Outdoor education, weather and gun sales

Mild weather made for a record opening season and Black Friday firearm sales were up

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hunter with gun

Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) extends a holiday season invitation to attend the first ever and hopefully annual Educator’s Open House, to northeast Ohio teachers and educational leaders.

The Open House will be held Dec. 16, 3-7 p.m., at the DOW Akron offices, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron. According to event organizer and DOW Communication Specialist Ms. Jamey Emmert, the open house is open and requires no pre-registration.

The reach of the Akron office includes 19 counties and Emmert thus planned the event over several evening hours to allow plenty of drive time for travel. Myriad materials and face-time with those who know how best to motivate learners by engaging them to locally-based outdoor subjects will be free and plentiful.

Emmert said that materials will include field guides, posters, curriculum supplements as well as information on interactive studies such as Project WILD, WILD School Sites, Passport to Fishing, National Archery in the Schools Program and much more.

Wildlife education

School teachers make a difference in the development of young minds and motivating students remains the number one challenge for professional educators. It is a fact that youngsters are fascinated with wildlife and the natural world overall. This city-born writer would have read far less as a student if it weren’t for a growing interest in the outdoors. I highly recommend that K-12 science and English teachers attend as well as reading specialists.

The addition of relatively recent competitive high school Archery Clubs are also creating an exciting and wholesome means of engagement for students. For directions and additional information contact Emmert at 330-644-2293.

Deer hunting weather

Mild and dry weather for the first part of last week’s deer gun season proved to be a key factor in this year’s opening day deer kill. Hunters using a choice of weapons including archery, shotguns, certain rifles, handguns or muzzleloaders, claimed a total of 22,256 whitetail deer on just the first day of the week-long season. One year ago, more severe wintry weather greeted hunters and resulted in a much smaller harvest of just 17,500 animals.

Balancing the Ohio deer herd is no small task as wildlife managers try to please several stakeholders including the insurance lobby, farmers, and hunters.

Firearm sales

Black Friday firearm sales skyrocketed again this year with 185,345 background checks were reported by the FBI criminal justice center in West Virginia where all pre-sale checks are conducted. The increase over last year’s Black Friday record setting sales probably reflects an increased push by some politicians to add more layers of gun control.

It is apparent that every time politicians push, legal gun buyers push back. According to a report in the Washington Post, the rush of FBI background checks on Black Friday required tripling the 50 person staff to 150 investigators.

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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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