Thursday, September 1, 2011

Very wet morning seriously dampens dove opener

This morning’s gully-washing, frog-choker of a rain storm put a serious dent in the start of Ohio’s dove-hunting hunting season.

The storms begin in the wee hours of the morning, building strength until just before sunrise.

Many areas in Northeast Ohio received between one and two inches of rain with several reports of even more rain falling in a few isolated areas in Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula counties.

For a short period this morning Ashtabula County was under a Flash Flood Watch.

That advisory was lifted later in the day.

Hurt especially bad was the opening day of hunting at the Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area’s managed dove-hunting fields in Trumbull County. Here, one and one-half inches of rain poured down in a very short period of time.

Combined with a dangerous lightening show and accompanied by a booming display of thunder, no hunters ventured out until after the storm passed, wildlife area officials said.

Even once the all-clear appeared in the sky the hunting pressure was pretty thin, said Lou Orosz, manager of the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Mosquito Creek area.

And it stayed that way through at least early afternoon, Orosz said as well.

“There are still a couple of guys out there but it wasn’t like past openers,” Orosz said. “It’s been just a few shots here and there instead of the constant volley of the past.”

Orosz said the rain returned about noon, too.

That additional nail in the opening day’s coffin pretty much ended activity at the reserve’s main managed dove-hunting field across from the area’s headquarters.

“It’s been a bad year all around,” Orosz said.

Current National Weather Service radar indicates a few random showers while the southern reaches of Northeast Ohio are under an advisory of additional heavy rain.

The rain is expected to ease beginning about 4 p.m.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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