Hunting in Ohio offers a diverse and exciting experience for hunters. From deer and turkeys to waterfowls, pheasants, and small game animals, the state boasts a rich variety of game species. However, Ohio also prioritizes wildlife conservation and practices controlled hunting through lotteries and shared licenses to preserve game populations.
Ohio Hunting Regulations
Before heading out on a hunting adventure in Ohio, it is essential to understand the state’s hunting laws and regulations. These rules apply to all hunters, both residents and non-residents alike. Here are some of the key regulations:
Ohio General Hunting Laws and Regulations
- Allowed Hunting Weapons: Crossbows, longbows, shotguns (up to 10 gauge), handguns, rifles, and air guns are permitted for taking games in Ohio. Other firearm types require a special exception from the Department of Natural Resources.
- Use of Electronic Callers: Electronic callers can be used for hunting, except for turkeys and migratory birds like rails and waterfowls. Additionally, electronic calls for crows are acceptable.
- Spotlighting Prohibition: It is prohibited to spotlight wildlife and games from vehicles or use vehicle headlights for this purpose.
- Night Hunting Rules: When hunting furbearers at night, hunters must use an unceasing visible light at least a quarter-mile away. For hunting coyotes with an electronic call from a standing position, a single light beam is allowed.
- Hunting from Motor Vehicles: Hunting from motor vehicles is strictly prohibited, except for boats and farm machinery. However, hunting small game from boats or powercraft is not allowed, with a few exceptions.
- Aircraft and Drones Prohibition: The use of aircraft and drones for hunting or assisting in hunting activities is strictly prohibited.
- Poison and Explosive Arrows Prohibition: The use of arrows coated with poisons and explosives is illegal, as is attaching illuminating devices to crossbows or longbows.
- Firearm Discharge Prohibition: It is prohibited to discharge a firearm across an Ohio highway or public road.
- Hunter Orange Requirement: During certain deer seasons, hunters must wear a solid hunter orange or camouflage orange vest, overall, or jacket.
Concealed Handgun License for Hunting in Ohio
Ohio allows hunters with a concealed handgun license to carry a concealed handgun while hunting or trapping. However, using the handgun to shoot or attempt to shoot wildlife or game animals is strictly prohibited.
Using Firearm Suppressors to Hunt in Ohio
Hunters permitted to use firearm suppressors or silencers under Ohio or federal laws may take legal games with them. However, possessing a valid Ohio license to use the suppressor is mandatory.
Hunting with Permission in Ohio
Hunting games on private lands in Ohio requires written permission from the landowner, even if the land is not posted. Landowners hunting on their properties are exempt from this requirement. Hunters can obtain hunting permissions at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ wildlife division district offices.
Possession of Games in Ohio
Regulations regarding the possession of games and wildlife in Ohio include the following:
- Capture and Sale Prohibition: Capturing or selling live games, including furbearers, reptiles, birds, and amphibians, is illegal, except for those with propagation permits.
- Fur Sales Limit: Sales of furbearer hides taken during the open season must not exceed the open season, or they must be held for sale after the season’s close.
- Furbearers Alive Prohibition: Taking furbearers alive during open hunting and trapping seasons is strictly prohibited.
- Valid Fur Dealer’s Permit: To purchase dry fur or green fur in Ohio, a valid state fur dealer’s permit is required.
- Nongame Birds Prohibition: It is illegal to purchase, possess, or trade nongame birds or their body parts, whether alive or dead.
Open Carry While Hunting in Ohio
Open carry while hunting is generally permitted in Ohio, except during archery hunting, where only concealed carry is lawful. However, using a firearm to take down game while bow hunting is prohibited.
Hunter Harassment Laws in Ohio
Ohio has hunter harassment laws in place to protect legal hunting activities. Deliberate interference with hunting, trapping, or fishing activities in specific ways, such as affecting game behavior or property, is prohibited.
Ohio Hunting Licenses, Permits, and Tags
To hunt legally in Ohio, hunters must obtain the appropriate licenses, permits, and tags based on their residency and age. Here are the various types available:
- Residents Annual License: This annual license is available for Ohio residents between the ages of 18 and 65 and costs $19.
- Youth Annual License: Ohio residents and non-residents aged 17 and younger can acquire this annual license for $10.
- Non-Residents Annual License: Non-residents of Ohio aged 18 or older can purchase this annual license for $125.
- Residents Reduced-Cost Senior License: Senior residents of Ohio aged 66 and older or those born after January 1, 1938, can obtain this license for $10.
- Resident Senior License: Senior residents of Ohio born on or before December 31, 1937, can obtain this annual hunting license free of charge.
- Non-Residents 3 Days Hunting License: Non-residents aged 18 or older can purchase this 3-day license for $40, which does not permit hunting deer, furbearers, or turkeys.
