Wildlife Council Approves Ohio’s Early Migratory Bird Season Dates

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September 1 kicks off dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen, snipe and squirrel hunting seasons

Wildlife Council Approves Ohio's Early Migratory Bird Season DatesCOLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Wildlife Council has approved the state’s early migratory bird hunting seasons for this fall, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

September 1 will kick off the state’s hunting seasons with the opening of dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen, and snipe. Squirrel hunting season also starts that day.

Ohio’s dove hunting season runs September 1 through October 22 and December 8 through December 26, with a daily limit of 15 birds and a possession limit of 30 birds. Controlled dove hunts will be offered at Fallsville, Rush Run, Spring Valley, Indian Creek and Bott state wildlife areas; St. Marys Fish Hatchery and Cowan Lake State Park. These controlled hunts will take place Monday and Tuesday, September 1-2; hunting hours will be noon to sunset. Drawings for all thee hunts will be held at noon on Saturday, August 23 at the respective public hunting area headquarters, except that the drawing for Cowan Lake State Park will occur at the Spring Valley Wildlife Area. In addition to September 1, Cowan Lake and St. Marys Fish Hatchery will offer extra controlled hunt dates. Maps and details are available at wildohio.com. Questions about any one of these hunts should be directed to the Division of Wildlife’s District Five Office at 937-372-9261.

Canada geese may be hunted statewide September 1-15, during the special early season, with a daily limit of three birds and possession limit of six birds after the first day. The mandatory goose reporting zones at Crane Creek/Ottawa, Killdeer Plains and Mosquito Creek have been eliminated and the bag limit increased to three in these areas. The Mercer goose-reporting zone will not be open during the early Canada goose season.

The early teal hunting season will be open September 6-21, with a daily bag limit of four birds and possession limit of eight after the first day.

Waterfowl hunters must have a valid hunting license in addition to a state wetlands habitat stamp endorsement, a federal duck stamp and a Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification. Anyone who intends to hunt migratory game birds must obtain a new HIP certification each year.

Sora rails, Virginia rails and moorhens can be hunted September 1 through November 9, with daily limits of 25 rails and 15 moorhens. Hunting season for snipe will be September 1 through November 30 and December 8-23, with a daily bag limit of eight. The woodcock hunting season is open October 11 through November 24, with a daily bag limit of three birds and a possession limit of six birds.

Hunting hours during the seasons for rails, moorhens, snipe, woodcock, teal, doves and Canada geese are sunrise to sunset. The only exceptions will be on wildlife areas that have specially posted hunting times for doves. The 2008-09 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations can be found on line at wildohio.com. The 2008 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons brochure will be available by mid-August at license outlets, Division of Wildlife district offices, or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

In other business, the council heard proposed rule changes to the Ohio Administrative Code, which were presented by the Division of Wildlife and included:

Prohibiting the propagation or possession of live wild boar.

Establishing a minimum fence height for captive white-tailed deer, requiring mandatory tissue testing of captive deer 12-months of age or older that die on a permit holder’s premises.

Giving the ODNR Division of Wildlife authority to enforce the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact agreement. Under this agreement, participating states share information about fish and game violations and honor each other’s decision to deny licenses and permits. For example, if an Ohioan is convicted of a wildlife violation in a participating compact state, the individual’s rights to hunt and fish also can be suspended or revoked at home, providing a similar action would have resulted had the violation occurred in Ohio.

Open houses will be held on Saturday, September 13 in each of the state’s five wildlife district offices to provide an opportunity for the public to view and discuss proposed fish and wildlife regulations with state wildlife officials. Directions to the open houses can be obtained by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE or visiting wildohio.com on the Internet.

A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, September 25 at the Division of Wildlife’s District One Office, located at 1500 Dublin Road in Columbus. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates early next year.