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Bowhunters will have lots of targets this weekend

The "gone huntin'œ" signs may not be on doors of all area archery clubhouses, but come this weekend they might as well be.
That is because the bowhunting seasons for deer in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, an autumn rite that annually draws hundreds of thousands of hunters afield, begin Friday in Michigan and on Saturday in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Serious bowhunters have been afield all month, if not longer, seeking landowner permission to hunt, scouting and watching deer movement patterns, staking out likely places for ground blinds and treestands, and setting up either or both. All in anticipation of the Big Day.

Few if any clubs scheduled weekend practice shoots or weekly leagues in October, as occurs during much of the rest of the year.

The Michigan season is split, running through Nov. 14 and resuming Dec. 1 through Jan. 2. The state herd is estimated to be about the same as a year ago - between 1.7 million and 1.8 million deer, according to Rod Clute, big-game specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Between 310,000 and 320,000 hunters are expected afield at some time during the season.

Clute said that an all-seasons bag of some 500,000 deer is expected in Michigan this fall, of which about 25 percent should be taken by archers. A special early youth firearms season was held last weekend. That season in 2003 saw 18,500 young hunters afield and some 6,000 deer taken.

The Ohio season is one of the nation's longest continuous bowhunting seasons, running without interruption through Jan. 31, including during the shotgun and muzzleloader seasons. About 250,000 hunters are expected afield.

"I'm anticipating a record harvest all the way across the board," said Mike Tonkovich, deer specialist for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. An archery-record harvest of 50,564 deer was recorded last year - 29,397 by crossbow and 21,167 by longbow. The latter category includes compound, recurve and traditional long bows.

Tonkovich said the pre-season herd likely is a record at some 700,000 animals, up from 681,000 a year ago and 685,000 in 2002. His predicted all-seasons bag would be a record at 215,000 to 225,000. The prior all-season record came in 2002 with some 204,000 deer taken in Ohio.

In Ohio, the archery bag typically is 20 to 25 percent of the all-seasons tally, the shotgun bag accounts for 60 to 65 percent, and the muzzleloading or black-powder rifle bag takes in 10 to 15 percent.

In Wildlife District 2, which covers northwest and parts of north-central Ohio, Richland County was the top archery county in 2003 with 902 deer taken, followed by Huron County with 528 and Lucas County with 455.

The Pennsylvania archery-deer season is split, Oct. 2 through Nov. 13 and Dec. 27 through Jan. 15.

Some 300,000 archers are expected to be afield there. The state herd, the condition of which is improving dramatically under a new management plan that includes antler restrictions, is estimated at about 1.6 million deer, about the same as in 2003.


The 32nd annual fall clinic and general meeting of the Northwestern Ohio Fur Traders Inc. is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Junior Fair Building, Wood County Fairgrounds, West Poe Road, Bowling Green. The schedule includes demonstrations, dealer displays and a random drawing of lot numbers. For other details call Keith Madaras, 419-287-4920, or Sam Dewyer, 410-352-0171.


Russell Lamp, who collects stinging insects for the pharmaceutical industry, is in need of very active colonies of ground-nesting yellowjackets. Venom from the insects is collected for making vaccines. Contact Lamp at 419-836-3710.


Today through Thursday: Toledo Trap and Skeet Club, 2-9 p.m. daily, 3150 State Rt. 295, Berkey; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; call the club, 419-829-5101.

Today: Side Cut Explorer, 10 a.m., Side Cut Metropark, Riverview Area, call for tram reservations, 419-535-3057 extension 101; also, Thursday, full moon walk, 8:30 p.m., Oak Openings Preserve Metropark, Mallard Lake Area; also, Friday, fitness presentation, 9 a.m., Super Fitness, Northtowne Mall, Alexis Road, followed by nature walk in Greenwood Park, 10:30 a.m.; also, Autumn Adventure hike, 2 p.m., Swan Creek Metropark, Yager Center; also, Sunday, Black Swamp Festival, 1 to 5 p.m., Pearson Metropark, Packer-Hammersmith Center, historic arts, crafts, programs, with adventure walk at 1:30 p.m.

Tonight: Public trapshoot, 6-10 p.m., Dundee Sportsmen's Club, 2300 Plank Rd., Dundee, Mich., repeats Thursday 9 a.m.-noon and Sunday noon-6 p.m.; call the club, 734-529-3581.

Tonight: Public trap and skeet shooting, 6-11 p.m., Camp Perry Shooting Club, Camp Perry, State Rt. 2 west of Port Clinton, repeats Thursday 6-11 p.m. and Sunday noon-6 p.m., call the club, 419-635-2682.

Tomorrow: Public trapshoot, 4-8 p.m., Elmore Conservation Club, Portage River Road South, just west of State Rt. 590; remote wireless trap activators, call Terry Schuetz, 419-691-5506.

Thursday: Public trapshoot, 6-9 p.m., Ottawa County Conservation League, Martin-Moline Road, Martin; call Bob Reinbolt, 419-855-8409.

Thursday: Trapshoot, Sandusky County Sportmen's Club, State Rt. 600 east of Gibsonburg; also, Saturday, .22 silhouette shoot, call Bob Caswall, 419-862-2861.

Thursday: Fall wildflower program, 5:30 p.m., Blue Heron Reserve, U.S. 6 northeast of Fremont, call the Sandusky County Park District, 419-334-4495; also, Friday, tree tour, Peninsular Farms, Fremont, call the park office.

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