Winter weather leads to waterfowl migration
Santa brought me my wish for Christmas, finally some winter weather!
As soon as Christmas break started, winter seemed to arrive, freezing up the local ponds and lakes while adding some snow. It was just what we needed to get a much delayed waterfowl migration moving.
The strong cold winds and frozen water brought us a new batch of birds and the Parrott Boys did well on geese, mallards, gadwalls, and widgeons on several hunts. It brought much needed relief to an otherwise horrible December of waterfowling.
We hadn’t been doing well since the hurricane winds brought us birds at Halloween. It had just been too nice of weather in December around here. Hunting this time of year can be hard work and hard on the equipment, but your efforts are usually rewarded as most of the fair weather hunters have given up for the year.
Yes, duck hunters are about the only people in the world that wish for nasty winter weather. Once January arrives, and the season goes out, it can warm up and stay warm until June for all I care, but for now, bring on the nasty weather.
• The ODNR Division of Wildlife would like to invite any adult, group, or conservation club who has a sincere interest in taking kids fishing to become a certified Passport to Fishing Instructor. A free workshop is available on Wednesday Jan. 9, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will take place at Wildlife District One, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus Ohio.
Passport to Fishing is a one-day instructor training program that qualifies individuals to become Division of Wildlife certified fishing instructors, similar to a hunter education instructor.
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. These instructors then go back to their communities, with a written curriculum and training aids, to teach youngsters and beginning anglers the basics of fishing.
By becoming a certified instructor, you will not only be able to help in reconnecting students with the outdoors, but you will also have the skills and resources to help you do it in a more successful way. Resources available include grants, equipment, brochures, and training.
To register for a workshop, please call (614) 644‑3925. For additional class information, visit www.wildohio.com.
• Hunters have donated 1,400 deer to local food banks to benefit Ohioans in need so far this year, according to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry.
“In the spirit of the holidays, Ohio’s deer hunters have shown they are willing to donate venison to those in need,” said Division of Wildlife chief Scott Zody. “We encourage all hunters to enjoy the rest of the hunting season and to consider donating more deer to this worthy cause.”
The donations delivered approximately 70,250 pounds of venison and 281,000 meals to needy Ohioans. The DOW cooperates with FHFH to assist with processing costs associated with donating meat to a food bank.
• Just how safe is hunting with a shotgun for deer with many thousands of other gun-toting hunters? According to the Division of Wildlife, it’s pretty safe because for the third season in a row, Ohio saw no fatalities during the gun week. In fact, only four injury accidents were reported during the week of gun hunting.
• Outdoor recreation of various kinds is on the increase rather than decreasing in the U.S. according to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation released recently by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, outdoor recreation increased dramatically from 2006 to 2011.
Highlights of the report included: more than 90 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation in 2011, up three percent from five years earlier.
The increase was primarily among those who fished and hunted. Wildlife recreationists spent $144.7 billion in 2011 on their activities. Of the total amount spent, $49.5 billion was trip-related, $70.4 billion was spent on equipment, and $24.8 billion was spent on other items such as licenses and land leasing.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!