Don't miss out on your chance for a controlled hunt
A special October morning spent hunting ducks at Magee Marsh with a too-busy son, a wintry Saturday deer hunt at Ravenna Arsenal with my other son, home from a heavy course-load at college, a last minute solo muzzleloader deer hunt at Mosquito Creek thanks to a transfer of another hunter’s unused permit – such have been the opportunities afforded me over many years by Ohio’s special “controlled” deer and waterfowl hunts.
They are controlled in the sense that they are conducted on prime state and federal wildlife lands normally closed to public hunting and they typically offer enhanced opportunities, and the number of hunters any given day is strictly limited.
Like most of you, I mostly have not been drawn for most of the hunts for which I have applied. But I have been drawn for and participated in a few, transferred away a couple permits I was drawn for on dates that I could not make, and have been invited to hunt as a partner for several others. I was glad every time I could join in, whether or not I brought home any proverbial wild bacon. Like everywhere else, it’s hunting, not shooting fish in a barrel.
I mention these hunts now, at summer’s start, because outdoors activities these weeks come as hot and fast as the weather. You have until July 31 to apply for the annual controlled hunts, so don’t let your applications for controlled deer and waterfowl hunts fall through the cracks.
You can apply for the hunts by completing on-line using the Wild Ohio Customer Center at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) and requesting a mail-in application. A non-refundable application fee is assessed, $3 per hunt
Hunters are drawn at random from the application pool, with those drawn to be notified and provided additional hunt information by both mail and e-mail. Applicants are encouraged to visit the Wild Ohio Customer Center to view the status of their applications and, if selected, print their controlled hunt permit.
The best bet for checking out the various hunts is to go on-line to wildohio.gov and clicking on “the controlled hunting and trapping events” link. There, under “controlled hunt lottery information you can download pdf files detailing the various opportunities for which you may want to apply. Note that the NASA Plum Brook Deer Hunts again require federal background checks and fingerprinting because of the supposed terrorist threat to a sensitive government installation.
In addition to controlled deer and waterfowl hunts for the general hunting public, special hunts also are offered for women, mobility impaired, and youth hunts. Some hunts are shotgun only, others offer archery opportunities. Just don’t let the busy summer season get the best of you. The July 31 deadline will be here before you know it.