We all remember that first time we spent camping or hiking in the woods. I can remember that weekend so well because of everything that happened and everything we did. Swimming in a crystal-clear lake. Making fruit pies over an open fire with “mountain pie makers” or irons. Bow hunting. Deer tracking. The first time I ever fired a shotgun. Canoeing. And much, much more.
One of the coolest things about being in the woods — especially at night — are the sounds. Trying to figure out all the sounds you heard was tough. But for my brothers and me, telling our sisters what “we thought” those sounds were was the most fun (HAHAHA).
As the fall-colored leaves start their descent to the ground, wildlife enthusiasts will experience increased visibility and have some great opportunities to see wildlife in the forest. The Ohio State University offers a very unique way of experiencing Ohio outdoors and one of them is called “A Day in the Woods,” part of the “2nd Friday Series” — the second Friday of every month during the growing season is when the program takes place. For example, the program, “What’s in Your Woods?” attendees learn about trail cameras and other tools and techniques that can be used to observe woodland wildlife, as well as get information about monitoring efforts in southern Ohio. There will be time to explore the Vinton Furnace State Forest for signs of wildlife activity and check out some field-sampling techniques. This program takes place at the Vinton Furnace State Forest near McArthur.
The outdoor series also includes an event called “A Night In The Forest,” also taking place at the Vinton Furnace State Forest. This program is designed to introduce participants to the critters that inhabit the deep woods in southeastern Ohio and the distinctive sounds they make at night. The evening begins with a light meal and ends with s’mores, of course. The program starts with a series of brief indoor presentations on night sounds, bats, flying squirrels and night skies. Afterward, participants have the opportunity walk the forested roads and trails of the Vinton Furnace State Forest with wildlife biologists to listen for a wide array of animals from amphibians and insects to owls and bobcats. Weather permitting, there’s an opportunity to view the night sky through telescopes.
I spoke with David Apsley, OSU Extension, Vinton County, about the “A Day in the Woods” and the “2nd Friday Series.” “We are sponsored by the Education and Demonstration Subcommittee of the Vinton Furnace State Forest with support from Ohio State University Extension, ODNR-Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, Vinton County Soil and Water Conservation District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hocking College, National Wild Turkey Federation, Glatfelter and Ohio’s SFI Implementation Committee.
“In our most recent event we’ll cover the following topics: selecting features for trail cameras; choosing locations for wildlife monitoring and how to set up your site; hands-on experience looking for wildlife signs; using modern technology for nuisance wildlife; and current research efforts for bobcats, gray fox, golden eagles and more.”
All of this sounds (excuse the pun) like so much fun but nowhere near the sleepless nights we cause our siblings to have by just making it up! (LOL)
The final “2nd Friday Series” program scheduled for 2015 is “Identifying Trees in Winter”(Nov. 13). And if you want more information, contact Dave by calling 740-596-5212 (OSU Extension Vinton County) or emailing Dave at [email protected]
Here’s seeing you in Ohio Country!
The writer is the owner of Wilson 1 Communications. He is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for more than 30 years and the co-host and producer of “In Ohio Country Today,” a nationally recognized television show, and offers radio commentary and ag reports including locally for 92.1, the Frog WFGF Lima.