The cool fall days make for an ideal time to spend in the woods, or on the water.  Chances are, you enjoy either and be equally successful.

(Ed. Note:  Guest writer Dan Hickey served as game protector for Mercer and Miami Counties, then as a wildlife officer supervisor for nine counties in west central Ohio until he retired in 2005.  Still avidly involved with the outdoors, wildlife and habitat conservation, we welcome his expertise and columns on our natural environment to Press Pros.)

By Dan Hickey

October is a good month, providing many choices for the Buckeye sportsman.

I was talking with a fellow retired game warden from Hillsboro recently and we noticed how fall fishing was more active now than in the past 30 years,  and with good reason.

Cool fall days make water temps drop and fish feed before the winter months, and good catches of crappies and bluegills can be made.  On a trip recently to Indian Lake two local anglers kept 56 crappies and bluegills.

Fall hunting seasons are in full swing also. It’s a great time to squirrel hunt with leaves in full color and no bugs to irritate you.  The first week of waterfowl season has begun for local hunters here in the south zone.   The second opener for geese is November 14 and ducks is December 7th.   As always, check current hunting regulations for closing dates and bag limits.

The whitetail deer season is nearing the rut which should increase deer movement. I can remember attending the fish and game meetings at North Dayton anglers clubhouse years ago when seasons were voted on by those in attendance.  Everything was well until it came to deer season and methods of taking.  There were some very heated discussions concerning longbows vs crossbows, but as time has progressed crossbows are more efficient now than ever, and have become a great opportunity and a good management tool.

Deer harvest was mainly taken by gun hunters during the traditional week long gun season in the past, but now bow hunters harvest more, leading the way with 2018 totals being 79,098.  More and more hunters are finding bow hunting a great time to spend in the woods, while they enjoy the surroundings and see all forms of wildlife, which makes for a more quality experience.

The following is a list of deer harvested by bow hunters in area counties as of October 29, 2019 – Auglaize Co, 154….Darke Co, 113 Mercer Co, 124…Miami Co, 174…and Shelby Co, 165.

So fish or hunt.  This time of year you can do both!

Coverage of the outdoors on Press Pros is proudly sponsored by Olde English Outfitters, in Tipp City.