An annual rite of spring in these parts, the increasingly popular Ohio Deer & Turkey Expo, is set for Friday through Sunday at the Bricker Building, Ohio Expo Center, at the State Fairgrounds in Columbus.
The 2005 edition features new product displays, ammunition reloading demonstrations and seminars, and added attractions for archers, according to Glenn Helgeland, the Expo producer. He noted that in 2004 visitors to the Ohio Expo came from all 88 Ohio counties and 24 states.
Hours are Friday 2 to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Expo features 45 seminars and such popular personalities as Byron Ferguson, internationally known archery trick-shot.
Expo mainstays include a big-game trophy, more than 340 exhibit booths, and a white-tailed deer trophy contest featuring new Ohio entries to be judged by certified Boone & Crockett scorers.
A live-game display will feature black bear, grizzly bear, cougar, and four species of wild turkey. For other details call the show office, toll-free, 1-800-324-3337, or visit the show's Web site, www.deerinfo.com.
Fishing report - Walleye continue to trickle up the Maumee and Sandusky rivers, providing some limited early-season action for anglers willing to brave the cold.
Larry Goedde, fish management supervisor for Ohio Wildlife District 2, summarized the current conditions in this way: "A few fish in each river but very early in the run."
Mike Williams, a Toledo angler, fished Buttonwood Public Access on Sunday and went home with a 26-inch female walleye and a 22 1/2-inch saugeye, the latter long enough to qualify for a Fish Ohio award. The award minimum for the sauger-walleye hybrid is 21 inches.
Williams said that only about 15 fishermen were on hand but the water level was about perfect though the water was still somewhat cloudy and cold. He was using floating jigheads, Carolina-rigged, to take his fish.
Chris Martin, at the River Lures shop in Grand Rapids, said that some pike were being taken near the Van Tassel Public Access on State Rt. 65 below Grand Rapids but otherwise action was slow over the weekend.
Gary Lowry, at Maumee Valley Bait and Tackle, said that floating jigheads rigged Carolina-style on 18 to 24-inch leaders were providing best results for walleye. He said that a few anglers took their limits of three fish each, but most were taking just single fish. "The fish are in but it's a little cold."
Lowry said that water level was 581 feet at the elevation gauge on the I-475 bridge, with clarity at about six inches and water temperature at about 37 degrees.
On the Sandusky River at Fremont, some walleye also are being taken, mostly jacks, said Bernie Whitt at Anglers Supply.
Eighth-ounce and quarter-ounce jigs with chartreuse-and-glitter plastic tails were providing best results there.
An informational meeting on coyotes and coydogs is set for tomorrow at 5:30 p.m., in Walbridge council chambers, 111 North Main St., Walbridge. The guest speaker will be Chris Dwyer, furbearer biologist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
An archery merit badge day for Scouts is set for Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., by the Mudjaw Bowmen Archery Club, 6240 Benore Rd.
The day includes sessions on archery equipment, safety, shooting procedures, making an arrow, making a bowstring, practice, and shooting, among other badge requirements.
For details call Audrey Berning-Matell, 419-473-1491 days, or 419-474-1103 evenings.
Tonight - Boating education classes, 6 to 9, Northview High School, Room C4, Sylvania continuing education, continues Thursday and March 22; call 419-885-4126; also, Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Owens Community College/Workforce commmunity service, by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, call 419-698-4122.
Tomorrow - North Branch Boys Fly Fishing Club, Toledo Sailing Club at Walbridge Park; dinner 6:30 p.m., program by Paul Little on fly fishing and fly tying in the United Kingdom, call Art Raker 419-661-1777; also, NBB annual dinner, now scheduled for April 2, Carranor Hunt and Polo Club, Perrysburg; call Dave Cooper, 419-531-0559 or 419-247-1649, speaker to be announced.
Friday - Muskrat feed and yellow perch dinner, 4 to 8 p.m., American Legion Post 114, 221 Park St., Oak Harbor, tickets at the door; call Brad Jess, 419-346-5964.
Friday - Annual lasagna fund-raising dinner, Black Swamp Bird Observatory, 4:30 to 7 p.m., at St. Paul United Church of Christ, Ottawa and Toussaint streets, Oak Harbor; call BSBO 419-898-4070.
Saturday-44th annual Ohio Huskie Muskie Club awards dinner, begins with business meeting 3 p.m., social hour 5 p.m., dinner 6 p.m., Zanesville Holiday Inn, 4645 Pike Rd., five miles east of Zanesville off I-70; call Don Waver 740-269-2122.
Saturday - Maumee Valley Chapter, Ducks Unlimited, annual fund-raising dinner, Pemberville, call Troy Deal 419-467-8968.
Sunday - Annual spring turkey shoot, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Ottawa Lake Sportsmen's Club, 9480 Memorial Hwy., Ottawa Lake, Mich., public welcome; call Dave Price 734-856-1806.