Ohio Apprentice License
Apprentice licenses are available for residents and non-residents who have not completed the required hunter’s education course. They allow hunting only under the supervision of a licensed Ohio hunter. Types of apprentice licenses include:
- Resident Apprentice Annual Licenses: Residents of Ohio aged 18 to 65 can acquire this annual license for $19.
- Youth Apprentice Annual License: Residents and non-residents aged 17 and younger can obtain this annual license for $10.
- Non-resident Apprentice Annual Licenses: Non-residents aged 18 or older can acquire this annual license for $125.
Ohio Waterfowl Stamps
For hunting waterfowls, hunters must purchase a valid Ohio waterfowl stamp. Available types include:
- Residents and Non-Residents Wetland Habitat Stamp: This stamp is available for those aged 18 and older and costs $15.
- Residents Reduced-Cost Senior Wetland Habitat Stamp: Senior residents aged 66 and older or those born after January 1, 1938, can acquire this stamp for $15.
- Residents Senior Wetland Habitat Stamp: Senior residents born on or before December 31, 1937, can obtain this stamp for free.
- Federal Duck Stamp: Anyone aged 16 or older can purchase this stamp for $25.
Ohio Turkey Permits
Turkey permits available in Ohio include:
- Adult Turkey Permit for Residents and Non-Residents: This permit allows hunting during the spring and fall seasons and costs $24.
- Youth Turkey Permit for Residents and Non-Residents: Youth residents and non-residents aged 17 and younger can obtain this permit for $12.
- Reduced Cost Senior Turkey Permit: Senior residents aged 66 and older or those born after January 1, 1938, can acquire this permit for $12.
- Residents Senior Turkey Permit: Senior residents born on or before December 31, 1937, can obtain this permit for free.
Ohio Deer Permits
Permits required to hunt deer in Ohio include:
- Adult Deer Permit for Residents and Non-Residents: This permit allows for hunting antlerless deer or either-sex deer and costs $15 and $24, respectively.
- Youth Deer Permit for Residents and Non-Residents: Youth residents and non-residents aged 17 and younger can acquire this permit for $15 and $12, respectively.
- Reduced Cost Senior Deer Permit: Senior residents aged 66 and older or those born after January 1, 1938, can obtain this permit for $15 and $12, respectively.
- Residents Senior Deer Permit: Senior residents born on or before December 31, 1937, can obtain this permit for $15 and $12, respectively, and they are both free.
Ohio Fishing Licenses, Permits, and Tags
Fishing enthusiasts in Ohio must obtain the appropriate licenses, permits, and tags for legal fishing. Here are the available types:
Residents Fishing License
This license is available for Ohio residents aged 16 to 65 and costs $19.
Resident Reduced Cost Senior Fishing License
Senior residents aged 66 and older or those born after January 1, 1938, can acquire this license for $10.
One Day Fishing License
This license is valid for both residents and non-residents for a single day and costs $11.
Annual Non-Residents Fishing License
Non-residents aged 18 and older can obtain this license, valid for a year, for $40.
3 Days Nonresident Tourist Fishing License
Non-residents aged 18 and older can purchase this license, valid for 3 days, for $19.
Hunters can replace missing, stolen, or destroyed licenses by obtaining a duplicate license, which costs $4.
Ohio Hunting Season 2020/21
The hunting season in Ohio varies depending on the game being pursued. Here are the dates for the 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife:
Ohio Deer Hunting Seasons
- General Hunting Season: October 10 to December 1.
Ohio Turkey Hunting Seasons
- General Fall Hunting Season: August 30 to January 31.
- Spring Youth Hunting Season: April 8 to April 14.
- Spring General Hunting Season: April 15 to May 25.
Ohio Small Game Hunting Seasons
- Cottontail and Hare Hunting Seasons: August 30 to March 31.
- Quail Hunting Seasons: September 18 to January 31.
- Chukar and Partridge Hunting Seasons: September 19 to January 31.
- Male Pheasants Hunting Seasons: October 9 to December 31.
- Squirrel Hunting Season: August 30 to March 31.
The start and end dates of hunting seasons may vary based on the different hunting zones in the state. Controlled hunting is often implemented for certain game species to manage overpopulation.
Ohio Wildlife, Games, and Fish
Ohio boasts a diverse range of wildlife and games, providing ample opportunities for hunters to pursue their interests. Here are some of the notable species:
Ohio Deer Hunting
Deer hunting in Ohio is prevalent statewide, with the whitetail deer being the most common species in the northern region. The southern part of Ohio is home to the mule deer. Hunting seasons for deer are during the fall period.
Ohio Turkey Hunting
Turkey hunting is popular in areas around rivers, and the state offers opportunities for hunting in federal and state hunting lands.
Ohio Fox Hunting
Ohio is home to various fox species, including the red fox, which is found throughout the state. Kit foxes, which are smaller and rarer, inhabit the southern part of Ohio, while the gray fox is the largest fox species in the state.
Ohio Quail Hunting
The California quail is the most common quail species found in the south-central part of Ohio, particularly near water bodies like streams and rivers.
