It’s time to switch gears for outdoor activities

While the calendar said the fall equinox began on Tuesday, the reality of early fall hit us on Thursday with much cooler temperatures.

A couple of cool, crisp mornings and evenings can quickly shift one’s mindset to a different season. Days in the upper 80s or 90s may not return for several months. Time to switch gears on some of our outdoor endeavors.

One of them is hunting. And while a few seasons have started (squirrel and wood pigeon started Sept. 1), the start of the deer archery season, which begins Saturday, tends to get hunters motivated. Many enjoy the sport in October and November when the temperatures drop, the leaves change color and the adrenaline flows at the sight of the white-tailed quarry while sitting on a blind ground or in a tree.

Squirrel hunting gets more comfortable as we get closer to Thanksgiving. The fall turkey season allows for a few last few weeks to hunt one of these wild birds. Waterfowl season begins in October when the ducks begin their migration south. Lake Erie Wetland Waterfowl Hunting Dates begin on October 15, while the North Side and South Side Waterfowl Openers begin on October 22. And in early November the annual small game and mountain bird season begins (November 4), followed a week later by the hunt and capture of furriers (November 10).

Ohio’s fall turkey season is two weeks shorter than the 2021 season. It opens October 8 and ends November 13. The season is open in 70 of Ohio’s 88 counties and includes Allen, Hancock, Hardin, Logan and Putnam counties in the Lima area. Wild turkey populations have declined throughout Ohio after several years of below-average breeding success. The reduction in the length of the fall hunting season is accompanied by a reduced limit for the spring season.

Hunters are reminded to check current regulations for changes to season dates and daily limits as the fall 2022 seasons begin. A summary of the 2022-23 hunting and trapping regulations can be found at on the HuntFish OH app, or anywhere licenses are sold.

The free HuntFish OH app is available to purchase hunting and fishing licenses, check game, view wildlife area maps, and much more. The HuntFish OH mobile app is available for iOS and Android users on the app store or Google Play. Users can check deer and wild turkey harvests through the app, even without an internet connection.

The Ohio Division of Wildlife reminds hunters and landowners that the Ohio Landowners and Hunters Access Association program opens an avenue for hunters to access private lands and landowners receive incentives for allowing access to private lands. the hunters. Find more information about the program, register as a hunter or landowner, and find a property near you at

The wildlife agency also encourages new and experienced hunters to visit the Wild Ohio Harvest Community for information on getting started, hunting opportunities and delicious wild game recipes. One can make the most of their fall hunting season with online learning modules, hands-on workshops, and more.

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A youth waterfowl workshop will be held from 1 pm to sunset on October 2 at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, located near Oak Harbor on Ohio 2.

Registration is required. The workshop is designed for youth ages 17 and under and a required accompanying adult. Space is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will be given to new applicants with little or no waterfowl hunting experience. Hunters with disabilities will be accommodated. Selected participants will be notified.

The deadline to register is Monday (September 26). To register, go online to the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and search for the youth waterfowl workshop registration. That should take you to a registration form. For more information, call Trevor at 419-544-0065 or the front desk at 419-898-0014.

Participants will receive a goody bag and learn the basics to get started in waterfowl hunting. A brown bag dinner will be provided.

The highlight of the day will be the completion of the workshop when participants are eligible to participate in youth waterfowl hunts in the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. They will hunt portions of both areas from 4 pm to sunset.

Selected participants must bring a bottle of water, camera, insect repellant, and sunscreen to the workshop. For the hunt, participants must bring a federal and state duck license and stamp and HIP if 16-17 years old, ammunition, gun, decoys, boots and flashlight.

Activities and stations during the event include: waterfowl identification, duck and goose calls, wildlife conservation laws, waterfowl cleaning and cooking, decoy setting, firearms safety, retriever demonstrations and team selection.

Read Al Smith’s Previous Columns Outdoors

Al Smith is an outdoor freelance writer. You can contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL