COLUMBUS, OH – Blue Rock State Forest and Pike State Forest were the settings for two recent special hunts organized for disabled hunters to enjoy the outdoors while hunting for wild turkey. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry hosts these hunts annually in Muskingum and Pike counties.
“Our sustainable forest management practices on Ohio’s state forests create some ideal wild turkey habitat, and we enjoyed making new friends and strengthening relationships during these hunts on state forest land,” said Dan Balser, chief of the Division of Forestry. “We are grateful for the wonderful partners who helped us offer these special opportunities for a great group of outdoorsmen and women. This past weekend’s success wasn’t measured by a harvest amount, but the size of the smiles and great spirits of those who participated.”
The 13th annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen hunt for wild turkey at Blue Rock State Forest was sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Wheelin’ Sportsmen program. The divisions of Forestry and Wildlife worked with the Y-Bridge Longbeards and other chapters of the NWTF to coordinate the event with donations and volunteer efforts from many local individuals and businesses. Twenty-three hunters participated, and three turkeys were taken during the event.
The Thunder in the Hills wild turkey hunt was held for the third year at Pike State Forest. Fourteen hunters participated, and one turkey was taken during the event hosted by the South Central and the Clinton County chapters of the NWTF and the divisions of Forestry, Wildlife, and Parks and Watercraft, with more than two dozen organizations assisting with donations and volunteers.
Hunters at both events provided their own shotguns and ammunition, as well as the necessary licenses and permits. Guides were provided for each hunter. The participating hunters were from various parts of Ohio, with several being disabled veterans.