The cynic in us might very well ask whether it’s worth attending the up-coming concurrent Open Houses that will address the game law proposals for the 2015-2016 hunting seasons.
After all, following the conclusion of the recently held Deer Summits the Ohio Division of Wildlife made a not-so-subtle end-run around that series’ attendees.
While agency officials stressed in no uncertain terms their unwavering support for the early antlerless-only/muzzle-loading deer-hunting season those empowered to override the field staff did just, many who attended the summits were chagrined to learn.
Added to the dismay that the Wildlife Division says one thing on a Saturday and then presents something else entirely several days later was the out-from-far-right-field proposal to add a two-day general firearms deer-hunting season the day after Christmas.
In the world of the British Commonwealth December 26th is known as “Boxing Day.” And rightfully many Ohio’s deer hunters believed the Wildlife Division had unnecessarily and unfairly repackage the deer hunting comments (promises?) that called for holding the line for the 2015-2016 season.
And now the agency is calling for all good hunters to come to the aid of the annual so-named Ohio Houses, scattered across each of the Wildlife Division’s five districts.
Each of these district Open House meetings are set for noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 7.
Additionally, comments will be taken electronically through the following day, Sunday, March 8.
On the agenda are – in the words of the Ohio Division of Wildlife – “…opportunities for anyone interested in sharing input and participating in Ohio’s professional wildlife management process.”
To attend the meeting will be Wildlife Division biologists and law enforcement personnel who’ll explain the proposals as well as listen to the praises, gripes, concerns and opinions of the attendees.
Of course those goals were also the thrust behind the Deer Summits. Yet many of the hunters who attended them now understands why cynicism about what the Wildlife Division says at one point isn’t always what the Wildlife Division produces somewhere else down the line.
Still, if you have a hankering to attend - and still believe that your praise, gripes, concerns and opinions really do matter - by all means visit one of the five locations. A well-orchestrated dog-and-pony show is often good for a chuckle or two.
And it may not hurt though chances are it really won’t matter because as often as not (and increasingly so) the voice of Ohio’s sportsmen is falling on deaf ears.
The locations for the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s March 7 Open Houses:
· Central Ohio: Wildlife District One office, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus 43215; 614-644-3925;
· Northwest Ohio: Wildlife District Two office, 952 Lima Avenue, Findlay 45840; 419-424-5000;
· Northeast Ohio: Wildlife District Three office, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron 44319; 330-644-2293;
· Southeast Ohio: Wildlife District Four office, 360 E. State Street, Athens 45701; 740-589-9930;
· Southwest Ohio: Greene County Fish and Game, 1538 Union Road, Xenia 45385; 937-372-9261.
· By Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
· Jeff is the retired News-Herald reporter who covered the earth sciences, the area's three county park systems and the outdoors for the newspaper. During his 30 years with The News-Herald Jeff was the recipient of more than 100 state, regional and national journalism awards. He also is a columnist and features writer for the Ohio Outdoor News, which is published every other week and details the outdoors happenings in the state.