Water and Wings
By KEN PARROTT
Hunters took 19,251 deer during Ohio’s muzzleloader season, January 7–10, with Coshocton County again leading the state with 722 deer checked. In 2011, a preliminary total of 16,934 deer were taken during muzzleloader season. I am sure the big jump had a lot to do with the great weather muzzleloaders enjoyed for the short season.
The other top counties reporting the highest number of deer checked during the muzzleloader season included: Coshocton-722, Licking-639, Muskingum-638, Guernsey-612, Tuscarawas-581, Belmont-577, Harrison-569, Knox-470, Meigs-466, and Jefferson-465.
Locally, all of the area counties showed significant improvement over last year’s harvest numbers during the same season. Deer hunters can enjoy deer hunting through February 5 as the archery season continues.
•The 2012–13 hunting and trapping regulation proposals were presented on January 4 to the Ohio Wildlife Council by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife. September 1 is the proposed kick-off date for the state’s fall hunting season beginning with squirrel and dove hunting. Other proposed hunting and trapping rules will be similar to those now in effect, with only slight changes to fall and spring hunting dates.
Hunters age 17 and under are proposed access to hunt statewide for rabbit, pheasant and all other legal game in season during two designated weekends, October 20–21 and 27–28. Spring youth turkey season is proposed for April 20–21, 2013.
The remainder of the proposals concerning Ohio’s white-tailed deer hunting will be heard during a separate Wildlife Council meeting on February 8.
Open houses will be held on Saturday, March 3 in each of the state’s five wildlife districts to provide the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed hunting and trapping regulations with state wildlife officials. Directions to the open houses can be found at www.wildohio.com or by calling 1–800-WILDLIFE. A statewide hearing on all of the proposed rules will be held at the Division of Wildlife’s District One office on Thursday, March 8 at 9 a.m.. The office is located at 1500 Dublin Road in Columbus. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its April 4 meeting.
•Controlled trout-fishing opportunities on Cold Creek, one of Ohio’s most unique streams, awaits fishing enthusiasts who enter a special lottery conducted by the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
A half-mile section of the creek, located at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County, will again be open to a limited number of anglers on selected dates between April 2 and November 2 next year. Anglers interested in fishing the stream must apply online and pay a non-refundable $3 application fee by January 31, 2012 in order to be eligible for the random drawing. Applicants can apply on the Division of Wildlife website at wildohio.com.
Only one application is allowed per person. Anglers age 16 and older must hold a valid fishing license in order to apply. Application information can be obtained from the ODNR Division of Wildlife website wildohio.com.
Two seasons will be offered. Adults and teens 16 and older will have a season from April 2 through June15 and again from August 20 through November 2. A second season will be held for those 15 and younger from June 18 to August 17.
Individuals selected to participate in either season will be allowed to bring two adults (includes 16 and older) and three youths age 15 and younger (no more than six people total). Anglers 16 and older must hold a valid fishing license in order to participate in this event. Participation is determined by a computer-generated, random drawing, which is held in early February. The results of the drawing will be posted on the division’s website at www.wildohio.com. Applicants not chosen will not be notified.
Special fishing rules will be in effect for this event to ensure that a quality fishing experience is maintained throughout the season. This includes a no catch-and-release rule; anglers keep all fish they catch. The daily bag limit will be five trout per angler.
Anglers will be required to check in at the hatchery upon arrival and check out at the end of their session. Fishing sessions will be open from 7 a.m. to noon. Anglers age 16 and older will need a valid 2012 Ohio fishing license.
An Ohio resident annual fishing license costs $19; a one-day fishing license costs $11. Those who purchase a one-day fishing license may later return it to a license agent to receive credit toward purchase of an annual fishing license.
Cold Creek truly is a unique stream being gin clear. You can literally see every fish in water if you know what you are looking for. The fishing on that stretch can be quite good since it is stocked. It is well worth the ninety minute drive to try your hand at these delicious table fares.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!