Gone Hunting sign

Ohio fall hunting season prep notes from ODNR Wildlife

With September approaching, so are several of Ohio’s most popular hunting seasons.

In early September, Ohioans will begin hunting squirrels, doves, and some waterfowl, as noted in an Aug. 23 news release from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. Deer hunting begins soon, as well.

Hunting seasons for squirrel (fox, red, and gray), dove, rail (Virginia and sora), snipe, and gallinule begin Friday, Sept. 1. Early Canada goose season runs from Saturday, Sept. 2, until Sunday, Sept. 10, and early teal (blue-winged and green-winged) hunting season is Saturday, Sept. 2, through Sunday, Sept. 17, according to the release.

“Thousands of Ohioans look forward to the start of fall hunting seasons each year,” Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker said in the release. “Ohio offers excellent habitat on both public and private land for a variety of species. Make this season memorable by spending it with someone new or sharing your harvest with friends and family.”

Squirrels can be found statewide, although fox squirrels are more abundant in western Ohio and gray squirrels are most abundant in eastern counties. Early in the hunting season, squirrels are found in forests and woodlands that have beech, oak, and hickory trees.

Doves have been a popular game bird since 1995, according to the release. They are abundant during the start of the season, especially in agricultural areas and open fields, and migrate to southern habitats for the winter.

Canada geese, blue-winged teal, and green-winged teal are some of the earliest migratory waterfowl to arrive in Ohio's wetlands. Waterfowl can be hunted in agricultural fields, from the shores of wetlands or ponds, or from a boat. Waterfowl identification is important in the early season, when similar species are not legal game, so it is a good idea to review an identification guide before an early-season hunt, according to the release.

Hunters are reminded to check the current regulations for changes to season dates and daily limits as the 2023 fall seasons begin. A summary of the 2023-24 hunting and trapping regulations is online at wildohio.gov, on the HuntFish OH app, or anywhere licenses are sold.

Deer archery season starts Sept. 30

The statewide deer archery season opens Saturday, Sept. 30. Hunters in the disease surveillance area (Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties) may begin archery hunting Saturday, Sept. 9. Public land deer hunting opportunities abound; check the 2023-24 hunting and trapping regulations for additional details and requirements.

The Ohio Landowner-Hunter Access Partnership program opens an avenue for hunters to access private land and for landowners to receive incentives for allowing hunter access. New properties were added for the 2023-24 season. Find more information about the program, sign up as a hunter or landowner, and find property near you at wildohio.gov. Hunters may access enrolled properties with a free daily permit.

The free HuntFish OH app is available on iOS and Android devices to conveniently purchase hunting and fishing licenses, check game, view wildlife area maps, and more. Users can check deer and wild turkey harvests through the app, even without an internet connection.

New and experienced hunters are encouraged to check out the Wild Ohio Harvest Community for information on getting started, hunting opportunities, and wild game recipes.

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