Ohio’s familiar habitat mosaic of farmlands, forests and wetlands provides optimal opportunities to hunt dueling doves, squirrels and waterfowl, with hunting seasons beginning during the first week of September, according to the Division of Wildlife. Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Hunting is a favorite and cherished activity for thousands of Ohioans. As in previous years, the hunting seasons that open on Wednesday, September 1 include squirrel (fox, gray and red), turtledove, rail, snipe and moorhen. Canada Geese and Teal (Bluewing, Greenwing and Cinnamon) can be hunted during early waterfowl season beginning Saturday, September 4.
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 needed to hunt pigeons as they skirt farm fields and other open areas.
Many Ohioans learned to hunt by chasing squirrels through Ohio’s woods and groves. The squirrels are found in the treetops during the beginning of the hunting season, feeding among beech, oak and hickory trees. A small-bore rifle or light shotgun are common hunting implements for squirrels.
Canada Geese require a larger caliber shotgun to hit flying birds from a longer distance. Be sure to check waterfowl identification before an early-season hunt; Wood ducks in particular are not yet in season, but are sometimes misidentified as teals.
Hunters are reminded to check current regulations for changes to season dates and daily limits as the fall 2021 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 start soon. That includes Ohio’s whitetail deer archery hunting season, which begins on Saturday, September 25. Additional details and requirements for hunting deer, including on public lands, 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 review wild-caught white-tailed deer and turkeys while in the field, even without a Wi-Fi connection.
Owners can now receive an incentive to allow hunter access during specific hunting seasons through the Ohio Owner and Hunter Access Association Program. Visit the Ohio Homeowners and Hunters Access Association Program page at wildohio.gov to register as an owner or hunter.
The Wildlife Division wants to help new and experienced hunters get the most out of their outdoor adventures. Visit the Wild Ohio Harvest community page at wildohio.gov for information on getting started, hunting opportunities, and delicious wild game recipes.
• Ohioans contributed more than $750,000 in 2021 to conservation of state nature reserves and endangered wildlife through the annual income tax verification program, according to ODNR. Donations raised go directly to programs that protect Ohio’s wildlife and natural areas.
The Division of Nature Areas and Reserves oversees Ohio’s 139 state nature reserves. The 2021 Tax Check Program provided more than $400,000, donated by more than 24,000 Ohioans, to help fund facility improvements, invasive species management, land purchases, educational opportunities and scientific research. A portion of the funds will be used to purchase land along Little Beaver Creek that will protect an additional half mile of habitat along one of Ohio’s most scenic rivers. The money will also be used to purchase additional land in the Eagle Creek, Goll Woods and Whipple State Nature Reserves; and to make various trail improvements, including ADA accessible trails.
The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to manage, protect, and restore wildlife populations for the benefit of all Ohioans. More than $372,000 of nearly 25,000 donations were made to the Wildlife Diversity Fund to help support critical management activities in Ohio.
The Wildlife Division is concerned with all wildlife and with maintaining stable and healthy wildlife populations. Donations through the Tax Check Program connect wildlife enthusiasts with the restoration and protection of threatened and endangered wildlife.
Since its inception more than 35 years ago, the tax deduction program has received broad public support. Millions of dollars have been donated for natural land conservation and wildlife management. To learn more about the tax verification program and to find other ways to contribute to conservation efforts, visit ohiodnr.gov.
Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Sciences teacher at Northmor High School.