Nearly 80 lucky hunters gathered in Madison Township this afternoon to hear how Lake Metroparks’ first-ever controlled archery-only hunt is going to work for them.
The hunters were selected for the hunt last Friday in a random drawing. The names of another group of applicants were also drawn and these selectees will become alternates should one or more of the first 80 not qualify to hunt, fail to attend a required orientation meeting, fail to pass an archery proficiency test or decides not to hunt.
Among those attending this afternoon’s first orientation session was Christine Passerallo of Mentor.
Almost without question Passerallo will be eligible for one of the hunt’s 10, two-week slots. These hunts are set for Lake Metroparks’ 492-acre River Road Reservation in Madison Township.
“My husband is crying that I got picked and he didn’t,” Passerallo said. “I think I’ll let him be my guest so he can drag out my deer.”
Passerallo showed off her paper target used for the mandatory proficiency test.
Consisting of a piece of paper with a 7-inch diameter ring, the target must be hit by either four of five arrows or eight of 10 arrows at a distance of 12 yards.
The target that Passerallo clutched had four of five holes touching each other in the bull’s-eye while the last arrow hole was less than two inches to the southwest of the target’s ground zero.
She used a Horton Legend 175 crossbow to obtain her near perfect score.
“I’ve hunted before but I’ve never killed a deer so I’m very excited,” Passerallo said also.
Excited too was Tom Fleming of Perry who entered the drawing because he no longer could archery hunt on a piece of property that he had permission to do so for many years.
“It’s a good program and I’m surprised I was selected,” Fleming said.
Each orientation selectee was instructed that the wearing of a blaze orange-colored hat or vest was required. So to did the agency personnel encouraged hunters to carry a cell phone, a signal whistle, and a flashlight.
Likewise both the hunter and his - or, her - guest are mandated to wear a safety harness. Similarly, the participants were reminded that they must pass the proficiency test, which many of the attendees had done.
Which was good for at least nine of them since they were drawn for the first two-week session that begins Saturday.
However, one of those who entered the lottery and was selected and then also picked to be in the first group never showed up this afternoon. That meant he would be replaced by the 11th person in line and would move down the pecking order until her does complete the qualification requirement.
Many of the orientation attendees asked questions of the Lake Metroparks staff with Tom Adair - the agency’s natural resources manager, and Mike Burko, the agency’s chief ranger, doing most of the talking and nearly all of the answering.
Adair noted that all hunters must sign in and sign out prior to the start of the day’s hunt while Burko explained that the parks system expects to allow hunters to enter the woods at 5 a.m., daily.
Following the orientation the participants were encouraged to take a map and walk the grounds to the various supplied two-person “buddy” tree ladder stands that also come with filled electronic game feeders.
A video of the orientation meeting is available for viewing on The News-Herald’s web site, www.news-herald.com.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn