Regional Reports-Midwest

Zaleski State Forest

A mild winter, excellent mast crop and good carryover from last season should result in great squirrel hunting this month, according to wildlife technician Lloyd Culbertson. Culbertson's top public-land picks include Zaleski State Forest, Brush Creek Wildlife Area, Delaware Wildlife Area and Dillon Wildlife Area. Zaleski State Forest's 25,000 acres in southeastern Ohio boast more than their share of hardwoods, and the abundant mast crop that has deer and turkey populations thriving on the state forest also bodes well for resident bushytails. Brush Creek WA in Jefferson County east of Monroeville provides squirrels with the perfect mix of hardwood stands and early succession growth-the first growth following a clear-cut or after a farm reverts back to its natural state-and should offer a bumper crop of grays this season. Fox squirrels are especially abundant at Delaware WA off U.S. Route 23 north of Columbus. The river corridors and woodlots adjacent to grainfields allow fox squirrels to thrive on much of the wildlife area's 7,000 acres. Dillon WA in western Muskingum County is chock-full of both fox and gray squirrels thanks to the wood-and-water habitat and healthy resident populations of both species. Dillon's 4,500 acres of prime public hunting lands are northwest of Zanesville along State Route 146. Contact: Zaleski State Forest (740-596-5781); Brush Creek: Division of Wildlife, District 3 (330-644-2293); Delaware: Division of Wildlife, District 1 (614-644-3925); Dillon: Division of Wildlife, District 4 (740-594-2211).