Fall hunting is right around the corner

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Although the summer season has hardly begun, fall hunting opportunities are soon to come. In anticipation of that, Ohio hunters can now play the lottery game for a chance to enjoy a hunt on one of many controlled hunts to be held on regulated wildlife areas.

Applications are now being accepted for controlled deer and waterfowl hunts on selected public areas during the upcoming 2015-2016 hunting seasons. Applications can be entered until July 31, online or by a phone request for a mai-in application form.

The non-refundable fee is $3 for each hunt applied for. Online applicants should go to Wild Ohio Customer Center at wildohio.gov.

Requests for application forms are available by calling 800-WILDLIFE (800-945-3543).

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, hunters can view the list of controlled hunts, dates and other information on the wildohio.gov website.

Controlled hunts

Several controlled hunts are offered to persons with disabilities, women only, and youth. If drawn for a controlled hunts, hunters can take a friend and in the case of youth, a non-hunting adult.

Applicants must have a 2015-16 hunting license to apply and may apply just once for each contolled hunt. Applicants can search the same online site later this summer to see if they have been selected and print their permits as well.

Chances of being selected vary but the drawings offer the only chance in most cases of hunting unique areas. Some lucky hunters seem to hit the jackpot every year but others may as well save their money.

It is a game of chance but one thing is for sure: you can’t win unless you play.

More opportunities

Later in the summer, state parks and lakes will offer on-site drawings for duck blind locations and one-day hunts at assigned blinds.

Some wildlife areas occasionally offer on-site drawings for one day deer hunts. Hunters should watch for announcements of these opportunities and be aware that the lucky picks must be present and holding a current license.

I continue to receive questions about Ohio record fish and what it takes to break them.

Know this, most record fish come in the spring when they are full of spawn but anytime is still the best time to fish. Standing records include: Largemouth bass, 13.13 pounds; Black crappie, 4.5 pounds; White crappie, 3.9 pounds; Yellow perch, 2.75 pounds; walleye, 16.19 pounds; Sheepshead, 23.5 pounds; Bow fished carp, 50 pounds; Bluegill, 3.38 pounds; and Smallmouth bass, 9.5 pounds.

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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.

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