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Ohio offers controlled hunts

From Ohio Department of Natural Resources

-- In an effort to control deer populations impacting native plant communities, the Ohio is making available special gun and archery deer hunts at seven state nature preserves across the state.

High quality habitats at several state nature preserves including Goll Woods, Lawrence Woods, Christmas Rocks and Lake Katharine have been negatively impacted by over-browsing deer. Large flowered trillium—Ohio’s state wildflower and once commonly seen—have nearly disappeared from many sites because of foraging deer.

“Special management hunts are an excellent tool we can utilize to protect native plant communities in Ohio’s best natural areas,” said Ryan Schroeder, preserve manager at Goll Woods State Nature Preserve. “These hunts allow Ohio’s hunters to assist with land management activities while giving them a chance to see and appreciate some of Ohio’s highest quality natural areas they may never see otherwise.”

Application for the hunts this year will be handled at the local level by individual preserve managers.  Hunters must attend individual meetings if they are interested in particular hunts. At that time, hunters can enter the drawing. Up to five entries per hunter will be allowed with a $5 fee for each entry.

Hunters must possess a valid 2012-13 hunting license in order to purchase tickets. Names will be randomly drawn, and hunting pairs will be assigned a two week block of time to hunt. The orientation for the hunters will be conducted immediately following the drawing.

Each special archery hunt permit will be good for two hunters for the two week period, although only one of the two hunters must attend the drawing and orientation.

These hunts are doe-first hunts, meaning a buck can be taken only after an antlerless deer is harvested. This helps ensure the deer herd is impacted.

Special regulations will be addressed at the orientation meetings following the drawings. All ODNR Division of Wildlife rules and regulations will be followed, including bag limits and tagging procedures.

The Lake Katharine Gun hunt drawing will be conducted in the same manner as the archery hunts, except that the orientation will not be held the same day as the drawing. Pairs of hunters will be drawn for one of two possible two-day hunts during the weeklong statewide gun season. Orientations for the gun hunt will occur on the first morning of the hunt period.

Hunters may apply for hunts at multiple sites, but they must attend the meeting for each hunt in order to enter the drawing. Do not mail entry forms.

Hunt locations and meeting dates include:

-- The gun hunt drawing for Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve Office (Jackson County) will be Sept. 8 at 10 a.m., 1703 Katharine Road, Jackson. Contact Jeff Johnson at (740) 380-8919 or jeff.johnson@dnr.state.oh.us with questions.

-- An archery hunt drawing for Christmas Rocks (Fairfield County) will be held Sept. 9 at 10  a.m. at the Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve, 7211 Bremen Road, Logan. Contact Jeff Johnson with questions.

-- An archery hunt drawing will be held Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. for Shallenberger (Fairfield County) at the Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve Contact Jeff Johnson with questions.

--  The archery hunt drawing for Goll Woods (Fulton County) will be Sept. 1 at 9 a.m. at Goll Woods State Nature Preserve Office, 26093 County Road F, Archbold, 43502. Contact Ryan Schroeder at (419) 445-1775 or send an e-mail to  ryan.schroeder@dnr.state.oh.us.

--  The archery hunt drawing for Lawrence Woods (Hardin County) will be Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. at the Lawrence Woods State Nature Preserve parking area, 13278 County Road 190, Kenton.  Contact Ryan Schroeder with questions.

--  For information on the archery hunt drawing for Gahanna Woods (Franklin County), contact Chief Dennis Murphy at (614)342-4240 or at dennis.murphy@gahanna.gov.

-- The archery hunt drawing for Blackhand Gorge (Licking County) will be held Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. at the Blackhand Gorge Maintenance Center, located at 5213 Rock Haven Road, Newark, Ohio 43056 on Contact Jody Holland at (740) 285-0130 or jody.holland@dnr.state.oh.us with questions.

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