Ohio Pheasants Hunting
Pheasants hunting in Ohio takes place in clearwater areas, although their populations have declined due to modern farming methods and increased urbanization. Nevertheless, wild pheasants can still be found in various regions of the state.
Ohio Duck Hunting
Ducks are plentiful in Ohio, with the best places to find them being wetland regions away from human settlements. Ducks inhabit water bodies like ponds and lakes, particularly the shallow parts.
Ohio Public Shooting Ranges for Hunting Practices
For hunters looking to practice their shooting skills, several public shooting ranges are accessible in Ohio. Some of these include:
- Blaine County Gun Club
- Boise Gun Club
- Coeur D’Alene Skeet & Trap Club
- Ee Da How Long Rifles
- Fernan Rod & Gun Club
- Lewis-Clark Wildlife Club Range
- Oregon Trail Shooting Range
- Pocatello Trap Club
- Skyline Gun Club
- Unified Sportsmen’s Club
- Wood River Gun Club
- Twin Falls Rifle and Pistol Club
- Mountain Home Air Force Base Idaho
- Martin Canyon Range
- Leo Hadley Range – Bonner County Sportsmen
Ohio Hunting Lands for Sale and Lease
For those interested in owning or leasing hunting lands in Ohio, several options are available. Here are some examples:
Hunting Lands for Sale
- Hidden Cabin in the Woods, State Route 139, Oak Hill, Ohio (Jackson County) – 17.7 acres.
- Bidwell, Ohio (Gallia County) – 73.12 acres.
- Hunting land and cabins for sale in Londonderry, Ohio (Vinton County) – 26 acres.
- Lower Salem, Ohio (Monroe County) – 19 acres.
- Dennison, Ohio (Tuscarawas County) – 35.08 acres.
Hunting Lands for Lease
- Guided Deer hunt for Bow Season in Lucasville, OH Hunting, Scioto County – 2000 acres along Scioto River.
- 210 acres Lease for White-tailed deer hunting is Available near Athens, Ohio.
- Space for two ethical hunters to fill a hunting camp for the 2021 deer hunting season in Noble County.
- Space on 120 acres in southeast Ohio for deer and turkey hunting in Franklin County.
- Bass & Buck, a family-oriented private bow hunting and fishing club in Geauga County – 250 acres.
- Southeast Ohio deer and turkey hunts in Meigs County with a rustic cabin included – 139 acres.
- 120-Acre Historic Homestead – Mix of Wooded Area and Open Field in Coshocton County.
- 23 Acres of Forest with Deer, Turkeys, and More in Brown County.
With a wide array of hunting opportunities and regulations to ensure sustainable practices, Ohio remains an appealing destination for hunters of all experience levels. Whether you’re in pursuit of deer, turkey, ducks, or other game animals, the state’s diverse wildlife and expansive hunting grounds offer an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts.
In conclusion, hunting in Ohio offers a rich and diverse experience for hunters, featuring various games such as deer, turkeys, waterfowls, pheasants, and small game animals. The state implements controlled hunting through lotteries and shared licenses to manage game populations and preserve their lives. It is essential for all hunters, whether residents or non-residents, to abide by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ hunting laws and regulations to ensure responsible and sustainable hunting practices.
For those interested in hunting in Ohio, obtaining the appropriate hunting licenses, permits, and tags is crucial, and the state offers various options tailored to residents, non-residents, youth, seniors, and apprentices. Additionally, knowing the specific hunting seasons for different wildlife is essential to plan successful and legal hunting activities.
Ohio’s beautiful natural landscapes and abundant wildlife provide ample opportunities for hunting enthusiasts to enjoy their passion. Whether it’s hunting on private lands, public shooting ranges, or leasing hunting properties, Ohio offers something for every hunter. So, prepare your gear, adhere to the regulations, and experience the thrill of hunting in the Buckeye State.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Do I need a hunting license to hunt in Ohio?
- Yes, regardless of whether you are a resident or non-resident, you need a valid hunting license issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to hunt legally in the state.
- What types of hunting licenses are available in Ohio?
- Ohio offers various hunting licenses based on residency, age, and type of game. Some common ones include Resident Annual License, Youth Annual License, Non-Resident Annual License, and Apprentice Licenses for beginners.
- Can I hunt on private lands in Ohio without permission from the landowner?
- No, you must obtain written permission from the landowner before hunting on private lands, even if they are not posted. Exceptions are only made for landowners hunting on their own properties.
- Are there specific regulations for hunting certain game animals in Ohio?
- Yes, there are specific regulations for hunting various game animals in Ohio. For example, the use of electronic callers is allowed for some animals but not for turkeys and migratory birds. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the rules for each game.
- Can I use firearm suppressors to hunt in Ohio?
- Yes, if you are allowed to use firearm suppressors according to Ohio or federal laws, you can use them to hunt legal game animals. However, you must possess a valid Ohio license to use the suppressor.