Ohio’s migratory bird hunting seasons begin Sept. 1


The Ohio Wildlife Council approved early migratory bird hunting season dates, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). 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. Daily limit of five; possession limit of 15 after the second day.
  • Early teal: Sept. 5-20. Daily limit of six; possession limit of 18 after the second day.
  • Sora rail and Virginia rail: Sept. 1-Nov. 9. Daily limit of 25; possession limit of 75 after the second day.
  • Common moorhen: Sept. 1-Nov. 9. Daily limit of 15; possession limit of 45 after the second day.
  • Common snipe: Sept. 1-Nov. 29 and Dec. 19-Jan. 4, 2016. Daily limit of eight; possession limit of 24 after the second day.
  • American woodcock: Oct. 10-Nov. 23. Daily limit of three; 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 (HIP) 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.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

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