Monday, August 31, 2009

Only hours away ( Getting ready for the season)

For about one week now I've been quietly assembling the necessary artifacts for another hunting season, which begins tomorrow at 6:54 a.m. for early Canada goose and mourning dove.

Yesterday (Sunday) my wife (Bev) and me put out nine floating goose decoys in the farm pond. We hadn't rowed back more than 15 minutes before about a dozen geese circled the pond and landed right smack at the edge of the decoys. Cool stuff.

Yet I'm not planning on getting to the pond until later Tuesday morning (though most certainly early Wednesday morning).

Nope. I'm looking at rising at around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday and driving to Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area in the hopes of doing some dove hunting, a tradition for the start of the hunting season.

Later in the month my brother (Rich) and I will take on squirrels and I just gotta' get my Ithaca slug shotgun sighted in along with doing some shooting with my .45 ACP auto.

And I've started to get my archery places in order and primed for deer.

Can't forget the fishing, either. I'll be out - good weather permitting - for the Lake County Visitors Bureau PerchFest.

After a month of doodling around in August I'm excited about the real deal.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New homes (Sports show and Home and Garden Show)

Next year's Cleveland Sports Show as well as Home & Garden Show have a new home.

At least those shows produced by Cleveland-based Expositions, Inc.

This is only the third time in its 72-year history that the Sports Show has moved, the latest being at Cleveland's I-X Center.

Now the 73rd Sports Show will be held at the 215,000-square-foot Great Lakes Expo Center, formerly the K-Mart store in Euclid and across from the now-defunct Euclid Square Mall.

Dates for next year's Sports Show will be Feb. 11 through 14. Note that is only a four-day show and is in February instead of March.

Expositions also is moving its Home and Garden Show to the same location. The dates for that show are Jan. 22 through 31.

More details about the moves will come in the next several days.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

On getting ready (Hunting's starting gun)

The past several days have been spent doing what is necessary in order to do what is fun. That being, getting the goose blind's camo material hooked up to the frame, putting on new anchor line to the decoys, and checking with the landowner to see if any geese have been passing overhead.

It hasn't stopped there. Oh, no, not by a long shot. Saturday afternoon saw my wife, Bev, and me setting up the new electronic game feeder. Much better and much easier to program and erect than the old Game Country feeder the new model will (hopefully) begin pulling in deer before the archery season starts Sept. 26.

This new model can hold up to 200 pounds of shelled corn, has a funnel-shaped cone mouth, with a pre-set electronic timer that runs twice daily, dispensing 1 pound per each six-second run. Simply marvelous. I'm not suppose to have to feed the feeder with corn except once every two months. Hope that is the case and hope the animal guard will keep the turkeys from stealing corn from off the rotor.

And I checked the battery packs of my Mojo motion dove decoys for the Sept. 1 opener of the dove season along with making sure my field box had at least four boxes of shotshells. Oh, and I filled my goose hunting box with ammo and goose calls, too.

Fishing hasn't been left out. At lunch I checked on the charge for my trolling motor battery. I'm going to "guide" Lake County Captains' skipper Aaron Holbert for a day of farm pond fishing on Wednesday. That is, before the expected rains arrive.

And I'm hoping to get out and do some sighting-in shooting with my slug shotgun and also see where by new .45-auto is shooting.

Don't you just love autumn?

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fish Ohio pins (Better late than never)

The several thousand Fish Ohio applicants waiting to collect their pins will need to be patient a little longer.

Officials with the Ohio Division of Wildlife say it will be mid-September before the first batch of pins - this year featuring a sunfish/bluegill - are sent out by snail mail. This likely ship date is several weeks later than usual, state officials say.

The reason? Blame the recent budget crisis and the politicians who nixed spending any money, even by agencies such as the Wildlife Division which have stand-alone and self-supporting financing.

“It is budget related and we are a little behind, but everyone will get their Fish Ohio pin,” said Wildlife Division spokeswoman Vicki Ervin.

Vicki Farus, the Fish Ohio program’s administrator, says the to-date number of Fish Ohio applications has grown from last year. So far this year the Wildlife Division has processed 8,800 Fish Ohio applications. That compares to the 7,393 applications received at this same point in time last year, Farus said.

“Maybe the cooler weather has prompted more people to go out and fish. Or maybe more people are staying home and fishing locally,” Farus said.

As for a break-down of Fish Ohio applications, some of the more popular species scored gains, though not walleye.

These are the to-date application numbers for several, select, species with the to-date 2008 figures in parentheses: Crappie- 1,267 (1,064); Sunfish/bluegill - 1,313 (1,062); Largemouth bass - 564 (415); Walleye - 1,427 (1,566); Yellow perch - 564 (472).

