On the 60th Anniversary year of the first Great Ohio Rabbit Hunt, stickbow archers from the Leatherwall, and their friends, will gather near the original site of the 1939 hunt for a goodwill archery hunt, trade blanket rendezvous and pig roast at the Delaware State Wildlife Area north of Delaware, Ohio.
Delaware is located about 25 miles north of the Columbus International Airport, straight up U.S. Rte 23, and the campground/wildlife area is about 4 miles further north, bordering Rte 23, its entrance clearly marked on the East side of the road.
•Delaware Park Campground will be open for our needs. Plenty of sites available at 11 dollars primitive per night, 20 dollars for trailer or camper hookups. Price, paid at Campground Office (pick up wildlife area map while you are there), is for site alone, so 6 men can sleep in one large tent on one site, for example. Campground includes johns. Likely includes water, depending on weather conditions. When fully open, the campsite has showers, too, and if our weather turns tropical, as anticipated, we may engage them.
•During the three day hunt, squirrels, deer and rabbits are legal quarry. A three day tourist small game tag will enable you to hunt squirrels and rabbits for 25 dollars, but for deer, a non-resident season tag must be purchased for 91 dollars in addition to a 20 dollar deer tag. The season non-resident tag allows you to hunt Ohio small game animals until the 1999 licenses are issued next fall.
You are advised to buy all non-resident tags through the mail from Ohio DNR as they will be in very short supply from local merchants that late in theseason.
*The emphasis will be on a community rabbit hunt with beagles, but squirrels and deer are legal quarry at this time, too, should some participants choose to strike out on their own. No broadheads are allowed during the rabbit hunt, only field and small game heads.
•Each participant is encouraged to bring his own beagle to add to the merriment. Each father and mother is obligated to bring children for the same purpose. George Stout will be granted permission to attend only if his beagle's Humane Society adoption papers are in order.
•If you are unfamiliar with briars, brambles and multiflora rose bushes (i.e., sharp, pointy, thorny things that rip, cut, tear, cause small wounds and often break off under the skin, itching when they get infected), then I urge you to bring a pair of cordura chaps to cover your legs, unless you are made of the same tough stuff as the GOMs who will be attending.
•The site of the original 1939 hunt, located north of the campground, is still a bowhunting only area. Furthermore, it is bowhunting for deer only. The area holds good numbers of quality deer, especially at this time of year. Habitat is excellent, surrounding areas have been gun hunted and the areas outside the park are comprised largely of agricultural fields that have been picked clean and tiny woodlots that are bare of cover, so the area is especially productive late season. Rebel boys attending GORH are encouraged to investigate here what mature deer look like. If you have the wherewithal to purchase an Ohio deer tag, the restricted area could reward you with some good whitetail hunting. No screw in steps allowed in any trees, although tree stand hunting is permitted. Real men hunt on the ground anyway.
•In addition to the hunting opportunities, the tailwaters of the Delaware Reservoir provide bank casting and some good saugeye fishing, depending on water discharges from the lake proper. Also, an archery range is located north of the campground off Rte 229. It features a ten target range, an excellent sand pit for broadhead shooting, and about a twenty target excelsior bale/burlap target course through scenic woods and fields. Also, the many ponds on the wildlife area can provide ice fishing for bluegills.
•I will provide a trailer load of firewood and we will burn it at one or two centrally located community gathering places, depending on attendance numbers.
•Civilized accommodations and prepared food are available in Delaware, Ohio, 4 or 5 miles south of the campground.
• You are responsible for your own meals and your own food and tableware for the duration of the hunt, with the exception of Saturday night. We will provide, free, whole roasted hog meat, done on the premises. In addition, we will supplement it with roasted venison from the whitetail deer Mussatto has promised to get for us from the wildlife area a day or two beforehand. Bring your own tableware, condiments, and side dishes to the animal roast.
•Outdoor grills are standard park fixture. Park may have put park benches in storage by then, I dunno.
•Archery Competition. We will set up a clout mark on an excelsior bale Friday and Saturday and place a deposit box at the launching pad for entry money. You pay, you shoot, at your convenience, all day both days. Shots will be purchased at $2 a chance, 20 dollars a doz, honor payment system. No sights, no stringwalking. Hopelessly errant arrows can be gathered up, but all reasonably competitive arrows close to mark to be left in place. We will have 8 donated prizes, including wool clothing, arrows, barred fletching, broadheads and small game points that will be awarded this way:
The 7 closest shots by seven different people and one wild card selection will have a one arrow shoot-off over the same course before or after evening meal Saturday night. The wild card selection will be determined by whomever purchases the most chances (according to clip board tally sheet provided near deposit box to track that purpose and entry payments). Closest single arrow in shoot off chooses his prize from booty, next his, etc. All proceeds from the competition, minus the actual cost of the pigmeat alone, will be donated to the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.
•Dress warmly and bring the means to keep warm while you sleep just in case the weatherman has missed his mark for balmy, late January weather conditions.
For recent trad converts still enthralled by wheelie-bow illusions of scientific precision, we have added an honest-to-goodness, informative Delaware weather forecast, as reliable as pendulum laser sights swung off the end of a 12 inch stabilizer.
However, for those who search beyond meteorological facts, beyond measured charts and statistical probabilities, for those comfortable with mystical prophesy and cosmic absurdity, for those who wish to rekindle a sense of adventure, who want assurances that "The Old Times are not altogether gone," we men of GORH have engaged the services of The Esteemed Soothsayer for the North American Continent and Several Mediterranean Regions to the East, the blind poet Mimesius, and have provided him a divination cup full of wabbit bones, and a contract promising him shares of the hunt as long as he provides us with weather reports that we want to hear. We present to you:
Okay. Mimesius fumbled the bones on his first attempt to prophesy weather conditions for the end of January. We have no choice but to send out a call for a guest soothsayer until new bones are up and tumbling again. If anyone knows of a seer willing to fill in temporarily, please send his prognostication to me or to our benevolent webmaster. If it is deemed ambiguous enough, we will post it until Mimesius gets rolling.
Some weeks after the hunt, we will scrutinize all entries. Those seers whose recorded prophecies come closest to actual weather conditions will be duly noted and kept from participating in future such events.
Since there are no inexpensive shuttle services from Columbus to Delaware, we are posting the arrival and departure times of GORH participants to and from Port Columbus International Airport in the hopes that archers driving near Columbus can coordinate schedules and provide a few rides.
It has been brought to webmasters attention that the tag team of Keith Deters, Jeff Strubberg, Longbeard, and CleOH have resorted to using aerial photos to recon the hunting area, thus enabling them to locate a couple of prime hunting stands and eliminate the need for on site scouting. This has been determined by our panel of judges to be, while perfectly legal, unethical. Therefore, our highly paid soothsayer Mimesius has been asked to pull double duty and has successfully located these stands. To better level the playing field giving all an equal opportunity we offer these stand locations to all.