COLUMBUS — More than 15,000 ring-necked pheasants will be released at 27 Ohio public hunting areas this fall to provide additional hunting opportunities across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
“Ohioans have enjoyed more than 100 years of pheasants in Ohio,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “We are dedicated to increasing opportunities for Ohio hunters and continuing the strong tradition of game hunting for many generations to come.”
Pheasants will be released Oct. 18, and Oct. 25, prior to the small-game weekends for youth hunters. Hunters age 17 and younger can hunt statewide for rabbit, pheasant and all other legal game in season during two designated weekends, Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 26-27.
Ohio’s small game hunting season begins Nov. 1, with pheasant releases to take place Oct. 31, and on the evening of Nov. 8. The final release of the year is scheduled to provide improved pheasant hunting opportunities throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and will take place the evening of Nov. 27.
Beach City Wildlife Area in Tuscarawas County will not be an in-season release location this year. The habitat at Beach City Wildlife Area is no longer suitable for grassland dependent species such as the ring-necked pheasant.
Youth and regular pheasant hunting within the Ringneck Ridge Area in Sandusky County requires a free permit from the Sandusky County Park District. For more information regarding the issuance of these free hunting permits, contact the Sandusky County Park District Office at 419-334-4495.
Pheasant hunting season opens Nov. 1, and remains open through Jan. 5, 2014, with a daily bag limit of two rooster (male) birds. No hens (females) can be killed. Females are all brown while the males have a green head, a red and brown body and long tail feathers.
Statewide pheasant hunting hours are sunrise to sunset.