Ohio youth small game hunts start this weekend


The Ohio youth small game hunts are being held this weekend and next weekend with pheasants being the primary target of youths.

Locally, the largest single day sponsored for youth hunting is being held at the Kalida Fish and Game Club Sunday. This event is put on by the Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW), Kalida Fish and Game and the Ft Jennings Black Swamp Chapter of the Pheasants Forever.

In the past, 80-90 youths have participated in morning hunt.

Youth hunts statewide take place on private and public lands, where pheasants are released on 24 of Ohio’s public hunting areas.

More than 14,000 pheasants are scheduled to be released to provide additional hunting opportunities across the state during the youth and regular pheasant seasons.

Pheasant hunting season opens Nov. 1, and remains open through Jan. 11, 2020, with a daily bag limit of two rooster (male) birds. No hens (females) may be killed. Statewide pheasant hunting hours are sunrise to sunset. Pheasants will be released for opening day(Nov. 1) and prior to the Veterans Day and Thanksgiving holiday weekends.

An Ohio apprentice hunting license is available to people who want to try hunting and must be accompanied by a licensed hunter who is at least 21 years old. The apprentice hunting license is a great way to introduce someone to hunting and provide a positive experience in the field.

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The Allen County Sportsmen & Farmers Association will hold a turkey shoot Sunday (Oct. 20) at its 1001 S. Kemp Road location. The first shoot goes off at 12 p.m. Prizes are turkeys, ribs and chickens.

Breakfast will be served beginning at 10:30 a.m. Cost is $5.

For further information, call Bill Stratton at 419-236-9082.

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More than 700 acres of public land in Hardin County was dedicated recently as Andreoff Wildlife Area. The wildlife area provides opportunities for people to hunt, trap, and view wildlife.

“ODNR is proud to be at the forefront of Governor DeWine’s efforts to protect Ohio’s water and ensure a healthy Lake Erie,” said ODNR director Mary Mertz. “This latest addition to public lands is a win for conservation, recreation, and sound environmental management.”

Ducks Unlimited (DU) partnered with the DOW in the acquisition. DU put $275,000 toward the purchase of the property.

“Establishing a new wildlife area is a landmark occasion for Ohio recreation and wildlife,” said David Brakhage, director of operations for the DU Great Lakes/Atlantic Region. “Ducks Unlimited is honored to work with our partners to protect more than 700 acres of prime waterfowl habitat for generations to come.”

According to the DOW, the wetlands on the north property were constructed in 2005 and have a permanent conservation easement through the USDA Farm Bill Wetland Reserve Easement program. Since 2005, the number of wildlife species seen on the property has more than doubled. The property now hosts approximately 86 species of breeding birds and nearly 175 species are viewed on the property each year, including threatened and endangered species like trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, northern harriers, American bittern, and king rail.

Over half of the endangered and threatened species in Ohio and the U.S. depend on wetlands at some point in their life cycle, making wetlands one of the more important habitats to conserve.

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Deer hunters should be aware that some deer permits increased in price last Wednesday.

Either-sex permits went to $16 from $12 for youth resident and non-residents. An adult resident permit increased to $31.20 from $24. A non-resident adult permit and senior resident permit remain unchanged at $76.96 and $12.

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While deer hunting the DOW reminds hunters they should follow some standard precautions when handling deer parts, including:

Wear rubber gloves when field-dressing and thoroughly wash hands and instruments after butchering and field dressing.

Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.

Do not eat the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes.

Do not consume meat from any animal that appears sick or tests positive for CWD.

Hunters may have their deer tested by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for a small fee. Call 614-728-6220 for more information.

The wildlife agency also reminds hunters who hunt outside Ohio, they must bone out the meat before returning to the state with an elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, caribou or moose. Only the following parts may be brought into Ohio:

Meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached;

Meat that is boned out, securely and completely wrapped either commercially or privately;

Cleaned hides with no heads attached;

Skull plates that have been cleaned of all meat and brain tissue;

Antlers with no meat or tissue attached;

Cleaned upper canine teeth;

Hides and capes without any part of the head or lymph nodes attached; or

Finished taxidermy mounts.

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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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