Friday, October 16, 2009

Fall turkey harvest (For many, a wild goose chase)

One week deep into Ohio's seven-week-long fall wild turkey hunting season and the report card shows a "D."

For the first week, hunters killed 438 wild turkeys, a significant drop from the 547 birds shot during last fall season's opening week. The season continues through Nov. 29 and hunters may kill one turkey only of either sex.

Locally, Ashtabula County suffered one of the state's more noteworthy declines. For this year's first week Ashtabula County turkey hunters shot 23 wild turkeys: A sharp decline from the 39 birds recorded for last year's first week of turkey hunting.

Lake County saw slight increase from 4 birds last year to 7 birds this year. Geauga County saw a minuscule drop of just one bird. The magical number last year was 11 turkeys and 10 this year.

No birds were killed during the first week in Cuyahoga County either last year or this year.

Trumbull County is a popular place for area turkey hunters and its numbers were 17 last year for the first week and 15 for this year's first week.

The Top Five counties for Week One were: Coschocton (24), Ashtabula (23), Guernsey (18), Brown and Tuscarawas (17 each).

In other news, the Holden Arboretum will host its first fall/winter science lecture series from 7 to 9 p.m., Oct. 21.

The guest speaker will be Kurt Smemo (Holden's soil biogeochemist) and his topic will be "How do we define a healthy forest?" The health and function of forest ecosystems is intrinsically linked to the well-being and prosperity of human communities in Northeast Ohio, the arboretum says.

Subsequent lectures will explore a number of environmental stresses on forest ecosystem health, function and diversity.

Cost for the lecture is free for Holden members or $6 for non-members. Call 440-602-3833 for further details and to register.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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