An Ohio civilian and an army major have captured the top individual titles in smallbore or .22 rifle competition at the National Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Perry.
Paul Gideon, of Gambier, Ohio, posted a near-perfect score of 6397-507X out of a possible 6400 to win his first smallbore prone championship, and U.S. Army Maj. Michael Anti, of Fort Benning, Ga., took the smallbore three-position title at 2297-100X out of a possible 2400.
Gideon fired a 3197 in the first stage of prone competition and a perfect 3200 to win his first prone title. He barely edged former prone champion Carolyn Millard-Sparks, of Atlanta, who fired a total 6397-505X. The X-score refers to the number of perfect, center-shot bull's-eyes and is tallied to break ties in numerical score, as in this case. Anti finished third in prone at 6396-530X.
Anti, who won the three-position crown in 1994 and the prone title in 2000, took the 2003 three-position title by five points over second-place shooter and teammate, U.S. Army Specialist Trevor Gathman, of Smiths, Ala., who fired a 2292-93X. Gathman just edged collegiate shooter and woman champion Jamie Beyerle, of Lebanon, Pa., who fired 2292-82X.
The National Matches are in the final phase, high-power rifle competition, this week through Aug. 20. Camp Perry is on State Rt. 2 west of Port Clinton. The Matches are open to visitors.
In some of the initial highpower rifle competition, U.S. Marine Sgt. Jerome Bostick won the National Trophy Individual Match with a score of 496-24X out of a possible 500.
In other shooting news, the 104th annual Grand American World's Trapshooting Tournament is under way daily through Saturday at the home grounds of the sponsor, the Amateur Trapshooting Association, at Vandalia, Ohio, just north of Dayton.
The ATA's 100-trap fields and exhibit area are along U.S. 40, west of I-75, on the south side of Dayton International Airport.
For other details and a shoot schedule in this, the world's largest shotgunning event, visit the ATA Web site, www.shootata.com.
District fish and wildlife open-house meetings, scheduled for Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. at six Ohio Division of Wildlife offices around the state, will include discussions of several proposed rules in addition to previously announced proposed changes in Lake Erie walleye and smallmouth bass regulations.
In northwest Ohio, hearing sites include Wildlife District 2 headquarters, 952 Lima Ave., Findlay, and the Lake Erie Fisheries Research Station, 305 East Shoreline Dr., Sandusky. District 2 can be called at 419-424-5000, and the Sandusky station at 419-625-8062.
The Lake Erie changes for 2004 apply to the lake's tributaries as well, including the Maumee, Portage, and Sandusky rivers, among others. For walleye, they include a minimum 15-inch keeper size limit, and a daily creel limit of just three walleye in March and April, down from the current four a day. The daily limit would stay at the current six fish the rest of the year.
For smallmouth, the division is proposing a closure of possession season in May and June, with a reopening of possession tentatively planned for the last Saturday in June, the same as in Ontario waters.
State fisheries managers say the additional restrictions are necessary to help conserve shrinking walleye stocks as part of a lakewide, all-agencies effort, and to protect smallmouth during spawning and nesting because of increased egg predation by the invasive pest-fish round goby.
A newly announced, Lake Erie-related proposal calls for use of single hooks only during March and April in Maumee and Sandusky bays. This would mirror regulations already in place on the rivers during that period.
Other proposals include lowering the age for hunter-education instructors from 21 to 18; a prohibition on possession of filleted or cleaned fish at lakes with a size limit; setting a daily creel limit of six for channel catfish in lakes of fewerthan 700 acres; changing the expiration date for ginseng dealer registration permits from Aug. 14 to Aug. 31, and instituting a $3 nonrefundable fee to register for the Castalia State Hatchery fishing lottery.
Lotteries for Ohio waterfowl hunting opportunities are coming up soon, the wildlife division said.
Lottery drawings to erect duck blinds at 18 state parks is set for Saturday, with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. and drawings at 8 a.m. at the respective park offices.
Applicants must appear in person with proof of a 2003 hunting license, a 2003 state wetlands habitat stamp endorsement, and signed 2003 federal duck stamp. Winners must submit a $50 nonrefundable permit fee.
Participating parks in the region include East Harbor, Ottawa County, five sites, 419-734-4424, and Lake Loramie, 19 sites, Shelby and Auglaize counties, 937-295-2011.
In addition, a drawing for daily permits to hunt special teal and early Canada goose, and for the youth waterfowl hunt and general waterfowl season at Pipe Creek State Wildlife Area in Erie County, next to Cedar Point at Sandusky, is set for Aug. 21 at 6:30 p.m. It will be held at the Resthaven State Wildlife Area on Cement Street a half-mile off State Rt. 269, Castalia. Register by 6 p.m. Call Wildlife District 2, 419-0424-5000.
Tonight - Public trapshoot, 6 to 10, Dundee Sportsmen's Club, 2300 Plank Rd., Dundee, Mich., repeats Thursday 9 a.m. to noon and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.; also, Sunday, breakfast, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; call the club, 734-529-3581.
Tomorrow - 250-yard rifle shoot, 5:30 p.m., Sandusky County Sportsmen's Club, State Rt. 600 east of Gibsonburg, call Bob Caswall, 419-862-2861; also, Thursday, trapshoot, 6 p.m.; also, Sunday, bowshoot, register 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 3-D targets, call Ken Deiter, 419-288-2561.
Saturday - Compass instruction and orienteering, 10 a.m., campground amphitheater, Mary Jane Thurston State Park, State Rt. 65, west of Grand Rapids; also, live reptile program, 1 to 4 p.m., nature center, Van Buren State Park, State Rt. 613 east of I-75, north of Findlay; for either park call Ron Bowerman, 419-299-3807.
Saturday - Auto tours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 1400 West State Rt. 2, Oak Harbor; also, wildflower program, 3 p.m., refuge headquarters; call the refuge, 419-898-0014.
Saturday - Toledo Naturalists' Association, 7:30 p.m., Andersons activity center, 1833 South Holland-Sylvania Rd., program on garden trees by master gardener Hank Hiris.
Saturday - Volunteers to remove invasive plants, 10 a.m., Kitty Todd Preserve, 10420 Old State Line Rd., call the Nature Conservancy, 1-877-TNC-OHIO extension 42.
Saturday and Sunday - Tomahawk Archery campers' weekend, 2085 Erie Rd., Temperance, Mich., register for elk and mule deer shoot, 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, call Gil Kollarik, 419-691-5130.
Sunday - Bowshoot, Lenawee County Conservation League, register 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1404 Sutton Rd., Adrian, Mich., 30 3-D targets; call Dave Abner, 517-264-0753.
Monday through Aug. 20 - Boating education course, 6 to 9 p.m. nightly, Ottawa Park nature center; call city of Toledo boating education center, 419-936-3848.