or trapping permit.

The dates for the controlled hunt are Sept. 26-Oct. 11, Oct. 17-Nov. 1, Nov. 7-22, Dec. 5-20, Jan. 2-17, Jan. 23-Feb. 7.

For more information, contact wildlife management at 937-372-9261 or Mercer area manager Sean Finke at 419-236-8838. For additional information, visit

• • •

A plethora of junior shooters across the country have shown the future of marksmanship in the United States is progressing with some outstanding scores at the recent National Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Perry in Port Clinton.

Among that group was a pair of Ohioans, including Sean Stuckey, 16, of Van Wert. He was the high junior of the Vintage Military Match, firing a score of 271-2x with his K31.

Jaren Nofzinger, 11, of Fremont, won the Novice Prone Sporter Match, cleaning the phase with a score of 200-5x. The event is designed for young shooters ages 8 to 12 who are just beginning their shooting careers. Novice Prone introduces them to the world of competitive shooting in a safe and fun way.

• • •

Spencerville’s Matt Elkins had a hot month of August bass fishing.

The Limaland bass angler wound up sixth in the Rayovac FWL Series Northern Division finale on Lake Erie a week ago.

That followed a win in a Walmart Bass Fishing League tourney Aug. 15 and a runner-up spot in a team event with Lima basser Zach Maisch.

During the three-day event on Lake Erie out of Sandusky, Elkins caught 15 bass that weighed 60 pounds, 5 ounces.

Elkins won the BFL Michigan Division tourney on the Detroit River on Aug. 15 with five bass that weighed 22 pounds, 6 ounces. Elkins wound up getting his fish in Lake Erie near Pelee Island.

He and Maisch, who also fishes the BFL, finished second in a big team tourney, the Wonderland Open, on Aug. 2 on the Detroit River during his hot streak.

Maisch’s mother, Vickie Maisch-Romer, wound up ninth as a co-angler in the Rayovac event on Lake Erie. She caught a dozen bass over the three days. They weighed 4 pounds, 3 ounces.

• • •

Findlay’s Sidney Hoover will be part of one Ohio State team competing in the Northern Conference Championship on the Chesapeake Bay on Sept. 12-13. He and teammate Tom Csepe, of Copley, compose one of four OSU teams in the bass event, where 45 college teams will be competing for a berth in the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

The Ohio Northern duo of Cole Cochran, of Troy, and Austin Hostetler, of Strasburg, also will be competing in the event.

Anglers will take off from the Anchor Marina in North East, Maryland, at 7 a.m. each day. The weigh-in on Sept. 12 will be held at Anchor Marina, beginning at 3 p.m. The top 15 teams will compete and weigh in at 3 p.m. Sept. 13 at Anchor Marina. All takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

• • •

Registration is open for the annual Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop, which again will be held at Recreation Unlimited in Ashley on Oct. 2-4. Ashley is located about an hour north of Columbus.

The BOW workshop focuses on women 18 years or older learning a variety of basic outdoor skills. It is a national program. Participants have the opportunity to learn skills, such as firearm safety, outdoor photography, kayaking, hunting, archery, fishing and more.

Ohio Outdoors-Woman, Inc. in cooperation with Ohio Division of Wildlife is hosting the workshop.

Interested participants can register at or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).

By Al Smith

Contributing Columnist

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. He may be contacted at [email protected] or and you can follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. He may be contacted at [email protected] or and you can follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

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