Dear Ohio BHA Members,
Over the last few days, many have found themselves nervously perusing different states’ fish and game websites to see what the latest responses are to the COVID19 situation. For those of you unaware, over the last week there have been several states that have closed some of their hunting/fishing seasons. Washington closed its youth turkey season, which was supposed to take place April 4-5. Nebraska has stopped selling non-resident hunting licenses for the current turkey season. Illinois has closed all fishing and hunting on public lands.
Ohioans can agree that these are steps that we hope will never need to be taken in our state. When we think of spring in Ohio, we think about sunny days, fresh air, turkeys gobbling, walleye biting and morels that need picking. That is why it is so very important that we demonstrate responsible usage of our public lands and water while following the current social distancing orders. It is incumbent that we lead by example. If a stream is overcrowded, go elsewhere. If a boat ramp has a large congregation of anglers waiting to hit the water, fish from shore or wait patiently in your vehicle for your turn. Don’t meet up with four fellow anglers at the boat ramp to pile into a single boat and fish for the day. If a trail head parking lot is full, find another trail to explore. If we fail to voluntarily adopt the recommended social distancing measures, Ohio may become the next state to close hunting and fishing opportunities due to our lack of respect for the current circumstances that our nation is facing.
Hunting and fishing is a privilege. A privilege that can be lost if these kinds of careless actions continue to occur. So, in advance, thank you. Thank you from the who will still get to participate in his or her first turkey hunt. Thank you from the seasoned angler that is hoping to still get out for one last walleye run. Thank you from the thousands of hunters and anglers in Ohio. And last, but not least, thank you from all of us here at BHA.
We wish you all tight lines and mornings filled with gobbles.