Having several successful years of conducting controlled deer hunts for adults, the Geauga Park District is now aiming to include youngsters.
John Oros, the park district's operations manager, says the kids-only controlled deer hunt will run in conjunction with the statewide two-day youth-only firearms deer-hunting season, Nov. 23 and 24.
The Northeast Ohio park district began its lottery-controlled deer hunts – both archery and shotgun – during the various 2007-2008 deer-hunting seasons.
As per agency policy, only Geauga County residents are eligible to participate in the lottery. The principle behind this stipulation is because the Geauga Park District – as all county park districts are in Ohio – financed through voter-approved levies.
Thus the thinking goes that if Geauga County residents are supporting the county's parks system then, by golly, these residents should have first, last and all dibs on applying for a slot in the controlled hunts.
The same set of rules will now apply to the county's youth, says Oros.
Oros says the revision came as the result of a complete review of the program.
Geauga County Juvenile/Probate Court Judge Tim Grendell will sponsor the youth-only hunt, too, Oros says as well.
In Ohio, it is the probate judges in each county that appoints members to the respective county park board of commissioners.
Himself an active sportsmen, Grendell also is helping to assemble a youth-only fishing program within the Geauga Park District, Oros said.
Last year the parks district had slots available at 24 locations during the archery season, slots available at two locations during the shotgun season, and slots available at one location during the muzzle-loading season.
The hunts have proven successful over the years with several dozen deer being taken each season.
While all of the details are not yet finalized the general time-line the Geauga Park District has previously used included receiving applications from hunters from late June through the end of July.
Geauga County residents – including youths - interested in participating in the lottery drawing can contact the parks system at www.geaugaparkdistrict.org or by calling 440-286-9516.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn