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General Information

Hunting Regulations Icon Ohio Hunting

 

Unless otherwise indicated, game may be taken with longbow, crossbow, or any caliber handgun, rifle, shotgun (10 gauge or smaller), or airgun. Be safe and choose the appropriate method for the species. See Public Hunting Lands.

Game birds and game quadrupeds (except feral swine) may not be taken by trapping.

Electronic callers may be used while hunting, except while hunting migratory game birds (waterfowl, rails, and shorebirds) and wild turkeys. It is lawful to use electronic callers for crow hunting.

Spotlighting of wild animals from vehicles, including illuminating with headlights, is prohibited. Spotlighting is illegal whether hunting implements are carried in the vehicle or not.

Persons hunting, trapping, or pursuing furbearing animals at night must carry a continuous white light visible for at least 1/4 mile. When two or more persons are hunting or trapping together for furbearing animals, only one light is required and may be carried by any member of the party. Persons hunting foxes, coyotes, or raccoons with a call from a stationary position may use a single beam of light of any color.

It is unlawful to possess a hunting device while training or working a dog pursuing coyotes from sunset to sunrise.

All hunting from motor vehicles, except boats and machinery being used in farm operations, is prohibited. Hunting small game and furbearers except mink, muskrat, otter, and beaver is lawful from a boat or powercraft. Aircraft or drones are prohibited in hunting or the aid of hunting for all game.

Poisoned or explosive arrows are unlawful. While hunting, it is unlawful to have attached to a longbow or crossbow any mechanical, electrical, or electronic device capable of projecting a beam of light.

It is unlawful to shoot from, on, across, or along a public road or highway.

Hunting any wild animal (except waterfowl) from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset during the youth deer gun season, deer gun season, and the deer muzzleloader season is unlawful unless the hunter is visibly wearing a vest, coat, jacket, or coveralls that are either solid hunter orange or camouflage hunter orange. This requirement applies statewide on both public and private land.

Longbows and crossbows may be used to take legal game. However, crossbows may not be used to hunt migratory game birds. Longbow hunters may use a hand-held mechanical release or a mechanical device with a working safety. Crossbows may be cocked with a device, but it must have a working safety and a stock more than 25 inches long.

Concealed handgun license

A person possessing a valid concealed handgun license may carry their concealed handgun while hunting and trapping, but it may not be used to shoot, shoot at, or kill any wild animal. For more information go to ohioattorneygeneral.gov.

Firearm suppressor

A person authorized through state and federal law to own a firearm noise suppressor is permitted to use it to hunt legal game animals. A valid hunting license is required to hunt with a suppressor. A suppressor is also called a silencer.

Hunting With Permission

The landowner’s written permission is required for hunting and trapping on private land, regardless of whether the land is posted. Permission slips are available at all ODNR Division of Wildlife district offices, at wildohio.gov.

THE PENALTY FOR HUNTING

WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION

The maximum penalty for hunting without written permission of the landowner for a first offense is 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. The maximum penalty for a second offense is 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.

A person must carry written permission at all times while engaging in hunting or trapping on private land and exhibit it upon request to a state wildlife officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer, other law enforcement officer, owner of the land, or the landowner’s authorized agent.

On All Wildlife Areas

It is illegal to sit, stand, or otherwise be in contact with oil or gas production or transmission wells, pumps, tanks, pipes, and other equipment.

Camping is prohibited on state wildlife areas, except a primitive campground located on Woodbury Wildlife Area. Wildlife areas are subject to posted rules. Open dates for camping at Woodbury Wildlife Area are Oct. 13 – Dec. 4, 2017. All campers must possess a valid hunting license, fishing license, or fur taker permit. Call (740) 589-9930 for more information.

It is unlawful to use a rifle, pistol, revolver, or a shotgun using slugs at any time on Auburn Marsh and Grant Lake wildlife areas. Deer hunting at Auburn Marsh and Grant Lake wildlife areas is lawful using archery equipment only.

All wildlife areas are closed to all activity other than hunting, trapping, and fishing from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sept. 1 through May 1, and from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. May 2 through Aug. 31 of each year.

Beaver and river otter trapping is prohibited on all state public hunting areas, including state parks and forests, without a special permit from the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Contact the nearest district office or go to wildohio.gov for information on how these permits can be obtained.

