Six trapping permits are available on a first-come, first-served basis for two trapping segments on the Andreoff Wildlife Area in Hardin County. Registration opened last Tuesday (Dec. 31). Go online to https://apps.ohiodnr.gov/wildlife/educationregistration to register.
The segments run from Jan. 13-31 and Feb. 1-29. Three permits are available for each segment. Each permit allows one additional licensed trapping assistant. Permits are not transferable.
Trappers are required to have a 2019-2020 Ohio Fur Taker Permit to register.
Participants will choose from three zones at registration. Trappers are only allowed to register for one trapping opportunity for the season at the wildlife area. They may choose among three zones while registering. Each successful applicant will receive a permit, instructions and map of the area via email.
If you have questions regarding registration or the controlled trapping, contact Jaron Beck at 419-429-8324.
Access to Andreoff Wildlife Area is restricted to permitted parties only. Those visiting the wildlife area without a permit for wildlife viewing may do so on the first and third Sundays of each month, unless otherwise posted. For more information, call the Wildlife District Two Office at 419-424-5000.
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Hunters have plenty of time left to bag a deer or an extra one this hunting seasons as there are four more weeks left to the season. The deer muzzleloader season began today and runs through Tuesday. The deer archery season is open through Feb. 2, 2020.
Good weather helped produce a much larger harvest statewide during the extra weekend (Dec. 21-22) gun hunting season compared to 2018. A total of 13,995 deer were check during that weekend compared to 9,625 last year. That’s a 24 percent increase.
Locally, the results were much the same as statewide. Numbers were up in eight Lima area counties and down in just one. There were 906 deer checked locally during this year’ extra weekend while 703 were checked during the corresponding weekend a year ago. That’s a 22.5 percent increase.
Following are the number of deer checked in each Lima area county with he first number following the county’s name showing the harvest numbers for 2019 and the 2018 harvest numbers are in parentheses: Allen: 110 (55); Auglaize: 74 (66); Hancock: 128 (89); Hardin: 146 (112); Logan: 191 (141); Mercer: 70 (59); Putnam: 57 (54); Shelby: 95 (67); Van Wert: 35 (60);
The total harvest during the nine days of the 2019-gun season was 77,488 deer. Hunters harvested 70,377 deer during the nine days of the 2018-gun season. Through Dec. 30, Ohio archery hunters have taken 80,900 deer. Ohio’s youth hunters checked 6,234 white-tailed deer during the 2019 two-day youth gun season, Nov. 23-24. Plus, 63,493 deer were checked by Ohio hunters during the weeklong deer-gun season, Dec. 2-8. A total of 164,622 deer have been harvested through through the deer-gun, youth and archery seasons.
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Paddling sports have become increasingly popular across the country and with this movement, safety is the top priority. In that aspect, Ohio Division of Parks and Watercraft is the first organization in the country to have three human-propelled skills courses independently verified by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).
The state’s kayak, canoe instructor and stand-up paddleboarding instructor courses have earned verification by NASBLA. According to the parks and watercraft division, the courses will be used to train and certify natural resources officers, naturalists, local boating education partners, and other staff in instruction.
The division also is offering $500,000 in grant money through the Paddling Enhancement Grant to improve boating access for hand-powered watercraft at public facilities across the state. Applicants may request up to $75,000 for a single project during the grant period.
Improving access sites and connecting paddlers to local amenities are a key part of the grants.
Political subdivisions (municipalities, townships, counties, joint recreational districts, park districts, conservancy districts) and state and federal agencies are eligible for these grant at 100 percent reimbursement. The goal of the grant is to improve or develop recreational boating access for hand-powered watercraft at public facilities.
The application is available at watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/grants and must be postmarked by March 1. The grant period runs from May 1-Sept. 30, 2021. Applicants are encouraged to include one or more of the following criteria:
• improving existing paddling access site and paddling safety;
• promoting or improving Ohio’s designated water trails;
• meeting Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines;
• locating a project within a designated water trail or proposed water trail
• connecting paddlers to amenities, such as shopping, restaurants, and overnight accommodations; and
using “shovel ready” projects.
The grant application covers other criteria related to eligible projects. Although most grant projects do not require any match, projects that charge user fees will only be eligible for up to 50 percent reimbursement. All eligible grantees must be in good standing with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. He can be contacted at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL