Popular hunting seasons kick off in September


Water and Wings by Ken Parrott



Thousands of Ohioans have eagerly been waiting for the calendar to turn to September, when popular hunting seasons open across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. Early September is the time to hunt doves, squirrels, and some waterfowl, with white-tailed deer archery season just around the corner.

The tradition of a Sept. 1 season opener continues for squirrel (fox, gray, and red), dove, rail, snipe, and gallinule. Canada geese and teal (blue-winged, green-winged, and cinnamon) may be hunted starting Sept. 3 during the early waterfowl season. The deer archery hunting season is not far behind, with the statewide season beginning Sept. 24 and a season in a few targeted counties opening Sept. 10.

Doves are a popular game bird for hunters in Ohio. Doves are abundant throughout Ohio in early September before they migrate to southern habitats for the winter.

Squirrels were the first quarry of many beginning Ohio hunters and are still the state’s favorite small-game species. Early in the hunting season, squirrels are found in forests and woodlands that have beech, oak, and hickory trees.

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. Be sure to review a waterfowl identification guide before an early season hunt.

Hunters are reminded to check the current regulations for changes to season dates and daily limits as the 2022 fall seasons begin. A summary of the 2022-23 hunting and trapping regulations can be found at wildohio.gov, on the HuntFish OH app, or anywhere licenses are sold.

Ohio’s deer archery season begins soon. The statewide season opens Saturday, Sept. 24. Hunters in the Disease Surveillance Area (Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties) can begin archery hunting two weeks before the statewide opener, on Sept. 10. Public land deer hunting opportunities abound; check the 2022-23 hunting and trapping regulations for additional details and requirements.

The free HuntFish OH app is available to conveniently purchase hunting and fishing licenses, check game, view wildlife area maps, and much more. The HuntFish OH mobile app is available for iOS and Android users in the app store or Google Play. Users can check deer and wild turkey harvests through the app, even without an internet connection.

The Ohio Landowner-Hunter Access Partnership program opens an avenue for hunters to access private land, and landowners to receive incentives for allowing hunter access. Find more information about the program, sign up as a hunter or landowner, and find property near you at wildohio.gov.

New and experienced hunters alike are encouraged to check out the Wild Ohio Harvest Community for information on getting started, hunting opportunities, and delicious wild game recipes. Make the most of your fall hunting season with online learning modules, hands-on workshops, and more.

• The ODNR Division of Wildlife has confirmed cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease in white-tailed deer in Athens, Butler, Champaign, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Highland, Madison, Perry, Preble, Ross, Union, and Warren counties.

EHD is one of the most common ailments affecting deer, and the disease occurs in the late summer and fall in deer herds across North America. Outbreaks are often associated with drought. Ohio saw a rise in cases beginning in mid-August this year.

The EHD virus is not infectious to people or pets and is not spread from animal to animal. It is transmitted by the bite of small insects called midges, so EHD-associated deaths in deer can occur until the first frost of the year causes a decline in midge activity.

Once infected, deer show symptoms within five to 10 days, and many deer die within 36 hours of the onset of symptoms. Deer in the Midwest are at a higher risk because they lack herd immunity, among other factors. There is little that can be done to protect wild deer from the virus. Outbreaks of EHD can result in high deer mortality in some areas but populations typically increase within a few years.

White-tailed deer, along with mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope, as well as domestic cattle and sheep, are susceptible to EHD. According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, EHD does not pose a serious threat to livestock and infections are likely to be mild. Deer infected with this virus may show symptoms including lethargy, head hung down, loss of fear of humans, swelling of the tongue and head and neck, difficulty breathing, and excess salivation. Affected deer are often found in or near bodies of water, likely because of fever and dehydration.

Sightings of sick or dead deer should be reported at wildohio.gov or to a local Ohio wildlife officer so the Division of Wildlife can track incidences and perform tests. For more information about EHD visit wildohio.gov.

Until next time Good Hunting and Good Fishing!

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Water and Wings by Ken Parrott

Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.

Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.