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Outdoors: For deer hunters, the difference could be snow


By now, plenty of hunters who found a way to keep their powder dry have already killed a whitetail on Saturday, opening day of this year’s four-day Ohio muzzleloader season.

“I think it will be a terriffic season,” said the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Mike Tonkovich, deer project leader. “Some people will have a problem with the cold, but the snow is a big plus.”

Hunters use the snow to their advantage. Snow enables any hunter to be able to track deer and find places deer hang out. The white background also makes the brown-bodied deer stand out.

The cold weather shouldn’t bother hunters who dress properly with wool socks and sturdy, water-proof boots. Of course, great gloves, hand and toe warmers, knit cap, waterproof hooded parka and layers of clothing are a must.

Last year, Ohio hunters killed 15,843 white-tailed deer during the primitive weapons season. Tonkovich said he thinks the total will be higher this year. “You never know, but I think the number will be higher … mostly because of the snow.”

Big boat show: OK, you can’t go to a boat show around Dayton this year, but Cincinnati is not that far away. The Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show starts Jan. 12 at the Duke Energy Center with the doors opening at 5 p.m. There will be booths for 75 travel destinations and, of course, all kinds of boats, canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, RVs, ATVs and equipment. The show will be open Jan. 12-21, but closed Jan. 15-16. For more information, visit cincinnatiboatshow.com.

Hiking the Hocking Hills: The 53rd annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike is scheduled for Jan. 20 with continuous starts between 9-11 a.m. The hike, covering six miles between Old Man’s Cave to Ash Cave, will be held regardless of weather. As always, hot bean soup will be offered half way for a donation. Be sure to dress in layers and wear sturdy hiking boots with good traction.

On the same day you can attend the Frozen Festival in nearby downtown Logan. It features ice sculpting, games and plenty of food. For information, call 740-385-2750.

Dredging record: The Ohio Department of Natural Resources recently finished the 2017 dredging season, having removed 1,053,042 cubic yards of dredge material from state park lakes and other state properties. Last year, a total of 1,011,458 cubic yards of sediment were removed statewide.

Dredging helps clear channels and other areas for boating and swimming, while removing and relocating phosphorus-rich sediment to designated areas. At Grand Lake St. Marys a record of 455,000 cubic yards was removed, which beat the 2016 record of 405,523 cubic yards. Lake Loramie also experienced a record-breaking year by taking out 106,058 cubic yards of sediment, exceeding the 2015 record of 72,000 cubic yards. Indian Lake removed 110,800 cubic yards of dredge material, also beating the 2016 record of 100,054 cubic yards.

Dredging resumes in April.



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