LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
This 1,465-acre wildlife area lies between U.S. Route 35 and State Route 104, 3 miles northwest of Chillicothe. U.S. Route 35 lies adjacent to a portion of the area on the west side and is connected to the area by Union Lane at Pleasant Valley. The main access road is County Road 127 (Egypt Pike) off State Route 104.
The topography is characterized by expansive flat-topped ridges with steep wooded slopes on both sides. Fifty-one percent of the land is covered by woodland; three-fifths of that being in pole-sized stands, and the remaining two-fifths in sawlog-size stands. Brushland comprises 19 percent of the area, and the remaining 30 percent of the area is in cropland.
HISTORY AND PURPOSE
The area originally was a mixed-oak forest. The broad, level bottoms where a beech-maple forest predominated were cleared early for the rapidly advancing farming industry of Ross County.
Between 1959 and 1960, the Division of Wildlife obtained the area at no cost from the U.S. General Services Administration. It had previously been managed in part by the adjacent Chillicothe Correctional Institution. Management practices were primarily for short-term rotations of corn, small grains, and meadows.
Since the transfer to the Division, management work has included the improvement of existing woodlands, selective release cutting of brushlands, controlled burning, addition of squirrel nesting structures, establishment of grassland nesting cover, and the cropping of openland through cooperative management agreements with local farmers.
FISH AND WILDLIFE
Six small ponds have been developed and were originally stocked with largemouth bass, bluegills, and channel catfish. The principal game species include gray and fox squirrels and cottontail rabbits. Deer and raccoon are also important game species. Common furbearers occur on the area. Wood ducks are year-round residents. Conditions for pheasants, squirrels, grouse, and deer will improve as the planned management is completed. A variety of songbirds, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians also occur in association with the mixture of diverse habitat types. Mourning doves are common in the cropland areas.
HUNTING, TRAPPING, AND FISHING
The most productive areas for rabbits are the field borders and edges between cover types. Ring-necked pheasants are stocked during the season to provide additional hunting opportunity. Squirrel hunting is limited to the more mature woodlands, where beech, hickory, and red and white oak trees are of nut bearing size. A few grouse may be found in the cutover woodlands and reverting fields. Raccoon hunting is best in the mature woodlands and along associated streams. Deer may be found over the entire area. Furbearers may be trapped in suitable habitats area-wide. The area’s ponds range in size from one-quarter to one-half acre and provide some fishing opportunity.
PUBLIC USE FACILITIES
Several small parking areas are available and good access is provided throughout the area by secondary roads.
Further information may be obtained from the Area Manager, Deer Creek Wildlife Area, 12552 Post Road, Mt. Sterling, Ohio 43143; (740) 869-2365 or Wildlife District One, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus, Ohio 43215; (740) 644-3925.
TURN IN A POACHER
Ohio’s TIP, “Turn In a Poacher”, program is helping to curtail poaching throughout the state. TIP is designed to involve the public in reporting wildlife violations. Citizens who observe wildlife violations should call the TIP toll-free hotline, 1-800-POACHER.
Return list of Central Ohio wildlife areas.