LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
This 3,911-acre wildlife area is nine miles southwest of McConnelsville and 11 miles northeast of Glouster along State Route 78. The scenic rolling hills are dissected by Wolf Creek and several of its tributaries. Brushlands occupy approximately 15 percent of the area, openland 18 percent, and woodlands 66 percent, with wetlands and area ponds occupying less than one percent of the area. Most of the openlands are maintained in agricultural rotations through agreements with local farmers. Brushlands are selectively managed to be maintained in old field condition. Stands of oaks and hickories dominate the drier woodland sites. Maple, beech, elm, and ash are most common on the lower slopes and along streams. Index of Ohio's trees from the Division of Forestry.
HISTORY AND PURPOSE
Initial land purchases began in 1947 for the construction of a public fishing lake. The newly created dam, impounding a 152-acre lake, was destroyed by a flash flood in 1950. Because restoration of the dam was impractical, the area has been expanded to its current size and managed principally for forest wildlife species.
Management work has included the improvement of existing woodlands through timber harvest, selective maintenance of shrubby coverts and permanent grasslands, and management of openland by agricultural cropping.
Hunting and fishing are the major recreational uses. Popular secondary uses include berry picking, nature study, photography, and hiking.
FISH AND WILDLIFE
Cottontail rabbit, white-tailed deer, gray squirrel, ruffed grouse, and wild turkey are the wildlife species most sought, with hunters showing an interest in fox squirrel, woodcock, and woodchuck as well. Beaver are abundant along Wolf Creek and its tributaries. All furbearers common to the region may be found on the area.
Wood ducks are common on the ponds and streams. Canada geese are well established in the vicinity. Mallards, blue-winged teal, and other species of waterfowl and shorebirds occur occasionally, mostly as migrants. A rich variety of songbirds may be found on the area in association with the diverse mixture of habitat types. Largemouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegill are the predominant fish species in area ponds.
HUNTING, TRAPPING, AND FISHING
The best rabbit hunting may be found in reverting open fields adjacent to croplands or adjacent to woodlands with a shrubby understory. Oak-hickory stands and beech groves scattered throughout the area provide good squirrel hunting. Reverting old fields comprised of species such as hawthorn and wild crabapple with scattered pines, in combination with second growth hardwoods, provide excellent ruffed grouse and deer habitat. Waterfowl hunting is limited, but productive early in the season. Good populations of woodchuck and raccoon occur throughout the area. Muskrat and mink trapping is best along the main channel of Wolf Creek and in the larger ponds.
Fishing is a popular activity on the area. Wolf Creek and its tributaries produce smallmouth bass, rock bass, and suckers. Many small ponds ranging in size from one-half acre to over seven acres yield good catches of largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish.
State Route 78 from the Wolf Creek Wildlife Area south towards Burr Oak State Park is known as the “Rim of the World.” During the fall, spectacular views of fall foliage may be observed to the west from the roadway.
PUBLIC USE FACILITIES
Several parking lots and one campsite are available for public use.
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.
Further information may be obtained from the Wildlife District Four Office, 360 East State Street, Athens, Ohio 45701; telephone (740) 589-9930.
Return to list of southeast Ohio wildlife areas.