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Ohio

Hunting

Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

WATERFOWL & MIGRATORY BIRD HUNTING

SEASONSOPENING DATECLOSING DATEDAILY LIMIT
Dove (Mourning and Eurasian-collared)Sept. 1, 2021Nov. 7, 202115
Dec. 11, 2021Jan. 1, 2022
EARLY: Canada GooseSept. 4, 2021Sept. 12, 20215
EARLY: Teal (Blue-winged, Green-winged, & Cinnamon)Sept. 4, 2021Sept. 19, 20216
Rail (Virginia, Sora)Sept. 1, 2021Nov. 9, 202125
Common Moorhen (Gallinule)Sept. 1, 2021Nov. 9, 202115
Common Snipe (Wilson's)Sept. 1, 2021Nov. 24, 20218
Dec. 11, 2021Jan. 1, 2022
American WoodcockOct. 9, 2021Nov. 22, 20213

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sets the frameworks for waterfowl and other migratory game birds. Migratory bird hunting is governed by both state and federal regulations.

Waterfowl hunting is permitted when seasons are open during the youth deer gun season, the deer gun season, and the deer muzzleloader season.

The possession limit for waterfowl and migratory birds after the second day is three times the daily bag limit.

OPENING DAY OF A SEASON

No person on the opening day of the season shall possess any freshly killed migratory game birds in excess of the daily bag limit, or aggregate daily bag limit, whichever applies.

MIGRATORY BIRD HUNTING

To hunt migratory birds in Ohio, you must have the following:

  • A valid Ohio hunting license.
  • Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification.

In addition to the requirements above, to hunt waterfowl in Ohio, you must also have the following:

  • A Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp endorsement is required of all persons 18 or older.
  • A signed federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp (Duck Stamp) is required of all persons age 16 and older.

HIP SURVEY

All hunters, including landowners, who plan to hunt migratory game birds, including mourning doves, ducks, geese, woodcock, rails, coots, and snipe must have a harvest information program (HIP) certification number on their hunting license. To complete the HIP certification requirement, call 1-877-HIP-OHIO (1-877-447- 6446) or go to wildohio.gov and answer the survey questions. After the survey you will be given a certification number. Write the certification number on your annual hunting license in the space provided.

Multiyear license and lifetime license holders are required to complete the HIP certification requirement annually. The certification number is required to be carried while hunting.

WATERFOWL SEASONSOPENING DATECLOSING DATEDAILY LIMIT
Youth Waterfowl SeasonOct. 2, 2021Oct. 3, 2021Same as the regular season
Military Waterfowl SeasonOct. 2, 2021Oct. 3, 2021Same as the regular season
LAKE ERIE MARSH ZONE:
Geese
Oct. 16, 2021
Nov. 6, 2021
Oct. 31, 2021
Dec. 19, 2021
GEESE
5 combined: Canada goose, white-fronted goose, and no more than 1 brant.
10 combined: snow goose, blue goose, Ross's goose.
DUCKS
The daily bag limit is 6 ducks, which may include no more than 4 mallards (only 2 hens),
3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2
canvasbacks, 1 pintail, 2 black ducks, or 1 mottled duck. One scaup during the first 15 days of the season; two scaup during the next 45 days.
MERGANSERS & COOTS
5 mergansers (only 2 hooded),
and 15 coots.
Jan. 1, 2022Feb. 5, 2022
LAKE ERIE MARSH ZONE:
Ducks, Coots, & Mergansers
Oct. 16, 2021
Nov. 6, 2021
Oct. 31, 2021
Dec. 19, 2021
NORTH ZONE:
Geese
Oct. 23, 2021
Nov. 13, 2021
Oct. 31, 2021
Feb. 5, 2022
NORTH ZONE:
Ducks, Coots, & Mergansers
Oct. 23, 2021
Nov. 13, 2021
Oct. 31, 2021
Jan. 2, 2022
SOUTH ZONE:
Geese
Oct. 23, 2021
Nov. 18, 2021
Oct. 31, 2021
Feb. 12, 2022
SOUTH ZONE:
Ducks, Coots, & Mergansers
Oct. 23, 2021
Dec. 11, 2021
Oct. 31, 2021
Jan. 30, 2022
Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset during the regular waterfowl season, unless posted.

