Magazine opens up kids to Ohio’s wildlife

My favorite magazine came today. This was the kids’ edition of Wild Ohio Magazine, but it is still my favorite.

Heck, I was once a kid, and, yes, they did have printing presses back in the dark ages of my youth. We just didn’t have Wild Ohio Magazine.

As usual, the magazine if full of interesting and useful information. Since this edition is for kids I thought it wonderful that most of the articles are about different habitats for the creatures of Ohio.

The Buckeye State is blessed with an amazingly diverse habitat and we often fail to recognize it. Just outside my window I can see a small woodlot, some high grass and even water. There is a lot of wildlife right close at hand. The same holds true in most areas of Morning Journal Country and we should take advantage of it.

The main difference between my youth and the present generation is that I had very little technology at hand and most of my entertainment came from the real world. The backyards of East Palestine were not exactly the Serengeti Plains, but you would be surprised at what the weeds of a vacant lot would yield.

In some ways, these weed choked backyards were like the grasslands described in Wild Ohio Magazine. We could find all sorts of insects and maybe a garter snake. For sure there had to be a cottontail rabbit in there somewhere. The magazine calls them forbs, but we called the goldenrod and milkweed we found flowers.

My favorite habitats have always been ponds, lakes and streams. The things that live above and beneath the water will always amaze me. My pond was an abandoned strip mine just below the reservoir. My stream was the “crick” (call it creek if you like) just below the park.

I’m sure it was illegal, but we often seined the crick and carried our catch up to our strip mine pond. Who knows what fish we put in that little pond? We sure seined a lot of water creatures, including crawdads, leeches, and at least one snake. That snake couldn’t have cleared the seine and the crick any faster had it been an anaconda. We had very active imaginations.

Time, as it always does, marches on and our crick is now a creek. Village ordinance demands that vacant lots must be kept weed free. But as Wild Ohio Magazine points out, Ohio has all sorts of outdoor wonders for youngsters to explore.

Young or old, everyone should consider a subscription to Wild Ohio Magazine. The cost is just $10 per year and just $5 if you have an Ohio hunting or fishing license, Ohio Wetland Stamp or Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp. On line you can go to, or you can call 1-800-WILDLIFE.

The kids’ issue of Wild Ohio is one way to introduce Ohio’s youth to outdoor activities, but sportsmen and women need to do their part. One event I recently attended was the youth BB gun League sponsored by the Middleton Township Fish & Game Club. This activity continues to grow in attendance each year and teaches young people to shoot safely.

There was a time when every boy in my neighborhood had a BB gun and girls played with dolls. Times they are a changing and now girls have taken up shooting and do as well as any boy. Not only do these young ladies shoot like Annie Oakley, they seem to love the sport. The Middleton Township club deserves a big hand for sponsoring the BB gun league.

One of the biggest youth events will be held at Leetonia Sportsman’s Association on Sept. 27. It will be the 39th annual Kid’s Day and will take an entire column to describe fully. The event will include shooting, fishing, archery, canoeing and many more activities. The ages to participate are 6 to 15, and each youth must be accompanied by an adult.

There will be a wiener roast and other food, and everything is free thanks to the club and several co-sponsors. This is a great example of clubs and other outdoor organizations working together to introduce our sport to youth. It will be a busy day as last year’s attendance set a record with 756 kids.