August 2, 2014

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Ohio Wildlife Council approves early migratory game bird hunting seasons

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Wildlife Council approved the state's 2013-2014 early migratory game bird hunting seasons at its scheduled meeting on July 17, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Sept. 1 kicks off the state’s bird hunting seasons for mourning dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen and snipe.

New this year, bag limits for Canada geese and teal have increased, and possession limits after the second day of hunting have increased for all migratory game bird species.

Ohio's dove season is Sept. 1-Oct. 21 and Dec. 15-Jan. 2, 2014, with a daily limit of 15 birds and a possession limit of 45 birds after the second day.

Controlled dove hunts will be offered at Fallsville, Rush Run, Spring Valley, Indian Creek and Bott state wildlife areas. Bott Wildlife Area will hold its drawings at the Indian Creek Headquarters. These controlled hunts will take place on Sunday, Sept. 1, and Monday, Sept. 2; hunting hours will be noon to sunset. Controlled dove hunts will also be offered at St. Marys Fish Hatchery on Sept. 1-2, 7, 14 and 21. Youths 17-years-old and younger will be given priority on Sept. 1-2.

Opening day drawings for all of these hunts will take place at noon on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the respective public area headquarters. Drawings for the other hunts will be held the day of the hunt at noon. Maps and details are available at wildohio.com. Questions about these hunts should be directed to the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District Five office at 937-372-9261.

Canada geese may be hunted statewide Sept. 1-15 during the special early season, with a daily limit of five birds and possession limit of 15 birds after the second day. The Mercer Canada Goose Zone will be open during the early Canada goose season.

The early teal hunting season is Sept. 7-22 with a daily bag limit of six birds and possession limit of 18 after the second day.

Sora rails, Virginia rails and moorhens can be hunted Sept.1-Nov. 9 with a daily limit of 25 rails and 15 moorhens. Hunting season for snipe is Sept. 1-Nov. 25 and Dec. 15-Jan. 4, 2014, with a daily bag limit of eight. The woodcock hunting season is Oct. 12-Nov. 25 with a daily bag limit of three.

Waterfowl hunters must have a valid hunting license in addition to a state wetlands habitat stamp endorsement, a federal duck stamp and a Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification. Hunters must obtain a new HIP certification each year. Licenses, permits and stamps are available online at the Wild Ohio Customer Center. Federal duck stamps are available at duckstamp.com.

A state wetlands habitat stamp endorsement and a federal duck stamp are not required to hunt doves, rails, moorhens, snipe and woodcock. Only nontoxic shot may be used to hunt waterfowl, rails, moorhens and snipe.

Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset. The only exceptions will be on wildlife areas that have specially posted hunting times for doves.

The 2013-14 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations and the 2013 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons brochure can be found online at wildohio.com. The 2013 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons brochure will be available by late August at license outlets, ODNR Division of Wildlife district offices or by calling 800-WILDLIFE.