Cold, blustery weather good for Ohio duck hunters
Central Ohio hunters found a bonanza of targets during the waning days of the recent waterfowl season thanks to the bitter cold winter.
Madison County Prosecutor Steve Pronai, a life-long duck hunter, said he's never seen as many ducks and geese flocking on local streams that remained open.
Oak Run Creek south of London, an outlet of the city's sewage treatment plant, was one of those free-flowing streams that drew hundreds of waterfowl. Pronai was hunting the area on a sub-zero morning in January. He fired a round at a goose and found his gun frozen. He couldn't eject the shell!
Jim McCormac, a waterfowl expert with the Ohio DNR, said exceptionally cold weather and associated ice cover on the Great Lakes pushed many birds south.
"Those places that do remain open will really pull in the birds and concentrate them," McCormac said. "That sewage treatment facility is a good example."
McCormac said the most spectacular example of waterfowl being pushed inland from the center of the Great Lakes is the white-winged scoter – a large black sea duck that generally winters along U.S. coasts.
"Ohio and other Midwestern states saw huge, possibly unprecedented numbers (of these ducks) in some regions," McCormac said.