Preparing for deer archery season


Al Smith - Guest Columnist



Ohio’s deer archery season begins in a month, which doesn’t leave much time for scouting, checking equipment and setting up tree stands or blinds.

After spring and summer growth, some hunters may need to do a little “pruning” to make sure they have a clear shot from their blind or stand. Blind or stand hunting are popular not only among bow hunters, but also with gun hunters.

Hunting from a stand can be quite productive and is safe if one takes precaution. Falls from tree stands are still the primary cause of injury and death for hunters. Three simple safety measures can prevent that, according to the Tree Safety Awareness Foundation (TSSA). They are: always remove and inspect your equipment; buckle on you full-body harness and connect to the tree before your feet leave the ground.

These measures should be taken seriously to make sure a hunters returns home safe. They do make a difference. A total of 55 percent of falls involved inspection elements. A total of 86 percent of fall victims did not wear a harness. A total of 99 percent of fall victims injured were not attached.

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As hunting season kicks into high gear, More Hunter education courses become available. If you prefer, home study courses are also available. New this year is that anyone 12 years of age or older can complete an “all online” course which will meet certification requirements. There is a small fee for this option.

There are 2 options available for first time hunters. They can participate in a hunter education course during which they will learn firearm safety, archery, hunter safety and responsibility, Ohio’s hunting regulations, and wildlife conservation or they can purchase an apprentice hunting license. Call 800WILDLIFE, visit wildohio.gov, or contact your Wildlife District Office for information on upcoming hunter education courses in your area.

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A National Rifle Association (NRA) instructional shooting clinic for women only will be held at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center next Saturday (Sept. 9) at Camp Perry in Port Clinton. No prior experience is necessary.

The Women On Target® event at the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) facility is open to female marksmen of all ages and experience levels – aimed to instill firearm handling, safety and confidence in a friendly environment.

The clinic runs from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. It is led by NRA Certified instructors that provide one-on-one, hands-on air rifle and air pistol guidance on fundamentals and technique. The CMP’s indoor air gun range, where the clinic is held, contains 80 electronic target firing points, with large overhead LED screens and monitors next to each participant to keep everyone involved.

Cost of admission is $39 for ladies 17 and older and $19 for ladies 16 and under. Fees include coverage of air rifle/air pistol rentals, ammunition, lunch, snacks and NRA Women On Target® filled resource bag.

To register for the clinic, visit https://wot.nra.org/find-a-clinic/register-for-clinic/?clinic_id=3660&location=Port%20Clinton,%20OH&distance=50.

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Rockford’s Dick Shaffer had his second top 10 finish this season a week ago in the Hoosier Division of the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League.

The veteran bass angler wound up 6th among the pros on Aug. 26 in the tourney on the Ohio out of Rocky Point. He had a 5-bass limit that weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces. He had finished 8th in the division’s season-opening tourney on April 8 at Patoka Lake.

Shaffer is 32nd in the points standings with one tourney remaining on Sept. 9 on the Ohio River out of Tanner’s Creek. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American.

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One of the joys of summer is sitting on a deck or porch and watching fast flying and filtering hummingbirds feeding off flowers or a feeder.

Some people think these tiny birds leave our area by Labor Day. Not so.

Shorter days tell birds that it’s time to migrate, so keep your hummingbird feeder up throughout September to provide the traveling hummers an extra energy source.

September is also an excellent time to make plans for feeding other wild birds this winter. Check all feeders for needed repairs or replacement. Disinfect feeders before filling and maintain a regular cleaning and disinfecting schedule throughout the winter months. Call 1-800-WILDLIFE to request free copies of Publication 334 – Common Birds of Ohio (with sound CD) and Publication 37 - Attracting Birds in Ohio or view both online at wildohio.gov.

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Al Smith

Guest Columnist

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at flyfishman7@hotmail.com and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at flyfishman7@hotmail.com and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

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