A lot happened in the Ohio outdoor world in the 1990s. This book is a record of that period written “to the people and for the people” like I was directed almost 50 years ago by K.C. Geiger, my first editor. It is a much larger volume than both Forda Birds I and Forda Birds 2. I’m not too sure how that happened, but it did. As I searched through almost 500 columns from the 1990s during the selection process, I realized that many of the topics that appeared had been covered before. What I wrote in 1969 about hunting, fishing, conservation, game management, and the like was much different than what I wrote in 1999. First, we all change with age, and I was no exception. Likewise, the world around us was different but the changes far less predictable.
One of the biggest developments in the 1990s was the personal computer and the internet. Searching the web started to become a habit, and most people were selecting what information suited them and ignoring the rest. That was and is creating an opinionated population who know a little bit about a lot of things, and what little bit they know isn’t necessarily true. That’s not the best atmosphere for making sound decisions. I tried to avoid that trap when I wrote, and most of the time I did. In reality, because I’ve been around a long time, I probably know more than a little bit about a lot of things. Admittedly, I’m master of none.
The 1990s was an interesting decade. Many things happened I would never have expected. Dove hunting became legal in Ohio, and people could obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Turkeys were being hunted in all 88 counties and beavers were being trapped locally. Fish advisories were announced and local perch fishing rivaled that of Lake Erie. Walleye were stocked in Lake St. Marys and waterfowl hunters were welcomed into the age of steel shot. A few individuals were starting to focus on environmental problems, especially those dealing with “Ohio’s other Great Lake.”
On a personal note, I expanded my territory making multiple trips out west and a couple to Alaska. I dodged a serious medical problem that could have easily ended my time on this planet. In celebration, I acquired a couple of excellent bird dogs.
All of these topics and more are covered in this book. The information is solid and my opinions are evident. I’ve experienced a lot, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Hopefully, readers of this book will learn something…or not.