The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 17, 2013

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Public invited to comment on proposals

By DALE SUNDERLIN
For the Star Beacon

— The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will seek public comments regarding the 2013-14 hunting seasons. During these sessions, which will be held Saturday, March 2, from noon to 3 p.m., input concerning proposed hunting season dates, bag limits and rule changes will be accepted.

Comments dealing with white-tailed deer and wild turkey seasons will also be welcomed.

These events are open to the public. Anyone interested in providing input and participating in Ohio’s professional wildlife management process is welcome. ODNR Division of Wildlife biologists and law enforcement officers will be available to answer questions and receive comments.

People who are not able to attend an open house at one of the seven locations can provide input online. Comments are accepted through March 2 at wildohio.com. Click on Open House Comments to submit a response.

Public input gathered at these open houses and through the online form will be considered during the formulation of regulations. For more information or directions to the open houses, visit www.wildohio.com or call 800-945-3543.

Open house location information for March 2:

n Central Ohio: Wildlife District One office, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus 43215; 614-644-3925.

n Northwest Ohio: Wildlife District Two office, 952 Lima Avenue, Findlay 45840;  419-424-5000.

n Northeast Ohio: Wildlife District Three office, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron 44319; 330-644-2293.

n Southeast Ohio: Wildlife District Four office, 360 E. State Street, Athens 45701;  740-589-9930.

n Southwest Ohio: Greene County Fish and Game, 1538 Union Road, Xenia 45385; 937-372-9261.

n Lake Erie (east): Fairport Fisheries office, 1190 High Street, Fairport Harbor 44077; 352-4199.

n Lake Erie (west): Old Woman Creek office, 2514 Cleveland Road E., Huron 44839; 419-433-7599.

A statewide hearing on proposed rules will be held on Thursday, March 7, at 9 a.m. at the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District One office. This hearing is open to the public, and comments on the proposed rules will be accepted.

After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules during its April 17 meeting. Council meetings are open to the public, but there is no opportunity on the agenda for public comment. Questions will be allowed and responded to once the meeting adjourns.



Economic impact

National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) released two new reports today documenting the importance of sportsmen’s activities in America.

NSSF’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation and CSF’s America’s Sporting Heritage, Fueling the American Economy reports provide detailed information about participation and expenditures by American sportsmen and women.

The reports were released to the country’s top outdoor writers and industry professionals during the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) in Las Vegas.



Part of our fabric

“Many people may not fully comprehend how important hunting and fishing are to the fabric of this country. Yet there are more people who hunt or fish than go bowling, and their spending would land them at #24 on the Fortune 500 list,” Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, said. “CSF has put together this report, utilizing data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the American Sportfishing Association and the National Marine Manufacturers Association, in order to provide these real-world comparisons to what many consider more ‘mainstream’ industries and activities.”

The NSSF report, part of the foundation for CSF’s information, provides a detailed look at hunters and the trends in participation and spending. Information on 40-plus categories of U.S. hunting-related expenditures, which grew 55 percent, are outlined in NSSF’s report as well as state by state statistics for number of hunters, retail sales, taxes and jobs.



On the rise

“The major growth of spending by hunters is good news for businesses throughout the country, particularly small businesses in rural areas,” NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti said. “It also is gratifying to see the nine percent increase in hunting participation. Not only is the traditional male hunter going afield more often, but more women and novices are going hunting as well, demonstrating the widespread appeal of this great outdoors tradition.”



Numbers crunching

Intended to provide a series of “sound bites” that resonate within the outdoor community as well as the general public, the CSF report spotlights some of the most compelling data for hunters and anglers.

For example, the 15.5 million hunters age 6 and up could fill every NASCAR track, NFL stadium, NBA arena, MLB ballpark and NHL rink in the country more than twice (15.5 million vs. 7.2 million combined capacity).

In addition, anglers spent $47.7 billion in 2011, which is more than the revenues for Lockheed Martin that year ($46.9 billion). Similar comparisons for many other participation and spending statistics are found throughout the CSF report.



Fishing, too!

The fishing industry also developed a more detailed analysis of anglers’ impacts on the nation’s economy and fisheries conservation that was released earlier this month. The American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) Sportfishing in America: An Economic Force for Conservation reports that the number of anglers increased 11 percent since 2006 while fishing tackle sales grew more than 16 percent.

When expenditures are multiplied by the nation’s 60 million anglers, their dollars have a significant impact on our nation’s economy.

A number of reports strongly indicate that American families identify fishing as one of the best ways to spend quality time together. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, fishing as a leisure-time activity ranks higher than playing basketball or softball, skateboarding, jogging or hiking.



Economic force

“Sportfishing is more than just a traditional American pastime, it is a powerful economic force, an unparalleled contributor to conservation and a vital part of the American culture,” ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman said. “Hidden, but nonetheless real, is the multiplying factor that effectively triples what an angler spends on fishing tackle when the initial expenditure ripples through the economy in terms of dollars spent on travel, food, lodging, gas and other amenities.”



Recreational boating

A new component of the CSF report this year is the inclusion of details on the recreational boating industry. Research from the National Marine Manufacturers Association shows that more than one million boats changed hands in 2011 with sales of all watercraft (including sail boats, personal water craft, etc.), totaling $15 billion.

