Outdoors: Ohio bowhunters have unique opportunity

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will offer special archery deer hunts at seven locations that border three state scenic rivers. While hunters will enjoy the opportunities, the state hopes to lessen the impact of deer feeding on native plants.

The Scenic Rivers program has identified properties to be open for the hunts. These woodland areas have seen little hunting and should offer ample numbers of whitetails.

Hunters must attend individual meetings if they are interested in particular hunts. At that time, hunters can enter the drawing by purchasing a single ticket at the price of $5. Hunters must possess a valid 2017-2018 Ohio hunting license to purchase tickets.

Lottery drawings for the hunts will be held in the following locations, according to area:

• The meetings and drawings for all four Little Miami River sites (Deerfield Gorge, Caesar Creek, Hall’s Creek and Roxanna) will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Visitor’s Center, 4020 North Clarksville Road, Waynesville.

• The meeting and drawing for the Stillwater River Hunt — Cool-Davis (Miami County) and Abshire-Graves (Darke County) — will be held at the Barn at Stillwater Prairie, 9750 State Route 185, Covington on Saturday at 4 p.m.

• The drawing for the sites along the Big and Little Darby Creeks (Terra Nova, Milford Center, Andre Agnes and Little Darby Forrest Preserve) will be held at the Plain City Youth Building, located in Pastime Park, 344 N. Chillicothe Street, Plain City at 2 p.m. today.

Names will be randomly drawn and those selected will be assigned a specific time to hunt during a two-week period in which they can hunt at that particular site. Orientation will be conducted immediately following the drawing, outlining special regulations for the hunts. Hunters will be permitted to hunt with a partner. The partner is not required to attend the drawing or orientation.

Hunters may enter the drawings for all seven of the hunts, but they must attend the meeting for each hunt in order to enter the drawing.

Clean water: While much has been written about the water woes some lakes have been having with toxic algae, Indian Lake has not been one of them.

It’s interesting, Indian Lake (in Logan County) is just a few miles (30) away from Grand Lake St. Marys (in Auglaize and Mercer Counties). Yet the water quality is completely different. While St. Marys has tested as high as 180 parts per billion for microcystins, the level last week at Indian Lake was 2.283. Anything over 6 raises alarms.

The beaches at Grand Lake are empty, posted with warning signs that advise not to touch the water. At Indian, no such signs have ever been posted and beaches have been busy all summer.

Many years ago (28), the farming community around Indian Lake got together with several people representing government agencies responsible for clean water. They worked out programs to improve the lake and keep it safe for years to come. This includes controlling water runoff from fields.

“There has been great cooperation,” said Vicky Boots of the Logan County Soil and Water Conservation District. “That’s what has helped Indian Lake.”

She also pointed out there are physical differences between the two lakes. “Indian Lake turns over every six months, while Grand Lake St. Marys turns over every 18 months, That makes a difference, and Grand Lake has much more livestock within (a larger) watershed. That’s a big factor,” she added.

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