OHIO WETLANDS HABITAT STAMP

The Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp will not be issued at the time of purchase. A license will be issued stating Ohio Wetlands Stamp. The stamp will be mailed later in the year. The stamp does not need to be carried while hunting.

FEDERAL REGULATIONS AND FEDERAL MIGRATORY BIRD HUNTING STAMP (DUCK STAMP) Federal regulations relating to migratory game birds are located in Title 50, Code of

Federal Regulations, Part 20.

For additional information on federal regulations, go to fws.gov or ecfr.gov

Hunters should know:

  • Federal Duck Stamps are valid from July 1 through the following June 30.
  • You must sign the front of your Duck Stamp in order for it to be valid. Remember: only you may use your Federal Duck Stamp.
  • If you bought an E-Stamp, you must carry your 45-day receipt with you at all times while hunting. Once the receipt has expired, you must carry your current, signed Federal Duck Stamp. If you purchased your E-Stamp at a retail store, you must carry the E-Stamp/45-day receipt. Your purchase/credit card receipt from the store is not valid as a Duck Stamp.

Hunters 16 years of age and older are required to purchase this stamp to hunt waterfowl. These stamps are available at many U.S. post office branches, usps.com, or duckstamp.com.

The E-Stamp available through duckstamp. com is valid immediately for up to 45 days with the receipt of the e-stamp purchase.

MILITARY WATERFOWL HUNTING

Active duty military and veterans may hunt waterfowl on Oct. 2 and 3, 2021. Bag limits are the same as the regular season.

The hunter must be a veteran or a member of the armed forces on active duty.

Active duty military and veterans, and youth mayhuntwaterfowltogetherduringthespecial waterfowl season on Oct. 2 and 3, 2021.

YOUTH WATERFOWL HUNTING

Hunters 17 years old or younger may hunt waterfowl during the youth waterfowl weekend.

NONTOXIC SHOT

No person may take ducks, geese (including brant), rail, snipe, moorhens, or coots while possessing shot (either in shotshells or as loose shot for muzzleloading) other than approved nontoxic shot. For a list of approved nontoxic shot, see fws.gov.

TAGGING REQUIREMENT

No person shall put or leave any migratory game birds at any place (other than at his personal abode), or in the custody of another person for picking, cleaning, processing, shipping, transportation, or storage (including temporary storage), or for the purpose of having taxidermy services performed, unless such birds have a tag attached, signed by the hunter, stating his address, the total number and species of birds, and the date such birds were killed. Migratory game birds being transported in any vehicle as the personal baggage of the possessor shall not be considered as being in storage or temporary storage.

DOVE HUNTING

Hours for dove are sunrise to sunset. Doves may be hunted with lead shot. Dove field maps are available at wildohio.gov.

Doves may be hunted on areas that have been manipulated (for example, mowed or bush-hogged) for wildlife management purposes, in addition to areas that have been planted or harvested in a normal agricultural manner. Neither waterfowl nor doves may be hunted on areas where grain or other feed has been distributed once it has been removed from or stored on the field where grown. Contact a Division of Wildlife district office or a state wildlife officer for clarification on baiting regulations before you hunt.

Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification is required to dove hunt. To complete the HIP certification requirement, call 1-877-HIP-OHIO (1-877-447-6446) or go to wildohio.gov and answer the survey questions. After the survey you will be given a certification number. Write the certification

number on your annual hunting license in the space provided.

Multiyear license and lifetime license holders are required to complete the HIP certification requirement annually. The certification number is required to be carried while hunting.

