LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
This 2,779-acre wildlife area lies between State Route 60 and the Muskingum River, four miles north of Zanesville. County Road 49, which runs east from State Route 60, provides the best access to the heart of the area.
The topography includes gently rolling, reverting old fields and woodland. Seventy-six percent of the land is covered by woodland; of the total, 40 percent is in sawlog-size stands and 60 percent in pole-size stands. Brushland comprises 22 percent of the area. Less than one percent is open land.
Approximately one-fifth of the area has been affected by earlier strip mining, leaving the terrain in a rough condition. In the 1940s some of the spoil banks were planted to black locust and conifers which are now pole size.
HISTORY AND PURPOSE
During the late 1930s and early 1940s this area was strip-mined for coal. Although some restoration work was privately undertaken, the land was largely in an abandoned condition prior to purchase by the Division of Wildlife in 1958.
Management work has included the improvement of existing woodlands, selective release cutting of brushlands, planting of conifers, addition of squirrel and wood duck nesting structures, and maintenance of existing open fields based on land capability.
FISH AND WILDLIFE
The principal game species include deer, grouse, and gray squirrel, with lesser numbers of fox squirrel and cottontail rabbit. All furbearers common to the region occur on the area. Various species of waterfowl use the water in the strip pits as resting areas during migration. Wood ducks are year-round residents. Conditions for squirrel and grouse will improve as more of the area returns to woodland and planned management is completed.
The two main ponds on the area have been stocked with largemouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegills. A variety of songbirds, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects also occur on the area in association with the diverse mixture of habitat types.
HUNTING, TRAPPING, AND FISHING
The most productive areas for rabbits are the field borders and edges between cover types. Squirrel hunting is limited to the more mature woods, where beech, hickory, and red and white oak trees are of nut-bearing size. Index of Ohio's trees from the Division of Forestry. Grouse are found in the cutover woodlands and in the early stages of forest succession in the strip-mined area. Raccoon hunting is fair. Night hunters would do well to explore the area during the day to become familiar with the rugged terrain and highwalls which are a result of the strip-mining. Some waterfowl jump shooting is available in the many strip ponds.
The area provides access for fishing the Muskingum River, where catches of shovelhead catfish, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, bluegills, black and white crappies, white bass, walleye, muskellunge, and rock bass have been reported. Two ponds, one on the east end and one on the west end, provide additional fishing opportunity. Some of the strip mine ponds contain no fish life, owing to poor water quality, but do provide marsh habitat for other aquatic species.
PUBLIC USE FACILITIES
Several small parking lots are available and good access is provided throughout the area by secondary roads.
Further information may be obtained from the Area Manager, Woodbury Wildlife Area, 23371 SR 60 S., Warsaw, Ohio 43844; or the Wildlife District Four Office, 360 East State Street, Athens, Ohio 45701, telephone (740) 589-9930.
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 to list of southeast Ohio wildlife areas.