State parks have special hunting and trapping regulations. Some are not open to hunting or trapping. A permit is required to build a duck blind on state park lakes. Consult Ohio State Parks, 2045 Morse Road, Columbus, Ohio 43229-6693, phone (614) 265-6561, or the park manager.

It is unlawful to operate or park any vehicle on properties administered by the ODNR Division of Wildlife, except on designated roads and parking areas.

ON Public Hunting Lands

It is unlawful for any person to use a rifle, pistol, revolver, shotgun, or other firearm at any time on any land or water area controlled or administered by the ODNR Division of Wildlife except while lawfully trapping or hunting wild animals, or target practicing on a designated ODNR Division of Wildlife target range.

It is unlawful for any person to distribute, place, or scatter salt, grain, or other feed capable of luring, enticing, or attracting wild birds or deer on lands owned, controlled, or maintained by the ODNR Division of Wildlife, including the Wayne National Forest and other lands managed by the division by virtue of a lease or an agreement.

Portions of Deer Creek, Killdeer Plains, Resthaven, Lake La Su An, Berlin Lake, Big Island, Delaware, Grand River, Brush Creek, Waterloo, Cooper Hollow, East Fork, Woodbury, Spring Valley, and Fallsville wildlife areas will be open for persons with severe mobility impairments to drive their cars, trucks, or an Electric Powered All-Purpose Vehicle to designated interior areas for hunting. Disabled persons are required to have an Electric Powered All-Purpose Vehicle Permit. Find more information or download a permit application at wildohio.gov.

It is unlawful to hunt with or possess any shot except nontoxic shot at Metzger Marsh, Mallard Club, Pipe Creek, Magee Marsh, Toussaint, and Little Portage wildlife areas.

All hunting and trapping on Magee Marsh Wildlife Area is by permit only.

Ginseng

No person can dig, harvest, or otherwise collect wild ginseng from its natural habitat except during the season of Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 of each year. Ginseng plants with unripened berries or which have less than three-leaf stems (prongs) cannot be harvested. Seeds from wild ginseng plants need to be immediately replanted at the place where the plants were collected. Any person collecting ginseng is required to keep accurate records showing the number of pounds and ounces of ginseng, both green and/or dry weight, collected in each Ohio county by date of collection. Dealers and buyers need to acquire a state dealer’s registration permit each year prior to purchasing or otherwise acquiring Ohio ginseng. No person can harvest wild or cultivated ginseng from private or public property without first obtaining written permission from the landowner or their agent. Collection is prohibited on ODNR property. For more information on ginseng harvest, contact the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

Dog Training

The ODNR Division of Wildlife has established designated dog training areas on some of its wildlife areas. Dogs may not be trained or exercised on state public hunting areas from May 1 through Aug. 31 of each year, except on these designated dog training areas. A nonresident may not train, work, or exercise a dog in Ohio at any time if Ohio residents are not permitted to train, work, or exercise dogs in the nonresident’s state. Training dogs while pursuing furbearing animals is permitted only from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Firearms may not be carried by persons training or working dogs during the closed season for furbearing animals.

Designated dog training areas are located on portions of Berlin, Caesar Creek, Delaware, Fallsville, Indian Creek, Killdeer Plains, Lake La Su An, Oxbow Lake, Resthaven, Rush Run, Spencer, and Tri-Valley wildlife areas.

Possession

Live furbearing animals, amphibians, reptiles, game quadrupeds, or game birds may not be held in captivity or sold except by propagation permit.

Hides of furbearing animals taken legally during the open season may be sold during that open season or may be held for sale until June 15 following the close of the season.

Furbearers may not be taken alive during open hunting and trapping seasons.

Those who buy green or dried fur must have a fur dealer’s permit.

It is unlawful to buy, sell, or possess nongame birds or their parts, dead or alive.

shooting ranges

Learn more about shooting ranges maintained by the ODNR Division of Wildlife at wildohio.gov.

Class A SHOOTING RANGES

The ODNR Division of Wildlife operates five supervised Class A ranges. All persons age 18 and older shooting on supervised Class A ranges must purchase a shooting range permit, available at all hunting and fishing license agents and at wildohio.gov.

Shooters age 17 and younger are not required to purchase a permit, but must be accompanied by and directly monitored by an adult (age 18 years or older) holding a valid shooting range permit.

Annual permits are valid on a mobile device. One-day permits must be printed to be valid.

All Class A ranges have handicap accessible parking, shooting benches, and restroom facilities.

Class B, C, & D SHOOTING Ranges

These ranges are open free-of-charge. No permit is required, and no range attendant or restroom facilities are provided.

SUPERVISED HOURS OF OPERATION

Hours of operation vary. All Class A ranges, except Spring Valley, are closed on Monday and Tuesday. All Class A ranges are closed on the following dates: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Woodbury shooting range will be closed Sept. 18-28, 2017. Contact the wildlife areas for detailed information.

public shooting ranges

Class Definitions

A = Supervised Rifle & Pistol Target Range

B = Unsupervised Rifle & Pistol Target Range

C = Unsupervised Clay Target Shotgun Range

D = Unsupervised Archery Target Range

O = Other Public Ranges; not classified by

the ODNR Division of Wildlife

PUBLIC AREA

COUNTY

CLASS

CONTACT

ARCHERY RANGES

Geneva State Park

Ashtabula

D

(440) 466-8400

St. Marys Fish Hatchery

Auglaize

D

(419) 394-5170

Barkcamp State Park

Belmont

D

(740) 484-4064

Hueston Woods State Park

Butler, Preble

D

(513) 523-6347

Beaver Creek State Park

Columbiana

D

(330) 385-3091

Punderson State Park

Geauga

D

(440) 564-2279

District Five Office

Greene

D

(937) 452-3529

Salt Fork State Park

Guernsey

D

(740) 439-3521

District Two Office

Hancock

D

(419) 424-5000

Fallsville Wildlife Area

Highland

D

(937) 987-2508

Paint Creek State Park

Highland, Ross

D

(937) 393-4284

Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking

D

(740) 385-6842

Cooper Hollow Wildlife Area

Jackson

D

(740) 682-7524

Lake Vesuvius/Wayne National Forest

Lawrence

D

(740) 534-6500

Hebron Fish Hatchery

Licking

D

(740) 928-8092

Spencer Lake Wildlife Area

Medina

D

(330) 644-2293

Tri-Valley Wildlife Area

Muskingum

D

(740) 824-3211

Berlin Lake Wildlife Area

Portage

D

(330) 644-2293

Wingfoot Lake

Portage

D

(330) 962-2048

Shawnee State Park

Scioto

D

(740) 858-6652

Lake Hope State Park

Vinton

D

(740) 596-4938

Caesar Creek State Park

Warren

D

(513) 897-3055

Veto Lake

Washington

D

(740) 589-9930

SHOTGUN & ARCHERY RANGES

Indian Creek Wildlife Area

Brown

C, D

(937) 372-9261

SHOTGUN RANGES

Oxbow Lake Wildlife Area

Defiance

C

(419) 424-5000

Resthaven Wildlife Area

Erie

C

(419) 547-6007

Salt Fork Wildlife Area

Guernsey

C

(740) 489-5021

Rush Run Wildlife Area

Preble

C

(937) 372-9261

Wyandot Wildlife Area

Wyandot

C

(419) 424-5000

PISTOL/SHOTGUN RANGES

Zaleski State Forest

Vinton

O

(740) 596-5781

RIFLE/PISTOL & SHOTGUN RANGES

Fernwood State Forest

Jefferson

C, O

(330) 339-2205

Grand River Wildlife Area

Trumbull

A, C

(330) 644-2293

RIFLE/PISTOL, SHOTGUN, & ARCHERY RANGES

Woodbury Wildlife Area

Coshocton

A, C, D*

(740) 327-2109

Delaware Wildlife Area

A, C, D

(614) 644-3925

Deer Creek Wildlife Area

Fayette

A, C, D

(614) 644-3925

Spring Valley Wildlife Area

Greene

A, C, D*

(937) 372-9261

Dillon Lake

Licking, Muskingum

O

(740) 452-3529

Wolf Creek Wildlife Area

Morgan

B, C, D

(740) 962-2048

RIFLE/PISTOL RANGES

Harrison State Forest

Harrison

O

(614) 262-5671

Monroe Lake Wildlife Area

Monroe

B

(740) 489-5021

(*) Supervised Trap & Skeet Range; Unsupervised Hand Trap Range (call range for details)

——— CLOSED for 2017 ———