Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
By Nancy Allen
Drawing to be held for trapping rights in Mercer Wildlife Area
  There will be a special drawing at noon Oct. 31 at the Mercer Wildlife Area office on state Route 703 to determine who can trap in the state wildlife area Nov. 10-22 and Dec. 25 through Jan. 3.
Sean Finke, coordinator of the wildlife area, said 2007 was the last time a drawing for trapping in the wildlife area was held. The state opens the area to hunting every so many years to reduce the number of predators that feed on nesting fowl and their eggs and muskrats that burrow through earthen dikes used to construct wetlands.
"Muskrats can drain wetlands and then we have to build them again," he said. "So we like to keep their numbers down."
Finke said skunks and minks prey on waterfowl eggs. Foxes, coyotes and raccoons also are egg eaters and can kill the nesting birds, he said.
A season limit of five beaver will be allocated to the chosen trapper, he added.
The wildlife area - located northwest of Montezuma, includes 350 acres of land and about 300 to 400 acres of water. It hugs U.S. 127 from It's It Road to Coldwater Creek.
On Oct. 31, drawing participants must show a valid 2009 fur taker permit and should arrive by 11:45 a.m. to allow time to register, said Bruce Terrill, wildlife area manager. Participation is limited to adults age 18 and older.
A letter permit will be mailed to the drawing winner and additional instructions will be given by Mercer County Wildlife Area Coordinator Sean Finke. The designated trapper must meet with Finke for instructions before the start of trapping. The chosen trapper can designate an assistant to help him or her.
The permit is nontransferable and the trapper must present reports of weekly catches to the wildlife area office by 5 p.m. each day.
For more trapping information and opportunities, go to www.wildohio.com.

If you go:
What: Drawing for permission to trap in the state-owned Mercer Wildlife Area northwest of Montezuma
When: Noon Oct. 31; arrive by 11:45 a.m. to register
Where: Mercer Wildlife Area office on state Route 703, 1/3 mile east of U.S. 127
Details: Must have 2009 fur taker permit and be 18 years old
More info: Call wildlife management district office at 937-372-9261 or Mercer Wildlife Area Coordinator Sean Finke at 419-236-8838.
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