September 1st marks the kick-off date for the state’s fall hunting seasons with the opening of squirrel, dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen, and snipe hunting.
Turkey hunters know that nothing beats a fresh, wild turkey on the dinner table that was earned through hours of patience and determination. Hunters may take one wild turkey of either sex with shotgun or a longbow or crossbow from October 8th through November 27th. Ohio’s fall wild turkey hunting season takes place in 48 counties.
Saturdays in October and November are by far the most popular day for archery deer hunting in Ohio, according to statistics compiled by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. About one in three deer taken during the four-month archery season are taken on a Saturday. Bowhunters sacrifice watching those nail-biter Buckeye games for a thrill that is much more personal, the thrill of the hunt. The long archery season takes place September 24th through February 5, 2012, offering plenty of opportunity to Ohio’s bowhunters.
While the regular deer gun season doesn’t begin until November 28th, younger hunters (age 17 and under) get an early shot during the youth deer gun season November 19 and 20. The youth deer gun season is open statewide on both private and public land. Hunters may take one deer of either sex during this season, in accordance with existing bag and deer-zone limits. Shotguns capable of holding no more than three shells, muzzleloaders, handguns, bows and crossbows are legal hunting implements for youths during these two days. All young hunters, must wear hunter orange, possess a valid Ohio hunting license and deer permit, and be accompanied by a non-hunting adult. The adult is not required to have a hunting license. However, the adult must be at least 18 years old, must remain with the young hunter while hunting, and must wear hunter orange while in the field.
Ohio also hosts an early muzzleloader season October 17-22 on three wildlife areas; Wildcat Hollow, Shawnee State Forest, and Salt Fork Wildlife Area. Hunters are no longer required to apply for a special permit to participate in this season. Hunters are required to have a valid hunting license and deer permit to participate in the early muzzleloader deer season.
Beginning in October, Ohio hunters will be able to bag ducks, coots, and geese on private land or at any state wildlife area. Teal can be taken September 3-18. Seasons for waterfowl hunting are divided by zones in Ohio.
Ohio’s upland game hunters have their dogs trained and ready for this year’s rabbit, ring-necked pheasant, and bobwhite quail opener on November 4th. Dogs add to the success rate of an upland hunter as they trek through excellent shrubby or grassy cover in pursuit of their game.
November 10th kicks off Ohio’s furbearer hunting and trapping season for fox, raccoon, skunk, opossum, weasel, mink, and muskrat. Trappers can begin pursuing beaver and river otter on December 26th. Ohio is among the nation’s leading producers of raw furs. In fact, fur trading played a very important role in Ohio’s exploration and settlement.
Hunting is one of the state’s best recreational bargains, with a one-year license for Ohio residents costing just $19. Those hunting waterfowl must also purchase a federal Duck Stamp, along with an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp, at a cost of $15 each. Federal Duck Stamps are available at many post offices. Ohio licenses and permits can be purchased from license vendors in the state, or online.
Detailed information on these and other upcoming hunting seasons can be found in the 2011-12 Ohio Hunting Regulations, available where hunting licenses are sold or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE. They are also online at wildohio.com.
Good luck hunters and trappers!