August is finally here and that means we are only one month away from the start of hunting season.
Opening day for Ohio’s 2014-2015 early migratory bird hunting seasons will be Monday, Sept. 1, and includes mourning dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen and snipe. Dates for these hunting seasons, plus teal and woodcock, were approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday, July 16.
Ohio’s dove hunting season was extended 20 days in 2014, including Sept. 1-Nov. 9 and Dec. 13-Jan. 1, 2015. The daily limit is 15 birds with a possession limit of 45 birds after the second day of the season.
Controlled dove hunts will be offered at Fallsville, Rush Run, Spring Valley, Indian Creek and Bott state wildlife areas. Bott Wildlife Area will hold its drawings at the Indian Creek Headquarters. Controlled hunts will take place during the first two days of the season, Sept. 1- 2. Controlled dove hunts will also be offered at St. Marys State Fish Hatchery on Sept. 1, 6, 13 and 20. Hunting hours will be noon to sunset for all controlled dove hunts.
Opening day drawings for all of these hunts will take place at noon on Saturday, Aug. 23, at the respective public area headquarters. Drawings for the other hunts will be held the day of the hunt at noon. Maps and details are available at www.wildohio.gov. Questions about these hunts should be directed to the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District Five office at 937-372-9261.
Canada geese may be hunted Sept. 1-15 during the special early season, with a daily limit of five birds and possession limit of 15 after the second day. The Mercer Canada Goose Zone will be open during the early Canada goose season.
The early teal hunting season is Sept. 6-21 with a daily bag limit of six birds and possession limit of 18 after the second day. Sora rails, Virginia rails and moorhens can be hunted Sept.1-Nov. 9 with a daily limit of 25 rails and 15 moorhens. Hunting season for snipe is Sept. 1-Nov. 30 and Dec. 20-Jan. 4, 2015, with a daily bag limit of eight. The woodcock hunting season is Oct. 11-Nov. 24 with a daily bag limit of three.
Waterfowl hunters must have a valid hunting license in addition to an Ohio wetlands habitat stamp endorsement, a federal duck stamp and a Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification. Hunters must obtain a new HIP certification each year to hunt any migratory game bird season. Licenses, permits and stamps are available online at the Wild Ohio Customer Center. Federal duck stamps are available at www.duckstamp.com.
An Ohio wetlands habitat stamp endorsement and a federal duck stamp are not required to hunt doves, rails, moorhens, snipe and woodcock. Only nontoxic shot may be used to hunt waterfowl, rails, moorhens and snipe.
Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset. Exceptions apply on wildlife areas that have specially posted hunting times for doves. The 2015 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations are available at www.wildohio.gov and at license outlets. The 2014 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons brochure will be available in August.
• Hunters interested in hunting Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area on the opening day of teal season are encouraged to enter a lottery, according to the ODNR, Division of Wildlife. Deadline for submitting a lottery entry is August 8.
Both adults and youth can apply for the adult morning hunts. Only youth (17 and younger) can apply for the youth afternoon hunts. Zones will be assigned in the order they are drawn. Successful applicants will receive a permit and special instructions in the mail. Permits are not transferable. Successful applicants may bring up to two guests to hunt with them. Both teal and Canada geese may be hunted.
To apply, applicants must submit a 4x6 inch postcard listing their name, address, Customer ID number and phone number. Only one postcard per applicant is allowed and no duplicates may be submitted. Postcards should be sent to: ODNR Division of Wildlife District Two, 952 Lima Avenue, Findlay, Ohio 45840. Postcards need to be labeled at the top for the particular hunt in which the hunter is applying (Adult Teal; Youth Teal). Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area is located in Sandusky County off State Route 6, between Fremont and Sandusky.
Until Next Time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!