Ohio State parks’ duck blind lotteries set for Aug. 15

More than 400 permits are available to hunters wishing to construct a blind to hunt ducks and geese on select Ohio State Park lakes and wildlife areas during this waterfowl hunting season. Lottery drawings will be held the morning of Saturday, Aug. 15, at the 17 state parks and two wildlife areas offering these duck blind permits.

Interested applicants must appear in person at a participating state park office with proof of a 2015 Ohio hunting license, state wetlands stamp endorsement in the applicant’s name and a signed 2015 or 2014 federal duck stamp. Applicants under the age of 18 are encouraged to have a parent or legal guardian present to sign the permit contract, and applicants must provide the required license and stamps.

Participating state parks include Portage Lakes and West Branch in northeast Ohio; East Harbor in northwest Ohio; Buck Creek, Caesar Creek, Cowan Lake, East Fork, Hueston Woods, Indian Lake, Lake Loramie and Rocky Fork in southwest Ohio; Adams Lake and Shawnee Woods in southeast Ohio; and Alum Creek, A.W. Marion, Deer Creek and Delaware in central Ohio.

Applications will be taken beginning at 7:30 a.m. at most parks, with the lottery drawings at 8 a.m. at the park office, unless otherwise noted in the list.

Each hunter can apply for only one duck blind permit, and no one can apply or draw for another person. There is a $50 non-refundable permit fee for the state park lottery winners. Most locations accept cash, checks or credit cards for payment, except Portage Lakes where payment is by cash (exact change) or check only. Lottery winners have 45 days to construct their blinds, and all blinds must be dismantled by March 15, 2016.

Waterfowl hunting opportunities are also available through lottery drawings at the Mercer Wildlife Area on Grand Lake St. Marys and the Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area adjacent to Mosquito Lake State Park. The drawings will be held at the respective wildlife area offices on Saturday, Aug. 15. There is no fee for permits at Mercer Wildlife Area or use of the blinds at Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area. Interested applicants for the Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area lottery drawing must have a 2015 hunting license to apply. Lottery participants must also have a current Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification.

Information on waterfowl hunting seasons, locations and restrictions will be discussed by park staff and wildlife officers during the lotteries. For general information about hunting seasons and regulations, call 800-WILDLIFE or visit wildohio.gov.

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