Use planting season to enhance wildlife habitat

With planting season in full swing, it’s time to enhance habitat for wildlife in your favorite outdoor areas.
A visit to the websites of National Wild Turkey Federation (www.nwtf.org), Pheasants Forever (www.pheasantsforever.org), or Whitetails Unlimited (www.whitetailsunlimited.com) will give you a multitude of information, as well as special planting mixes formulated for northwestern Ohio.
Other experts are at the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Private Lands Section. They offer advice as well as information regarding federal programs that assist in reestablishing habitat while protecting watersheds and reducing flooding. In Findlay, call 419-424-5000.
Some of the most beneficial plantings are those providing long-lasting grassland cover.
These offer hiding and loafing areas for many species. Tall, warm-season grasses also provide excellent winter cover.
Food plots are also popular and are at their best when geared toward upland birds. While plots for deer are well-liked, the mobility of the animal makes food sources more available. Of course, a desirable food crop may tend to hold deer in an area. Tree and shrub planting are also valuable options.
Are you ready for planting season?
Along the Way:
If your goal as a bird hunter or clay target shooter is to become a more consistent shot and to maintain a proficient, life long shooting technique, then the Fieldsport Wingshooting School is ideal for learning.
A complete wingshooting technique is taught by expert instructors and is based on solid fundamentals, and reinforced by more than 75 years of collective teaching experience. Hundreds of clay targets are shot from virtually every angle and presentation during the program.
A gun fit analysis, eye dominancy test and videotaped shooting sessions are critical evaluations included. The tuition includes both one-on-one and small-group instruction, clay targets, ammunition, gourmet lunches, and the instructional DVD, “The Art of Shooting Flying,” to review before the school.
While not inexpensive at $1,495 per student, the result will benefit you for a lifetime. The two-day classes are held in picturesque Traverse City, Michigan, on Aug. 7-8 and again on Aug. 14-15.
For information, contact Fieldsport at 1428 Trade Center Drive, Traverse City, MI 49696, or call 231-933-0767. The classes fill quickly.
Step Outside:
• WANTED: Volunteers to help run the 2014 National Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Perry in Port Clinton. The matches are July 7-Aug. 10. A variety of schedules are available. Training, housing and meal expenses are provided. Contact: 703-267-1485, or visit www.nrahq.org.
• On April 25, 25,000 yearling steelhead were released in the Vermillion River. These 6- to 9-inch fish were raised in the Division of Wildlife’s Castalia Fish Hatchery and will grow to 18 inches by the end of their first year.
• Today: Steel Challenge, 11 a.m., HCCL, 13748 Jackson Township 168, Findlay.
• Today-tomorrow: Tri-State Gun Collectors Show, Allen County Fairgrounds.
• Tomorrow: Trap shoot, 1 p.m., Mount Blanchard Gun Club, 21655 Delaware Township 186.
• Thursday: HCCL club members shoot, 5 p.m.
• May 10-11: The Ohio Ornithological Society, with the Division of Wildlife, will conduct beginner guided bird walks at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. The walks May 10 will be at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The walks May 11 will be held at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Walks are limited to 15 each. Applicants should send an email to: info@ohiobirds.org. It should contain the applicant’s name, phone number, date and desired time-slot. A confirming email will be returned.
Abrams is a retired wildlife officer supervisor for the state Division of Wildlife in Findlay. He can be reached at P.O. Box 413, Mount Blanchard, OH 45867-0413 or via email at jimsfieldnotes@aol.com.

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