It may be hard to dream of deer hunting in the heat of summer fishing season, but now is the time to try to turn a hunt dream into a reality.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife and cooperating agencies have scheduled nine different controlled deer hunts for all hunters, plus seven youth hunts between early October and early January. The deadline to apply for drawings for these hunts is July 31, but notices are being issued now to give prospective hunters plenty of time to file.
The controlled hunts in which this columnist has participated, at Ravenna Arsenal and Mosquito Creek, have been excellent, even if they did not always result in more venison for the table. They are an opportunity to hunt prime land usually closed to general hunting, the deer numbers usually are high, and cover on the hunting ground usually is prime.
Applications are available at Ohio Wildlife District 2 headquarters, 952 Lima Ave., Findlay, telephone 419-424-5000, or from state wildlife officers assigned to each county. Only one application per hunt is allowed.
Hunt applications also can be printed on a personal computer from the state wildlife website: www.dnr.state.oh.us/odnr/wildlife. At the site, click on the hunting menu, and find the controlled hunts item.
Following are summaries of the hunts: Ravenna Arsenal Youth, Portage County - Oct. 6, 119 pairs of youths ages 17 or younger with non-hunting adults, and 10 alternates to be chosen, shotgun only. For details, call Ohio Wildlife District 3, Akron, 330-644-2293. A hunt for youths who use wheelchairs also is set for Oct. 6, with four slots available. Mosquito Creek Youth, Trumbull County - Oct. 6 and 13, and Jan. 5, shotgun or muzzleloader, for 50 youth-adult pairs, with 15 of the pairs for archery only on Oct. 13. For details, call Wildlife District 3. Killdeer Plains Youth Gun, Wyandot County - Dec. 1, shotgun or muzzleloader, for 50 youth-adult pairs. For details, call Ohio Wildlife District 2 in Findlay, 419-424-5000. Killdeer Plains Youth Primitive, Wyandot County - Jan. 5, 12, and 19, muzzleloader only, for 50 youth-adult pairs. Call Wildlife District 2. Magee Marsh/Ottawa Refuge Youth Gun, Lucas County - Dec. 28 and 29, for 11 youth-hunter pairs on Ottawa and 2 pairs on Magee per day. A $20 user fee is to be paid for hunters drawn on the federal Ottawa land. For details, call the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 419-898-0014.
Following are the all-hunter controlled hunts: Ravenna Gun - Oct. 13 and 27, Nov. 17 and 24, and Dec. 8, with antlerless deer only in the October hunts, shotgun only, partner hunt, for 94 pairs of hunters and 10 pairs of alternates in October and November, and 94 pairs of hunters and 15 pairs of alternates Dec. 8. Call Wildlife District 3. A wheelchair hunt is scheduled for the same dates, for four hunters a day using wheelchairs. Mosquito Creek Muzzleloader - Jan. 7 and 8, muzzleloader only, partner hunt for 45 pairs a day. Call Wildlife District 3. Killdeer Plains Gun, Wheelchair - Nov. 27 and 28, 10 hunters per day with attendant, all legal hunting weapons permitted. Call Wildlife District 2. Killdeer Plains, Women's Gun - Nov. 27 and 28, shotgun or muzzleloader, partner hunt (a male partner may not hunt), for 15 pairs of hunters a day. Call Wildlife District 2. Ottawa Refuge Primtive - Jan 2, 3, 4, and 5. muzzleloaders, parties of three hunters, $20 user fee, for 11 parties a day with 1 alternate party. Call Ottawa refuge, 419-898-0014. Ottawa Refuge Wheelchair, Gun - Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, for five hunters a day (with non-hunting attendant), and one alternate hunter a day, $20 user fee. Call Ottawa. Lake Katherine Preserve, Gun, Jackson County - Dates assigned during general gun-deer season, partner hunt. Call Ohio Wildlife District 4, 740-594-2211. Plum Brook, Erie County - Oct. 13, 20, and 27, and Nov. 3, 10, and 17, partner hunt, shotgun or muzzleloader, for 51 pairs of hunters and 10 alternate pairs per day. Call Wildlife District 2.
Urban deer permits may be used for antlerless deer at any of the controlled hunts. Controlled hunt permits are transferable.
Steve Pollick is The Blade's outdoor writer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.