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Published: Friday, 11/18/2011

Liberal archery-deer regs reducing herd

STEVE POLLICK
BLADE OUTDOORS EDITOR

If the first six weeks of Ohio's archery-deer season are any indication, it appears liberal regulations that encourage taking antlerless deer are reducing overgrown herds in certain regions.

Bowhunters killed 45,836 deer during the first six weeks of the archery season, a tally that is 11 percent lower than last year's 51,543, the Ohio Division of Wildlife said. The archery season began Sept. 24 and continues unabated till Feb. 5.

"While the season is still young, harvest figures for the second year in a row suggest that our liberal seasons and use of the [special] antlerless deer permit may be having the desired impact on herds in those areas of the state where reductions are needed most," said Mike Tonkovich, deer biologist for the division of wildlife.

Counties reporting the highest bags were: Licking-1,836, Coshocton-1,522, Tuscarawas-1,259, Ashtabula-1,143, Holmes-1,101, Knox-1,092, Muskingum-1,060, Guernsey-1,045, and Hamilton and Trumbull-977 each.

The statewide deer population was estimated to be 750,000 in early October. Approximately 345,000 bow hunters are expected to participate in the statewide deer-archery hunting season. Bowhunters killed 85,012 deer in 2010.

The wildlife division offers hunters a chance to share photos of their kills online by visiting wildohio.com and click on "photo gallery." Posted photos may be emailed.

Details of deer-hunting rules can be found in the 2011-2012 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations digest, available wherever licenses are sold and online.

Dan Gies of Huron and his fishing partner, Matt Davis, of Marion recently completed a solid fishing season with the Masters Walleye Circuit Championship at Prairie du Chien, Wis., finishing in seventh place out of a 37-team national field.

"We fished pools 9 and 10 on the Mississippi River," said Gies. "The Mississippi River is a challenging place, with river current and places where the walleyes are hiding always changing. The championship is an invitation-only event and this was our sixth consecutive appearance. We also qualified for the 2012 championship which will be held at the same place as this year's event." To qualify a team must finish high in the regular season events.

In Gies and Davis' first six tries at the big time, they have finished five times in the top 10. That's superlative consistency worthy of a tip of the hat.

A free workshop to train certified fishing instructors is set for Dec. 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ohio Wildlife District Two, 952 Lima Ave., Findlay.

Known as "Passport to Fishing" it is a one-day program that qualifies individuals to become Ohio Division of Wildlife certified fishing instructors, similar to hunter education instructors. Passport to Fishing was developed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and adopted by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

Workshops teach volunteers the basics of fishing and how to run a four-station fishing program with a fishing event. Instructors receive a written curriculum and training aids. To register call Linda at 419-429-8347. Details are available on-line at wildohio.com.

Books on Amazon -- The Blade's new book, Best of the Outdoors Page, by Steve Pollick and Jeff Basting, now is available at amazon.com, along with two earlier Pollick books, Starwalking with Sarah and Reflections on a Summer Storm.

The recent publication is a broadsheet-format, coffee-table-size, handbound collection of 63 pages by Pollick, outdoors editor, and Basting, staff artist/illustrator, from among 169 pages published monthly on the Sunday Blade's Behind the News back page for the last 15 years. At the Amazon Web site, click on "books" and type in "Steve Pollick" in the search box.

Fostoria United Sportsmen have set their annual turkey shoot for Sunday, Nov. 20, with four traps open at 10 a.m.

For 10-bird shoots. A still-target range will also open at 10. The club is at 1324 North U. S. 23, Fostoria. The phone is 419-435-4953, or call Clair Yount, 419-435-9175.

Contact Steve Pollick at: spollick@theblade.com or 419-724-6068



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