With a few of the controlled waterfowl hunts and all of the applicants for the controlled deer hunts being drawn, take heart in knowing the odds were not in your favor.
Maybe that's why using the term “lottery” makes sense.
For the just concluded drawing and posting of the lucky recipients most of the hunts saw considerably more applicants than slots being available.
A short rundown helps illustrate the point. In all, 4,736 applicants each ponied up $3 for a chance to hunt deer at NASA's Plum Brook Research Station near Sandusky. Yet only 122 names were drawn for an odds of being selected ratio of 1 in 39.
This reserve's controlled archery deer hunt saw even greater odds: One in 46.
The much-sought-after permits to the Mosquito Creek Muzzle-loader controlled hunt were better, though not by much: One in 23.
To participate in the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge/Magee Marsh deer gun hunt the odds were ridiculously stacked against you. Try to imagine odds of one in 81 with 2,264 applicants applying for just 28 slots.
All of these odds are downright sure things, at least when compared to the chances of being picked for either the gun hunt or the muzzle-loading hunt at the Transportation Research Center, wherever that place is.
For the gun hunt, 1,706 applicants filed for one of the 16 spots with the odds thus being One in 107.
Yet the odds of being selected for the muzzle-loading hunts at the Transportation Center were the longest of all, that being one in 165, or 1,316 people applying for just one of the eight available slots. Yikes, indeed.
Even the women hunts saw considerable interest. The women firearms hunt at the Ravenna Arsenal had odds of one in five while the women hunt at Killdeer Plains saw odds of One in 13.
And the mobility-impaired hunts were no better. The odds for such a hunt at the state's Castalia Coldwater Fish Hatchery were One in Seven, and One in Three for the similar hunts at Killdeer Plains.
Some hunters have become so discouraged after seeing their applications fail year after year they now refuse to apply. My two older brothers, Rich and Terry, are among them as are a couple of hunting buddies.
Some suggestions to improve the system include providing preference points whereby every year an applicant is not selected he or she gets an additional free try.
Another thought is to prohibit a person who is drawn for a particular hunt for applying again for a period of one or more years.
Both methods are employed elsewhere though the Ohio Division of Wildlife has reacted coolly toward adopting either of these suggestions let alone any other.
OOPS – Hunters and anglers use the respective game or fish law digests as guides to help keep them out of trouble with the law.
So what happens when the digests themselves are in error?
If you're the Wildlife Division you squirm out of the responsibility by saying the actual code is correct with the digest just being a helpful summary.
Oh, please. After going through the current, 2013-2014 Ohio fishing law digest I came across a puzzlement found on page 11. There, in black and white the Wildlife Division specifically excludes the use of crossbow for the taking of either frogs or turtles.
Thing is, the document is dead-set incorrect. A quick email note to Scott Zody, the Wildlife Division's chief, saw that the agency admitting it goofed and that the actual several-year-old technical language says all archery tackle is legal tender for taking frogs and turtles, not just longbows.
Of course when the 2014-2015 fishing law digest comes out late next winter that section about the taking of frogs and turtles is going to be my first read.
AMMO SHORTAGE/WHAT AMMO SHORTAGE – As been said here a few times within the past several weeks, the great ammunition shortage of 2013 is ever-so-slowly easing.
Not for every caliber and not in every locale but enough so that hunters looking to sight-in their firearms may sweat less in finding what they need prior to the deer-hunting season.
The Sportsman's Guide is circulating its latest e-version catalog, noting an adequate supply of .223 Remington/ 5.56 NATO.
Which, frankly, never seemed to have been much of an issue here in Northeast Ohio.
The guide likewise is listing several types of both 7.62x39mm and 7.62x54R ammunition.
Meanwhile, Ohio's Fin, Feather and Fur Outfitters' latest e-edition flier is noting “Great Savings” on several popular handgun calibers. Among them are 9mm, 40S&W, .380 Auto, .45ACP, and .38 Special.
And Able Ammo's web site lists no fewer than 16 types of .308 Winchester ammunition ready for ordering. This caliber had been one of the most challenging to buy during the Great Ammo Shortage of 2013.
Alas, however, even Budsgunshop.com can't help when it comes to the availability of .22 long rifle ammunition or .45 Colt for that matter.
Hopefully with the various waterfowl, upland game, and small game hunting seasons on the horizon sportsmen won't similarly have difficulties finding the correct shotshell ammunition.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn