The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

June 2, 2013

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Whatever floats your boat

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is offering free boat safety inspections during Memorial Day weekend as well as May and June at public boat launch ramps and during special events statewide. The agency also released a new promotional video about safety boating.

“Start the boating season safe,” said Rodger Norcross, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft. “We encourage boaters to take advantage of a free safety inspection to ensure they have all the necessary boating safety equipment on board and it is in working order.”

The free boat safety inspections help increase boating safety awareness at a time when many Ohioans are launching their boats for the first time in a new boating and fishing season.

ODNR Division of Watercraft officers provide written courtesy inspections that allow boat owners to make recommended improvements to their boating safety equipment. These free inspections typically examine the condition of fire extinguishers, navigational lights, horns and distress signals to ensure they are in working order. Officers also check to make sure that the proper type; size and number of life jackets are aboard each boat as required by law to ensure the safety of all boat occupants.

Information on locations, dates and times for upcoming vessel safety inspections is available at: http://watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/events. Additional information is also available online regarding required boating safety equipment, education programs, boating rules and public launch ramps at http://watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/ and by calling toll-free at 877-4BOATER.

Eleven people who died in boating accidents in Ohio in 2012 were not wearing their life jackets. Boat safe and boat smart, and always wear a life jacket.

Food for thought

In deciding to start a food plot there’s only a few steps involved to get it going, right! Sure, here’s the 1,2,3 and 4 of it.

Step No. 1:

Spray Round-Up or some other brand of systemic weed killer to get rid of the weeds. For this task, you can’t beat an ATV-mounted sprayer. I have a 26 gallon one that mounts on the back rack of my 4x4 with a wand and a boom sprayer. Now as for the ATV for food plot work, bigger isn’t necessarily better. My Yamaha Big Bear 400 does just fine and is easy to maneuver.

Step No. 2:

Work the soil. They make several types of implements to accomplish this with your ATV but in my opinion, I’ve tried several of them, they don’t work worth squat, Your best bet is to find someone who has a tractor with a pull behind rototiller and hire them to tear it up for ya.

Step No. 3:

Next, plant seed then cover it to the desired depth. A sure way to ensure proper seed-to-soil contact is by pulling a fence-drag behind your ATV, not really. The best way is to either use a roller or an ATV pull behind cultipacker and push it in. All the drag really does is spread the seed around the top of the soil, my opinion.

Step No. 4:

Keep the taxidermist’s phone number on speed-dial.

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