Ohio fall hunting opens

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grey squirrel

COLUMBUS — Hunting seasons for squirrel, mourning dove, rail, snipe and gallinule opened Sept. 1 in Ohio. Canada geese and teal may be hunted during the early waterfowl season that begins Sept. 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 necessary to hunt doves while they skirt farm fields and other open areas. 

Many Ohioans learned to hunt by pursuing squirrels through Ohio’s forests and woodlots. Squirrels are found in the treetops during the early hunting season, feeding amongst beech, oak, and hickory trees. A small-bore rifle or lightweight shotgun are common hunting implements for squirrels. 

Canada geese require a larger gauge shotgun to hit flying birds from a longer distance. Be sure to review waterfowl identification before an early season hunt; in particular, wood ducks are not yet in season but are sometimes misidentified as teal. 

Hunters are reminded to check the current regulations for changes to season dates and daily limits as the 2021 fall 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 begin soon. That includes Ohio’s white-tailed deer archery hunting season, opening Sept. 25. Additional details and requirements for deer hunting, including on public land, can be found in the 2021-22 hunting and trapping regulations. 

Users can access the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife’s online system to check harvested white-tailed deer and wild turkey while out in the field, even without a Wi-Fi connection. 

Landowners can now receive an incentive to allow hunters access during specific hunting seasons through the Ohio Landowner and Hunter Access Partnership Program. Visit the Ohio Landowner and Hunter Access Partnership Program page at wildohio.gov to sign up as a landowner or hunter.

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