Waterfowl hunting at Magee Marsh off limits during restoration project

With application deadline for once-a-year special hunts in select Ohio state-managed and -owned lands fast approaching, waterfowl hunters may be wondering why always popular Magee Marsh is not on the list.

According to information from Ohio’s Division of Wildlife, it’s a case of yellow barrels. Well, not actually barrels, but the marsh will be closed to hunting for a few months this fall because of an extensive restoration project and enhancement project that will improve the property by improving the main water supply and feeder canal.

During the project water levels will be greatly reduced. The result will be the ability to better manage the water levels throughout the expansive marsh, a labyrinth of wetlands.

Magee Marsh borders Lake Erie and was originally drained for private agriculture and trapping purposes but is now flooded to provide a unique and valuable state-owned wetland habitat.

Charges

One of several Ohio hunting guides has recently pleaded guilty to three wildlife violations and one charge of false claims against a wildlife officer. According to ODNR’s Division of Wildlife, Aaron Shields, owner of True Trophy Outfitters in western Ohio, was sentenced in Bellefontaine Municipal Court to 60 days in jail and fined $1,000 with all but five days of the jail sentence suspended.

Shields also lost his hunting license for two years and had other restrictions placed on him. Two of the charges against him had to do with his record keeping as a deer propagator.

Ohio now has several outfitters and guides operating throughout the state. State licensing and the development of guidelines for guided deer hunting operations has been discussed at various levels in the past but I am unaware of any further action to minor them.

Free workshop

For teachers and non-formal educators who want to teach real wildlife-related concepts there will be a free workshop Aug. 16 at Boardman Park near Youngstown, Ohio. The workshop will provide participants age-appropriate materials on field-tested activities for students and guidebooks titled Growing Up Wild and Project Wild, depending on grade level.

All activities are correlated to Ohio’s K-12 science and social studies academic contend standards. The workshop is free but registration is required.

As a retired educator and current school board member I strongly recommend this workshop and the addition of “real” hands-on educational activities for students of all ages. I suggest that any school district Local Professional Development committee approve such a workshop as continuing education.

Call Jamie Graham at 330-245-3020 for information.

About the Author

Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer, and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian. More Stories by Mike Tontimonia

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