Jim Morris
Jim Morris

Jim Morris has worked for newspapers, radio, television and various Websites for more than 47 years. He has been a writer, an editor, an editorial writer and a columnist. For 23 years, Morris worked for the Troy Daily News as sports editor, managing editor and executive editor. In 1994 he began working at the Dayton Daily News as an outdoor sports columnist and night sports desk editor. He retired from the DDN in January of 2010 and is now a freelance writer with his own Website for outdoors stories.


Paddle sports have been growing, with Ohio kayak and canoe registrations more than 130 percent higher over the past decade, up to 152,000 last year. And now Ohio is offering paddle sports events.

Before you read the rest of this column, I have something to confess. While I have been a boater all of my life, from the Long Island Sound to Lake Erie and hundreds of smaller lakes in between, I am quite possibly the world’s worst paddler. The very worst. The second-place finisher is not even close.

There were several well-intended canoe trips in my past. Almost all ended in the water. Not on. In.

I can think of just two that didn’t. One was a trip down the Stillwater River, but I was riding in the middle of the canoe. They wouldn’t give me a paddle. The second was in Quebec province at a place called Lac McCracken, a lake in which there is only one species of fish – brown trout. I was riding in the middle on that one, too.  They wouldn’t give me a paddle and we didn’t tip over. Smart move.

Now, put me in a boat with a motor and it’s a different story. Vrrooom.

Sailing, I tried but it wasn’t fast enough.

Paddling has become a very popular pastime in Ohio for both canoes and kayaks. I have a friend who actually teaches people how to kayak for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Over the last decade, the number of Ohio-registered canoes and kayaks increased 138 percent to more than 152,000 in 2015. From 2014 to 2015, Ohio saw an increase of almost 20,000 paddlers.

Because paddling has become so popular, ODNR is offering a series of Paddle Ohio events to promote paddling on state-designated wild, scenic and recreational rivers, water trails and Ohio State Park lakes.

More than 250 people have participated in Paddle Ohio events since the program’s creation in 2014 by the Division of Watercraft. To date, a total of 38 paddlers have successfully met the criteria to receive a “four rivers paddled” or an “eight rivers paddled” Paddle Ohio pin. For information on the 2016 events visit paddle.ohiodnr.gov/events.

Ten state park lakes have been added to the Paddle Ohio program this year, including Cowan and Stonelick in southwest Ohio. Tip: check the Ohio State Parks website at parks.ohiodnr.gov for information regarding water levels at these lakes before planning your next paddling trip.

Maps and more information on Ohio’s scenic rivers and water trails, as well as information on volunteering to become a stream quality monitor, are available at watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/scenicrivers.

The Turkey Take Was Up

Hunters checked 17,793 wild turkeys during Ohio’s combined 2016 spring wild turkey hunting season and youth wild turkey hunting season ended in May. That’s 155 more than last spring’s turkey hunting season when hunters killed 17, 638.

There were 16,229 birds taken during the four weeks of the 2016 wild turkey season compared to 16,049 birds in 2015. Young hunters checked 1,564 birds during the 2016 youth season compared to 1,589 in 2015.

Find more information about wild turkey hunting at wildohio.gov. Following are the 2016 turkey hunting results from area counties. The 2015 numbers are in parentheses:  Adams 432 (413), Allen 89 (78), Auglaize 50 (50), Brown 347 (327), Butler 166 (200), Champaign 95 (102), Clark 15 (19), Clermont 396 (347), Clinton 40 (60), Darke 40 (55), Greene 16 (23), Hamilton 117 (116), Highland 387 (357), Logan 141 (117), Mercer 21 (23), Miami 20 (17), Montgomery 18 (25), Preble 114 (108), Shelby 50 (42), Warren 101 (67).

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Open this year’s hunting season with a trip to Olde English, proud to sponsor outdoors columnist Jim Morris on Press Pros Magazine.com!