Disabled sportsmen offered hunting opportunities

Men and women with disabilities no longer have to miss out on deer hunting. A special event has been created by American Electric Power and the National Wild Turkey Foundation Wolf Creek Chapter.

The AEP Ohio Wheelin’ Sportsmen Ultimate Team-Up deer hunt will be held Oct. 19 and 20 with the events activities at the Clarence E. Miller Armory in McConnelsville while the participants will be hunting on nearby AEP ReCreation Land.

The “Ultimate Team-Up” is a program developed by the NWTF that puts an expert guide with a disabled hunter. The event is open to applicants with any type of physically challenging disability, not just those in wheelchairs. Some 40 to 45 hunters will be able to take part.

To be considered for participation interested hunters must submit their names and information no later than Aug. 28. For registration information, contact Dave Dingey at (740) 962-1205 or Brian Cox at (740) 962-1215.

Bobcats downlisted

as Ohio listings change

Several species have been taken off Ohio’s Endangered Species List while others have been added, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Five species were downlisted from endangered to threatened and include the bobcat, Lake Erie watersnake, trumpeter swan, blue sucker and the mountain madtom (a tiny catfish). The yellow-bellied sapsucker was downlisted from endangered to species of concern.

Osprey, bald eagle, bluebreast darter and rosyside dace were taken off the threatened list and will no longer receive a designation. All of these species have experienced tremendous range expansion due to improved habitat or water quality.

Other species that will no longer receive a designation are the blue grosbeak, little blue heron, American widgeon, rock pocketbook (a mussel), flatfloater (mussel) and fat pocketbook (mussel).

Just because a species is not on any protected list doesn’t mean it can be hunted. Anyone caught killing an osprey, for example, is subject to fines and restitution fees because it is not included in species that can be legally hunted in Ohio. The bald eagle does have federal protection.

Outdoors Woman sign-up underway

The Ohio Division of Wildlife is accepting applications from women 18 and older interested in becoming an outdoors woman. This year’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop is scheduled for Oct. 5-7 at Recreation Unlimited in Ashley, Ohio, north of Columbus.

Anyone interested should sign up as soon as possible because the class fills up quickly.

Courses include fishing, shooting, hunting, water sports, birding, hiking, climbing and more. All instruction is by experts in individual fields.

Workshop fees are around $185. The fee includes instruction, program materials, use of equipment and facilities, meals, lodging, and take-home items.

To sign up, fill out an application at wildohio.com (experience wildlife). For more information contact the BOW coordinator at aquatic.education@dnr.state.oh.us.

Squirrel season opens on Sept. 1

Ohio’s squirrel hunting season will open on Sept. 1, the same day the early goose and dove seasons begin.

Hunters may take up to six squirrels each day, through Jan. 31. Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Squirrel season will be closed during the one-week statewide deer gun season, Nov. 26-Dec. 2.

For more information, visit wildohio.com or call (800) WILDLIFE.

Outdoors columnist Jim Morris can be reached by email at sports@DaytonDailyNews.com.