Securing permission to hunt is top priority

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Ohio’s archery season for deer starts in just a few days, an exciting prospect for sure. Are you ready?

Ready means a lot of things from clothing prep to tree stand maintenance and installation, from bow or crossbow check to fresh batteries in accessories like rangefinders and Red Dot crossbow sights.

Of course, a ready hunter has already stuffed his or her pockets with wind testing powder, grunt calls, face mask, four or five bottles of scent, protein bars, and well, those things times two.

But what about the most important thing of all, written permission. There are two parts to this: permission and written.

Let’s talk

Permission to hunt, to be on and actively hunt on another’s property is increasingly hard to come by. Getting it is tough enough, keeping it is another challenge.

The hunting and trapping regulations booklet, updated and produced by Ohio’s Division of Wildlife should be near every hunter’s recliner and well read by now. It talks about the need to obtain permission under General Information.

Our culture covers it under the unwritten and parent-taught section on common sense and courtesy.

Landowner written permission is required, regardless of whether the property is posted or not.

The penalty for a first offense is 60 days in jail and a $500 fine with a follow-up fine of $750 and a jail stay of 90 days for a stubborn trespasser who continues his or her bad habit.

Written permission

The need to carry written permission is spelled out as well. One is required by law to show evidence of written permission when requested to a state wildlife officer, deputy sheriff, landowner, or the landowner’s authorized agent.

It’s likely that a photocopy on a smartphone might satisfy the requirement to produce written permission.

It’s also a good idea to lay a copy of the permission slip on the dash of a parked vehicle to avoid a hunt ruining interruption which only occurs at the wrong time.

A written permission form is included in the regulation booklet and can also be seen on Wildohio.gov.

Landowners can also use a well written and definitive letter assigning permission, specific conditions, and liability expectations.

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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.

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