November has finally arrived and traditionally it is the month for the hunters. However, with the warm stretch we have been having, it seems more like fishing weather and most anglers on Lake Erie would agree.
The walleye are finally on the move towards the west and anglers from Huron to the islands are doing extremely well again. Trolling crankbaits offshore during the day and casting crankbaits from the shore at night have been the most productive. After two years of crying the blues, the perch fishermen are jumping for joy as well. Large sized perch are being caught from the Marblehead lighthouse all the way to Toledo.
The archery deer hunters have been having a pretty good couple of weeks as well. It is clear with the increased movement of the bucks that the deer rut is upon us. Just this morning on my drive to work I witnessed two different does being harassed by bucks. The increase in harvested bucks being tagged in the last couple of weeks would confirm my observation.
Small game seasons opened last week. The area’s cottontail rabbit population appears to be on the upswing of its usual cycle. There should be plenty of rabbits to chase over the next month or so. On top of that, the warm weather makes for near ideal conditions to continue to chase squirrels and it should continue to get easier as the leaves start to fall.
This week, the furbearer season opens and as always there are plenty of raccoons to trap or hunt. Trapping and hunting seasons open for raccoons, fox, mink, and muskrat on November 10th with beaver season arriving after Christmas.
The warm weather has been nice for fishing and chasing squirrels or other small game but it has been a horrible opening few weeks of the waterfowl season here in the buckeye state. We just haven’t had any cold fronts to push any ducks down from the north yet. The small population of local birds have been shot up and educated and no new birds have arrived from Canada. Don’t expect things to improve until we get more seasonal weather.
• Want to skip the lines and worry about getting your Christmas shopping done this year? Finding the perfect gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your life has never been easier, especially with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources online store. Some easy ideas include the 2021 Holiday Ornament: This limited-edition three-dimensional holiday ornament is the perfect gift for anyone who loves Ohio State Parks. The ornament is wood-carved and features Ohio’s state bird, the cardinal. Each ornament is $10.
Ohio State Park Vintage Posters: Ohio State Parks’ series of vintage posters feature iconic attractions and images from Cowan Lake, Hocking Hills, Malabar Farm, Marblehead Lighthouse, Mohican, and Salt Fork state parks. Purchase one poster for $9 or get all six posters for $48. Each poster measures 16”x24” and may be ordered online.
The Ohio State Parks Passport is a great way to commemorate your visit to all 75 of Ohio’s scenic state parks. The full-color booklet includes regional maps, photographs, and individual pages for each Ohio State Park. Learn what each park offers as well as interesting facts and local information. With each park visit, users can “stamp” their passport, write notes and memorialize each visit. Passports are available at state park camp stores and lodge gift stores for $10 each or may be ordered online.
A great choice and my personal favorite is surprising a friend or family member with multi year or lifetime hunting and fishing licenses — unique gifts that will be appreciated for years to come. Ohio resident hunting and fishing license buyers can choose from three-year, five-year, 10-year, and lifetime options. All funds generated from the sale of multiyear and lifetime licenses are deposited into the Wildlife Fund, where they will be used to protect and enhance Ohio’s wildlife populations.
Buying and giving an Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp allows wildlife enthusiasts the opportunity to directly impact the future of Ohio’s native wildlife. The stamp proceeds go to the Endangered Species and Wildlife Diversity Fund and support: habitat restoration; land purchases and conservation easements; endangered and threatened native species; educational products for students and wildlife enthusiasts; and wildlife and habitat research projects.
The individual purchasing an Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp for $15 will receive a collectible stamp, window cling, and commemorative card. Showing your Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp at eight state park lodges can earn a 25% discount on lodge rooms for weekday stays, and the stamp holder is required to be present to receive this coupon.
An Ohio State Parks gift card or gift certificate makes a perfect present for anyone who appreciates the great outdoors right here in the Buckeye State. Gift cards or gift certificates can be used at Ohio State Parks for overnight stays, allowing the recipient to enjoy their favorite state park or visit a new one! Gift cards or gift certificates may be redeemed for camping, getaway rentals, cabin rentals, and at most Ohio state park lodges. Gift certificates and gift cards may also be used at state operated retail stores or for boat rentals at many state park marinas. Available in any denomination and with no expiration date, gift cards, and gift certificates may be purchased online at reserveohio.com or by calling 866-644-6727.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!
Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.