COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s familiar habitat mosaic of farm fields, woodlots, and wetlands provides optimum opportunities to hunt mourning doves, squirrels, and waterfowl, as hunting seasons begin during the first week of September, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Hunting is a favorite and cherished activity for thousands of Ohioans. As in years past, the hunting seasons that open on Wednesday, Sept. 1 include squirrel (fox, gray, and red), mourning dove, rail, snipe, and gallinule. Canada geese and teal (blue-winged, green-winged, and cinnamon) may be hunted during the early waterfowl season beginning Saturday, Sept. 4.
“Ohio’s hunting license sales increased 5% in 2020 from the previous season,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “We know that many Ohioans are eagerly anticipating the start of fall hunting. You’ll find abundant populations of mourning doves, squirrels, and geese when you return to the woods and fields. As always, thank you for supporting conservation in Ohio.”
Mourning doves are fast fliers and a popular game bird pursued by wing shooters. A field seat, dark clothing, and a box of shotgun shells provide all the equipment necessary to hunt doves while they skirt farm fields and other open areas.
Many Ohioans learned to hunt by pursuing squirrels through Ohio’s forests and woodlots. Squirrels are found in the treetops during the early hunting season, feeding amongst beech, oak, and hickory trees. A small-bore rifle or lightweight shotgun are common hunting implements for squirrels.
Canada geese require a larger gauge shotgun to hit flying birds from a longer distance. Be sure to review waterfowl identification before an early season hunt; in particular, wood ducks are not yet in season but are sometimes misidentified as teal.
Hunters are reminded to check the current regulations for changes to season dates and daily limits as the 2021 fall seasons begin. A summary of the 2021-22 hunting and trapping regulations is available where licenses are sold, on the HuntFish OH app, and at wildohio.gov.
Additional hunting seasons begin soon. That includes Ohio’s white-tailed deer archery hunting season, opening Saturday, Sept. 25. Additional details and requirements for deer hunting, including on public land, can be found in the 2021-22 hunting and trapping regulations.
The free HuntFish OH app can be downloaded to conveniently purchase fishing and hunting licenses, check game, view wildlife area maps, and much more. The HuntFish OH mobile app is available for Android and iOS users and can be found in the app store. Users can access the Division of Wildlife’s online system to check harvested white-tailed deer and wild turkey while out in the field, even without a Wi-Fi connection.
Landowners can now receive an incentive to allow hunters access during specific hunting seasons through the Ohio Landowner and Hunter Access Partnership Program. Visit the Ohio Landowner and Hunter Access Partnership Program page at wildohio.gov to sign up as a landowner or hunter.