Opening day hunters at Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area's managed dove fields won't have their noses tickled by the smell of burnt wheat chaff.
That's because the Ohio Division of Wildlife's District Three (Northeast Ohio) failed to timely secure the necessary burn permit from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
The Ohio EPA - says a Wildlife Division District Three biologist - requires a 10-day waiting period from the time the burn application is received and when the burn can be performed.
Burning is done to remove the knee-high stalks of wheat, leaving the grain to lay on the blackened earth. The doves are attracted to the burnt fields where they become vulnerable to waiting gunners.
Burning also helps hunters in recovering birds, rather than the sportsmen searching through still-standing crops.
However, the Wildlife Division says it really won't matter because doves are still visiting Mosquito's managed dove fields anyway. Which begs the question, why bother even considering burning if such action doesn't help hunters?
We'll see Wednesday whether the dove hunting is just as good with or without burning the fields.
See tomorrow's News-Herald Outdoors for a story about dove hunting at Mosquito Creek.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn