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(Columbus) – Pike State Forest and Blue Rock 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 Pike and Muskingum counties.
Caption: Hunters participated in the Wheelin’ Sportsmen and Thunder in the Hills hunts for wild turkey at Blue Rock and Pike state forests respectively.
“Forest management ensures natural tree regeneration and diverse habitat, and wild turkeys are among the many forest wildlife species that have certainly benefited,” said Dan Balser, chief of the Division of Forestry. “We are fortunate to be able to share these hunting opportunities with a great group of hunters and the many partners who make these weekends special for us all.”
The 15th 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 ODNR 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 harvested during the event. More than 50 guides helped with the hunt.
The Thunder in the Hills wild turkey hunt was held for the fifth year at Pike State Forest. Fourteen hunters participated, and two turkeys were harvested during the event. The ODNR Division of Forestry hosted the event with cooperation from the Clinton County Chapter of the NWTF and the ODNR Divisions of Wildlife, and Parks and Watercraft. Approximately 50 organizations assisted 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.