Area turkey hunters fare better than state counterparts

Lima area hunters fared better than their counterparts statewide during an often wet and chilly spring wild turkey hunting season.

Local hunters checked in 496 turkeys during the month long south zone season, which ran from April 22-May 19. Hunters checked 495 turkeys locally during the same period a years ago.

The harvest was up in 3 local counties, down in 4 and the same in 2. Figures for the season’s check-ins with last year’s results in parenthesis were: Allen 73 (74), Auglaize 42 (42), Hancock 34 (38), Hardin 95 (86), Logan 113 (120), Mercer 17 (19), Putnam 64 (58), Shelby 38 (38) and Van Wert 20 (23).

Statewide, hunters reported 17,770 birds during the 2019 wild turkey south zone and northeast zone hunting seasons compared to 20,775 birds in 2018. Youth hunters took 1,318 birds during the 2019 youth season compared to 1,860 in 2018. The northeast zone season ran from April 29-May 26.

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Full-time positions for natural resources officers in Auglaize and Logan counties are among 18 available, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Watercraft.

To apply, visit Individuals may apply for the positions through Sunday.

The State of Ohio is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin (ancestry), military status, disability, age (40 years or older), genetic information, sexual orientation, or caregiver status (status as a parent during pregnancy and immediately after the birth of a child, status …

Natural resources officers will provide law enforcement services to Ohio’s state parks, state forests, waterways and state natural areas. An officer’s duties include law enforcement and public service, as well as education and public relations. Since the Division of Parks and Watercraft is the state’s lead agency for Ohio maritime security and instructs other state, county and local agencies in maritime law enforcement, officers also are responsible for supporting emergency operations during flooding, natural disasters, search and rescue efforts, and recovery.

Applicants must be 21, possess a valid Ohio driver’s license and be certified as an Ohio Peace Officer. Other qualifications include completing a background check, psychological exam and passing a drug screen, as well as meeting swim and physical fitness standards. Officers must reside within 45 miles of their work location.

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A new task force, formed to evaluate Ohio’s state park system, held its first meeting on May 20.

The purpose of the blue ribbon panel is to complete a comprehensive customer experience review of Ohio’s 5 state parks, according an ODNR press release. This review will be used to develop recommendations for improving management, incorporation of customer needs and interests and improving the overall visitor experience at Ohio state parks, the release continued.

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Applications for controlled deer and waterfowl hunts for the 2019-2020 season will be accepted by the Ohio Division of Wildlife through July 31. The application period opened today (Saturday).

These special hunts are held on selected areas, including waterfowl hunts on the Mercer Wildlife Area near Celina. They provide additional opportunities for Ohio’s hunting enthusiasts. All applicants, youth and adult, must possess a 2019-2020 Ohio hunting license and meet the age requirements in order to apply for a controlled hunt.

Hunters must submit a non-refundable application fee of $3 per hunt. They may apply for the controlled hunts by completing the application process online using Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System at

Successful applicants will be randomly drawn from submitted applications. They will be notified and provided additional hunt information by mail and email. Applicants are encouraged to visit Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System online to view the status of their application and, if selected, print their controlled hunt permit.

More specific information about hunt dates and locations, including opportunities dedicated to youth, women and mobility-impaired hunters can be found at on the Controlled Hunts page.

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A dedication of a new adaptive boat launch at Lake Loramie State Park in Minster will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, June 7, with officials from the ODNR, the Lake Loramie Improvement Association and local officials present.

The new launch is located between the campground and the beach area. The site is close to restroom facilities, paved parking, walkways, near the camp store and the Lake Loramie Nature Center and Museum. It is also near three accessible wooden cabins, which are available for rent during camping season.

“The launch is designed to give kayak and canoe users of all abilities the support to easily and safely get in and out of a boat by themselves,” said Leon Mertz, president of the Lake Loramie Improvement Association.

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Following the first big boating weekend of the season, there undoubtedly are some people still grumbling about how some boaters launch and load their vessels. A few simple reminders will help ensure a fluent transition when launching and loading a boat.

When launching, follow these suggestions:

Don’t pull onto the ramp until your boat is ready to launch.

Prepare for launching in the parking area. Remove covers, load equipment, remove tie downs, attach lines and put in drain plug, before backing onto the ramp.

When ready, pull into line to launch. Wait your turn. Be courteous.

It takes at least two people to efficiently and courteously launch a boat: one to handle the boat and one to take care of the tow vehicle.

When loading, follow these suggestions:

- Don’t block the loading area with your boat until your tow vehicle is ready to load. Wait until you are clear of the launch area to unload gear.

As soon as your trailer is in the water, load and secure your boat to the trailer.

Remove boat and trailer from the water as quickly as possible.

Get clear of the ramp. Pull into the parking area to finish securing your boat, unloading gear, draining all water and inspecting for and removing any vegetation. Remember to leave plugs out when transporting boat.

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As a boater and or angler you can do your part to help make sure rivers,, lakes and streams you fish are protected against invasive species. Here are some simple steps to ensure that:

clean boats, trailers and equipment

Drain live wells, bilges and wall water

Dry boats and equipment

Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash

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

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

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