CONTROLLED DOVE HUNTING OPPORTUNITIES
The Division of Wildlife conducts controlled dove hunts in Wildlife Districts one and five. Visit wildohio.gov or call 1-800-WILDLIFE

(1-800-945-3543) for more information.

The application period is July 1 through July 31, annually, for some hunts. Hunters may apply online at wildohio.gov or by calling 1-866-703-1928 with a convenience fee.

CONTROLLED WATERFOWL HUNTING OPPORTUNITIES

The Division of Wildlife conducts controlled waterfowl hunts on many areas not normally open to hunting. Find a complete list of controlled hunts at wildohio.gov.

Permits are selected by computer generated random drawings. The application period is July 1 through July 31, annually. Hunters may apply at wildohio.gov, or by calling 1-866-703-1928 with a convenience fee.

WATERFOWL HUNTING ZONES MAP

LAKE ERIE MARSH ZONE

The Lake Erie Marsh Zone begins at the intersection of Interstate 75 at the Ohio-Michigan state line and continues south to Interstate 280, then south on I-280 to the Ohio Turnpike (I-80/I-90), then east on the Ohio Turnpike to the Erie-Lorain county line, then north to Lake Erie. The zone boundary follows the Lake Erie shoreline at a distance of 200 yards offshore. The zone boundary follows the shoreline west toward and around the northern tip of Cedar Point Amusement Park, then continues from the westernmost point of Cedar Point toward the southernmost tip of the sand bar at the mouth of Sandusky Bay and out into Lake Erie at a distance of 200 yards offshore, continuing parallel to the Lake Erie shoreline north and west toward the northernmost tip of Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge, then follows a direct line toward the southernmost tip of Wood Tick Peninsula in Michigan to a point that intersects the Ohio-Michigan state line, then follows the state line back to the point of the beginning. Muddy Creek Bay is a no-hunting area (signs are posted).

LAKE ERIE MARSH ZONE, NORTH ZONE, SOUTH ZONE

NORTH ZONE

From the Lake Erie Marsh Zone down to the line extending east from the Indiana state line along U.S. Highway 33 to State Route 127, south along SR 127 to SR 703, south along SR 703, including all lands within the Mercer Wildlife Area, to SR 219, east along SR 219 to SR 364, north along SR 364, including all lands within the St. Marys Fish Hatchery, to SR 703, east along SR 703 to SR 66, north along SR 66 to U.S. 33, east along U.S. 33 to SR 385, east along SR 385 to SR 117, south along SR 117 to SR 273, east along SR 273 to SR 31, south along SR 31 to SR 739, east along SR 739 to SR 4, north alongSR4toSR95,eastalongSR95toSR 13, southeast along SR 13 to SR 3, northeast along SR 3 to SR 60, north along SR 60 to U.S. 30, east along U.S. 30 to SR 3, south along SR 3 to SR 226, south along SR 226 to SR 514, southwest along SR 514 to SR 754, south along SR 754 to SR 39/60, east along SR 39/60 U.S. to SR 241, north along SR 241 to U.S. 30, east along U.S. 30 to SR 39, east along SR 39 to the Pennsylvania state line.

SOUTH ZONE

Remainder of the state.

ILLEGAL HUNTING METHODS

NO PERSONS SHALL TAKE MIGRATORY GAME BIRDS:

  1. With a crossbow, trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine-gun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance;
  2. From or by means, aid, or use of a sinkbox or any other type of low-floating device, having a depression affording the hunter a means of concealment beneath the surface of the water;
  3. Fromorbymeans,aid,oruseofanymotor vehicle, motor-driven land conveyance, or aircraft of any kind;
  4. From or by means of any motorboat or other craft having a motor attached, or any sailboat, unless the motor has been completely shut off and/or the sails furled, and its progress therefrom has ceased;
  5. By the use or aid of live birds as decoys; although not limited to, it shall be a violation of this paragraph for any person to take migratory waterfowl on an area where tame or captive live ducks or geese are present unless such birds are and have been for a period of 10 consecutive days prior to such taking, confined within an enclosure which substantially reduces the audibility of their calls and totally conceals such birds from the sight of wild migratory waterfowl;
  6. With any device that emits recorded or electrically amplified bird calls or sounds, or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird calls or sounds. It is illegal to possess such devices while hunting waterfowl in Ohio;
  7. By means or aid of any motor driven land, water, or air conveyance, or any sailboat used for the purpose of or resulting in the concentrating, driving, rallying, or stirring up of any migratory bird;
  8. By the aid of baiting or on or over any baited area.

LEGAL WATERFOWL & MIGRATORY BIRD HUNTING EQUIPMENT

WATERFOWL AND MIGRATORY BIRD HUNTING

Shotgun: 10 gauge or smaller shotgun using nontoxic shot, includes muzzleloading shotguns. In order to hunt migratory game birds, your shotgun cannot be capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler incapable of removal without disassembling the gun.

Only nontoxic shot may be used to take waterfowl, rail, snipe, and moorhen (gallinule). Dove and woodcock may be taken with lead shot.

Longbow: This includes compound bows and recurve bows.

ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS

It is legal to take migratory game birds including waterfowl and coots on or over the following lands or areas that are not otherwise baited areas:

  • Standing crops or flooded standing crops (including aquatics);
  • Standing, flooded, or manipulated natural vegetation; flooded harvested croplands; or lands or areas where seeds or grains have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, harvesting, post-harvest manipulation, or normal soil stabilization practice;
  • From a blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with natural vegetation;
  • From a blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with vegetation from agricultural crops, as long as such camouflaging does not result in the exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of grain or other feed; or
  • Standing or flooded standing agricultural crops where grain is inadvertently scattered solely as a result of a hunter entering or exiting a hunting area, placing decoys, or retrieving downed birds.

It is legal to take migratory game birds, except waterfowl and coots, on or over lands or areas that are not otherwise baited areas, and where grain or other feed has been distributed or scattered solely as the result of manipulation of an agricultural crop or other feed on the land where grown, or solely as the result of a normal agricultural operation.

BAITING - means the direct or indirect placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of salt, grain, or other feed that could serve as a lure or attraction for migratory game birds to, on, or over any areas where hunters are attempting to take them.

BAITED AREA - means any area on which salt, grain, or other feed has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered, if that salt, grain, or other feed could serve as a lure or attraction for migratory game birds to, on, or over areas where hunters are attempting to take them. Any such area will remain a baited area for 10 days following the complete removal of all such salt, grain, or other feed.

DAILY BAG LIMIT - means the maximum number of migratory game birds of a single species or combination (aggregate) of species permitted to be taken by one person in any one day during the open season in any one specified geographic area for which a daily bag limit is prescribed.

AGGREGATE DAILY BAG LIMIT - means the maximum number of migratory game birds permitted to be taken by one person in any one day during the open season when such person hunts in more than one specified geographic area and/or for more than one species for which a combined daily bag limit is prescribed. The aggregate daily bag limit is equal to, but shall not exceed, the largest daily bag limit prescribed for any one species or for any one specified geographic area in which taking occurs.

POSSESSION LIMIT - means the maximum number of migratory game birds of a single species or a combination of species permitted to be possessed by any one person when lawfully taken in the United States in any one specified geographic area for which a possession limit is prescribed.

AGGREGATE POSSESSION LIMIT - means the maximum number of migratory game birds of a single species or combination of species taken in the United States permitted to be possessed by any one person when taking and possession occurs in more than one specified geographic area for which a possession limit is prescribed. The aggregate possession limit is equal to, but shall not exceed, the largest possession limit prescribed for any one of the species or specified geographic areas in which taking and possession occurs.