All turkey hunting was over in both zones by May 26. Only one of the five northwest Ohio counties in our area checked in more toms than last year. Fulton County checked in 116 birds this year compared to 109 last. Williams County was ahead of last year but fell behind in the end of the season to 26 birds this year compared to 232 tons last year. Defiance County was over 10% down with 197 this year compared to 223 last year. They have been down during all of the seasons this year.

Paulding County was only down two birds with 69 taken this year and Henry County was down seven birds with 62 taken this year.

Statewide the total was 19,088 compared to 22,635 last year; that is just over 24% fewer birds. That is also fewer turkeys harvested in 2000 when the first statewide hunt was held. Nesting may be part of the problem and that would be weather related. Turkeys have remained fairly stable for the past 19 years. We will keep a watch on that though.

Panfish and bass fishing in most ponds, lakes and reservoirs in northwest Ohio and the tri-state area is doing well; Lake La Su An area is no exception being one of the best places for panfish in our state.

High water has made river fishing a day to day thing. Catfish have done well as high water does not seem to affect catching that species. Rivers have been tough in the tri-state area for sure. That is no surprise for many.

Lake Erie has been doing well when the wind doesn’t blow you off the lake. Clear water for trolling has been hard to find though. Water temperatures remain cool and that should keep the “eyes” in the western basin a bit longer.

Applications will soon be accepted for controlled deer and waterfowl hunts for the 2019-2020 season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The application period opens Saturday, June 1 and runs through Wednesday, July 31. These special hunts are held on selected areas to provide additional opportunities for Ohio’s hunting enthusiasts. All applicants, youth and adult must possess a 2019-2020 Ohio hunting license and meet the age requirements in order to apply for a controlled hunt.

Hunters may apply for the controlled hunts by completing the application process online using Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System at wildohio.gov. There is a non-refundable application fee of $3 per hunt.

Hunters will be randomly drawn from submitted applications. Successful applicants will be notified and provided additional hunt information by mail and email. Applicants are encouraged to visit Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System online to view the status of their application and, if selected, print their controlled hunt permit.

More specific information about hunt dates and locations, including opportunities dedicated to youth, women and mobility-impaired hunters can be found at wildohio.gov on the Controlled Hunts page.

We lost the eagle nest up by Pioneer, which was the first nest in Williams County. I was told a dead eagle was found around Lake Seneca and I have not seen activity around the nest off State Route 15 south of Pioneer. I have, and so have many others, seen eagles around that area though. I’m sure there are other nests now. The one by the Bryan Airport is still active and a new brood was fledged there again this year.

I did see an eagle standing in a field near County Roads I-50 and 12. Also, just a short distance away on Ohio 576 I observed a juvenile eagle sitting on top of a telephone pole. My guess is there is a nest somewhere in that vicinity. I would be glad to get reports about sightings in our county. Send reports to me at davemaurer@toast.net. There are a few of us who will run down sightings and try to find new nests. I am seeing eagles all over the county.

‘Til next time . . .

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