To be eligible for a Fish Ohio pin, an angler needs to catch a qualifying specimen from at least one of 19 eligible species. For anglers who catch at least one qualifying representative of four eligible species earns a Fish Ohio Master Angler award, presented in late winter.

Anglers interested in signing up for a Fish Ohio pin can do so online at the agency’s web site: Instructions and a mail-in application likewise are available in the fishing law digest.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A ducking' we will go (with more liberalization than ever)

Ask the Ohio Division of Wildlife's Dave Scott just how liberal are this year's waterfowl hunting regulations and he'll tell you outright that these are "the good 'ol days."

Changes this year include the addition of one canvasback duck to the daily bag limit as well as a daily bag limit of two scaup for the entire season instead of just part of the season.

Don't forget either, says Scott, the Wildlife Division's chief wildlife biologist, that the daily bag limit will include three wood-ducks, which was the case for the first time last year and for which hunters were generally very, very happy.

Also, the state has accepted a 74-day goose hunting season instead of a 70-day season.
While that doesn’t seem like much additional opportunity it does allow for an extra weekend of goose hunting; which is when most hunters participate, Scott says.

As for the early season, the Canada goose daily bag limit has been increase to four from three, which was the prior case.
Annually, Ohio’s goose hunters shoot around 73,000 to 79,000 for all seasons with between 13,000 and 16,000 Canadas being taken during the early season which will run Sept. 1 to 15, statewide.

“Basically we’re at about the most liberal regulations, seasons and bag limits that we’ve ever had. I like to say that we’re in the good ‘ol days now,” Scott said.

As for the general waterfowl hunting seasons, in the North Zone the season will run Oct.17 to Dec. 6 and again Dec. 26 through Jan. 3. The daily bag limit will be six ducks, of which four can be mallards (only one hen) three wood-ducks, one black duck, two scaup, one pintail, one canvasback.
two redheads.

The Lake Erie Zone goose hunting season will run Oct. 17 through Nov. 29 and 29 and Dec. 7 through Jan. 3. The daily bga limit will be two Canada geese.

Copies of this season's waterfowl hunting regulations (and which includes maps) are available online at It is publication number 295 and can also be found at the agency's electronic press release on the subject.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ammo relief (and not a hunting season too soon)

It would appear that a cooling-off period for ammunition as well as firearms availability is at hand.

I visited Gander Mountain's Mentor store this afternoon and saw (finally) shelves well stocked not only with .22-caliber ammunition, but that also for rifles, shotguns and (especially) handguns.

This lack of stock is in sharp contrast to just a few months ago when panic buying flooded gun shops with frightened gun owners who stockpiled up on all kinds of ammunition, sending makers into over-drive in an effort to catch up.

It appears that they have with all but the highly popular .380 Auto line and which continues to remain in very short supply. If you have a .380 Auto, best keep at least one magazine of the fodder available as no one knows when this popular caliber will see good ammunition supplies.

About the only thing that remains the same is the high price for the ammunition.

Also, the firearms industry says the huge demand for handguns and certain other firearms has lessened as well.

All of which is great news for shooters and hunters as Ohio and the surrounding states move into the various hunting seasons.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's been a while (But good excuse)

Sorry for the delay but I was kindly indisposed with a vacation. All the way to Canada's Yukon Territory, in fact; a distance of around 3,000 miles. Not a brag, just still happy as a satisfied clam with the trip.

The worst part (as always) is the traveling. I work myself up over going through airports and pray that I'll make connections and that my bags will be following me. I did and they did, thank heavens.

The trip was to fish for large pike with a fly rod with a lesser attraction on catching big lake trout. As it turned out, it was the other way around. I caught pike up to 10 to 15 pounds but lakers from the 20- to 45-pound range. I even was satisfied by catching them via trolling; a technique I'm hardly in love with.

All were taken from Wellesley Lake at its Klune Wilderness Lodge. The lake is about as long as the distance between Mentor Lagoons and the Perry Nuclear Power Plant while its width runs about from Lake Erie to Route 90 in Mentor.

This was my third trip to the Yukon, a piece of real estate the size of California with a population of about Painesville City combined with Painesville Township. You go a long ways between villages and people.

A thorough exploration of the trip is planned for The News-Herald's Travel Section on August 16. I'm also planning on developing a Power Point presentation, if any group is interested.

Still, it's good to be back and I'm caught up on the news that the lake's walleye fishing has hit the skids while its steelhead fishing has really taken off. Meanwhile the perch fishing has seen its ups and downs. More on those things with Friday's weekly fishing report.

But I will again be off next week as my wife and I take care of our four grandchildren while our daughter has her fifth child. Love being a grandfather. It gives me more kids to take fishing.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn