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ERIE COUNTY, OH – 4th Annual North Central Ohio Wildlife Management Conference | Event

January 11, 2010

Whatever your outdoor interest – a hunter, fisherman, or you simply like to observe nature up close – you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see, hear, and learn about wildlife management and conservation from some of the experts in their field.  Join us at the 4th Annual North Central Ohio Wildlife Management Conference, slated for Saturday, January 30th, 2010 and hosted by the Erie and Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District and the OSU Extension. This year we will be back at the Cedar Point Center on the Firelands BGSU campus, just west of Huron.

Among this year’s featured presenters is freelance writer, editor, photographer, and speaker, Chip Gross.  Chip worked for the ODNR Division of Wildlife for 27 years, first as a State Wildlife Officer, then moving on to the position of Wildlife Education Officer.

Chip became the Editor for the ever popular Wild Ohio and Wild Ohio for Kids magazines, garnering the prestigious James P. Barry Award for Editorial Excellence in 2001.  It was during his years with the Ohio DNR that Gross began freelance writing and honing his outdoor photography skills.

Chip has gone on to sell hundreds of articles and photos to national, regional, and state outdoor publications, such as Home, At Last, Is the Hunter, Pro Tactics: Steelhead and Salmon, the Ohio Wildlife Viewing Guide, and Young Beginner’s Guide to Shooting and Archery.

Chip will conduct an outdoor/wildlife photography workshop during the conference and will offer to critique photos brought in by individuals who attend his session. Photos need to be provided in a digital format (disc/flash drive) during the registration time period upon arrival at the conference.  Please keep submissions to a maximum of five.

Presenting on the “Eastern Wild Turkey and Its Management in the Midwest” will be Randy Showalter with the National Wild Turkey Federation.  Randy is the Director of Conservation of Operations and the Regional Wildlife Biologist for Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.  He will bring to light some of the successes and the future outlook for the wild turkey in our region.

Marne Titchenell, Wildlife Specialist, and Dave Apsley, Natural Resources Specialist, are both with the OSU Extension.  They will be speaking about “human/wildlife conflicts” and “woodland wildlife management” respectively.  Their presentations will provide landowners with a better insight on dealing with nuisance wildlife issues and concerns, as well as providing management tips for creating and maintaining optimum wildlife habitat with regard to a particular stand of timber.

Jeff Finn, Private Lands Biologist for the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, US Fish and Wildlife Service, will offer recommendations for “dealing with nuisance vegetation control, such as phragmites, purple loosestrife, and other undesirables.

Lake Erie is renowned for being of one of the premier fishing spots in the world.  Therefore, it’s only fitting to showcase several of the proven techniques to improve the chances of “limiting out” or landing a “bragging rights” specimen.  Travis Hartman, Fisheries Biologist with the ODNR Division of Wildlife, Sandusky Fish Research Unit, will be on hand to offer his expertise on “catching trophies, whether it’s walleye or other sport fish, like the toothy and tenacious muskellunge.

Travis is also a member of the West Basin Sport Fisherman’s Association.  Among his accomplishments include the Lake Erie Walleye Trail season points champion in 2006 and 2007 and 11 top 5 finishes in walleye tournaments over the last five years.

Field staff from Zink Calls will be joining us once again at our conference for two sessions in the afternoon.  Founded in 2001 by Fred Zink, their company has become nationally-recognized for their expertise in “waterfowl and turkey calling.

Zink’s wish is to help hunters “be more successful afield, whether that success is translated to into birds on the ground or memories to be cherished for a lifetime”.  If you interested in picking up a few tips to entice that “Boss Tom” or bring in that “honker” to your waterfowl layout, you definitely won’t want to miss those sessions.

Other topics of interest that will be covered during the conference include “food plot establishment, that type that not only attracts wildlife, but will also make them want to hang out at your place!  Staff from Whitetails Unlimited will be on hand to share their tried and proven methods.

And for those who enjoy the bounty of the harvest, Jim Schott, Pickerel Creek/Resthaven Wildlife Area Manager, Division of Wildlife, will demonstrate the technique of processing your deer “from field to freezer in order to ensure the best tasting meat possible.    Jim is an archery hunter who hunts not merely for recreation, but to provide his family with food. According to Jim, he has “never had to purchase a steak or beef from the store”.  Perhaps Jim will share a few of his recipes, as well.

A pre-registration of $30 per person is required and will include a continental breakfast, a catered lunch, door prizes, and most importantly, the opportunity to network with experts in the area of natural resources, conservation, and wildlife management.   The deadline to register for the conference is January 22nd, 2010. Checks can be made out to the Erie Soil and Water Conservation District and mailed to 2900 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, OH, 44870.

If you have any questions or need additional information, contact the Erie SWCD office at 419-626-5211, the Ottawa SWCD at 419-898-6431, the Erie County OSU Extension office at 419-627-7631.  You can also download a registration form by visiting the Erie SWCD website at

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