The Ohio Wildlife Council approved early migratory bird hunting season dates, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Sept. 1 is Ohio’s opening day for mourning dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen and snipe hunting seasons.
Ohio’s dove 2015 hunting season dates are Sept. 1-Nov. 8, and Dec. 12-Jan. 1, 2016. The daily limit is 15 birds with a possession limit of 45 birds after the second day. Dove hunting dates were extended 20 days last year, and that extended season will continue in 2015.
Additional hunting seasons approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council include the following dates: Special early season Canada goose: Sept. 1-15 with a daily limit of five and a possession limit of 15 after the second day. Early teal: Sept. 5-20 with a daily limit of six and a possession limit of 18 after the second day. Sora rail and Virginia rail: Sept. 1-Nov. 9 with a daily limit of 25 and a possession limit of 75 after the second day. Common moorhen: Sept. 1-Nov. 9 with a daily limit of 15 and a possession limit of 45 after the second day. Common snipe: Sept. 1-Nov. 29 and Dec. 19-Jan. 4, 2016 with a daily limit of eight; possession limit of 24 after the second day. American woodcock: Oct. 10-Nov. 23 with a daily limit of three and a possession limit of nine after the second day.
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 certification. Hunters must obtain a new HIP certification each year to hunt any migratory game bird season. Call 877-HIP-OHIO (447-6446) to complete the HIP certification. Licenses, permits and stamps are available online at the Wild Ohio Customer Center. Federal duck stamps are available at duckstamp.com.
New this year, hunters can carry a valid receipt for a federal duck stamp, or an e-stamp, in place of a signed stamp for 45 days after purchase. An Ohio wetlands habitat stamp endorsement and a federal duck stamp are not required to hunt doves, rails, moorhens, snipe and woodcock.
Controlled dove hunts will be offered Tuesday, Sept. 1, and Wednesday, Sept. 2, at Fallsville, Rush Run, Spring Valley, Indian Creek and Bott state wildlife areas. Controlled dove hunts will also be offered at St. Marys State Fish Hatchery on Tuesday, Sept. 1, Wednesday, Sept. 2, Saturday, Sept. 5, Saturday, Sept. 12 and Saturday, Sept. 19. Hunting hours are noon to sunset for all controlled dove hunts.
Opening day drawings for all of these hunts will take place at noon on Saturday, Aug. 22, at the respective public area headquarters. Bott Wildlife Area will hold its drawings at the Indian Creek Headquarters. Drawings for the other hunts will be held the day of the hunt at noon. Maps and details are available at wildohio.gov. Questions about these hunts should be directed to the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District Five office at 937-372-9261.
The 2015-2016 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations are available at wildohio.gov and at license outlets. The 2015 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons brochure will be available in August.
If you are looking for a place noted for early season teal success, you may want to consider participating in the special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities along the Lake Erie shoreline.
The drawing dates and times are as follows:
Magee Marsh Wildlife Area Early Teal and Goose Hunt: A drawing will be held at the Magee Marsh on Wednesday, August 12 at 6:30 p.m. Registration is from 5:00 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. at the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area beach parking lot, 13229 W. State Route 2, Oak Harbor.
Pipe Creek Wildlife Area Waterfowl Hunts: A drawing will be held at Osborn Park on Thursday, August 20 at 6:30 p.m. Registration is from 5:00 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. at Osborn Park, 3910 Perkins Ave., Huron.
East Sandusky Bay Metro Park Waterfowl Hunts: A drawing will be held at Osborn Park on Thursday, August 20 at 6:30 p.m. Registration is from 5:00 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. at Osborn Park, 3910 Perkins Ave., Huron.
Adult participants are required to present their current or previous year’s Ohio Wetland Stamp or Ohio Hunting License. Youth Hunters are required to bring their 2014 or 2015 Ohio Youth Hunting License to be eligible to participate in the drawings.
All three of these could be considered some of the best places to hunt for teal during the early season if the weather conditions are right.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!