In addition, 83 million adults in the U.S. participated in recreational boating that year.

“NMMA is pleased to see the uptick in participation not just within the recreational boating and fishing industries, but in outdoor activities as a whole,” NMMA Legislative Director Jim Currie said. “Not only do these activities contribute to the economies of small businesses, they ensure that tax dollars are allocated towards important conservation efforts that will keep our waterways, parks and lands available enjoyable for years to come.”



Conservationists

Beyond the impact to businesses and local economies, sportsmen and women are the leaders in protecting fish and wildlife and their habitats.

When you combine license and stamp fees, motorboat fuels, excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment and membership contributions to conservation organizations, hunters and anglers directed $3 billion towards on-the-ground conservation and restoration efforts in 2011 — that is more than $95 every second.

This does not include their own habitat acquisition and restoration work for lands owned or leased for the purpose of hunting and fishing, which would add another $11 billion to the mix.



‘Steelheading Basics’  

Phil Hillman from the ODNR will cover Ohio’s steelhead program and discuss basic steelhead fishing techniques in a Wednesday, March 6 seminar from 7-9 p.m. The location of the seminar is Wildlife District Three headquarters, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron.

While the seminar is free, pre-registration is required as spaces are limited. Please call Ken Fry, Division of Wildlife, at (330) 245-3030 to preregister or if you have questions. You can read more about Ohio’s steelhead program at www.wildohio.com.



My call

I received this from a friend via email, thank you Jeff Furman, and as far as I’m concerned, it holds true.

As an outdoor writer who is a life member in the NRA, a NRA Multi Certified Firearms Instructor (Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun), a NRA Certified Range Safety Officer, a NRA Certified Conceal Carry Instructor, a Certified Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor in the disciplines of Rifle, Shotgun and Archery, a 4H Certified Shooting Sports Instructor in the disciplines of Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun and Archery, a Certified National and International Bow Hunter Education Instructor, a Certified Ohio Hunter Education Instructor, a Certified Young Marines Firearms Instructor in the disciplines of Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun, and a Certified National Field Archery Association Level 1 Instructor who loves his guns and bows just as much if not more than most I fell duty-bound to share it with you.

Also, the views and statements written here are that of myself and not that of the Star Beacon.  

n A person steals guns, (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW).

n Shoots and kills his own mother (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW).

n Transports these guns loaded (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW).

n Brings guns onto school property (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW).

 n Breaks into the school (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW).

n Discharges the weapons within city limits (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW).

n Murders 26 people (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW).

n And commits suicide (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW).

And there are people in this country that somehow think passing another law banning guns would protect us from someone like this. If you haven’t noticed, people like this are not concerned about breaking laws; they only care about fulfilling their own twisted agenda. The only people that a gun ban law would impact are the law-abiding citizens, which will only serve to cripple the ability to protect ourselves.

Write your senators, your congressmen, and your state representatives. We’re all in this together whether you’re a hunter, sport shooter or just a backyard plinker. If we don’t stick together and let them know how we feel we will loose.

My goal is to keep you informed about the outdoors, and I hope I do that well, not soap box about a bunch of hypocritical bureaucrats in Washington who sit in their ivory towers and are so far removed from the real world they don’t even know what a law-abiding firearms owner really is.

With that said, I’ll leave you with this — you have to stand up for what you believe, if not, you stand for nothing at all:

n Contact Senator Portman, 338 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, Phone: (202) 224-3353, email link www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form.

n Contact Senator Brown: 713 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, Phone: (202) 224-2315, email link www.brown.senate.gov/contact.

n Contact Representative Joyce: 1535 Longworth HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515, Phone: (202) 225-5731 email link, https://joyce.house.gov/contact/email-me.

n Contact Senator Capri Cafaro, Senate Building, 1 Capitol Square, Ground Floor, Columbus, 43215, Phone: (614) 466-7182 email link, www.ohiosenate.gov/senate/cafaro/contact.

n Contact Representative John Patterson, District 99, 77 S. High St, 10th Floor, Columbus, 43215, (614) 466-1405 email link www.ohiohouse.gov/john-patterson/contact.



Datebook

n The Amboy Sharp shooters 4H Club will be holding its annual registration on March 2 and March 23, 2013 at the Amboy Rifle Club from 9 a.m.-noon. This will be your opportunity to sign up for this years 4H Club featuring the discipline’s of Rifle and Archery. FMI, call 344-6208 or email amboysharps@gmail.com

n Lyme disease...what is it? How do you get it? How do you treat it? How do you prevent it? These questions will be discussed in an open to the public forum on Saturday, March 16, 2013 hosted by Lyme Bites, a Lyme Disease Support Group.

This event will be held at Jefferson Health Care’s (Jefferson Geriatric) conference room, located 222 East Beech St., Jefferson, 44047.  Please park in the back and enter through the Dialysis doors.

The meeting is free of charge and open to the public. Medical personnel and support givers are encouraged to attend. Reservations are not required but appreciated. For more information, contact Janine Kirby at 858-2614.

n Peoples Church wild game dinner, Feb, 23, 2013. Call 466-2020 for more information.

n Jefferson Nazarene, wild game dinner, March 14, 2013. Call 576-6556 for more information.

Sunderlin is a freelance writer from Geneva. Reach him at djss@roadrunner.com.