2004-2005 Proposed Hunting & Trapping Regulation Changes

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Ohio sportsmen will see few changes to next year’s hunting and trapping regulations, based on proposals presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Among the changes proposed for the 2005 hunting season include an earlier opening for spring wild turkey season. Instead of opening during the last week of April, the proposed opening date would be the Monday closest to April 21. For 2005, the opening date would be April 18. This change is in response to Ohio turkey hunters who have expressed strong interest in an earlier opening date. Data collected by wildlife biologists indicate that an earlier opener will have no biological effect on Ohio’s wild turkey population.

September 1 is again proposed as the kick-off date for the state’s fall hunting seasons - with the opening of squirrel, dove, Canada goose, teal, rail, moorhen and snipe hunting. Other proposed hunting and trapping rules and season dates will be similar to those now in effect - with only slight changes in next fall’s opening season dates.

A separate wildlife council meeting was held on February 11 to discuss suggested framework concerning the state’s deer hunting seasons. Wildlife biologists assessed the 2003-04 deer season results before recommending any modifications. See proposed 2004-2005 deer regulations.

Open houses were held on March 7 in each of the state’s five wildlife districts. These forums provided public opportunities to view and discuss proposed hunting and trapping regulations with state wildlife officials.

A statewide hearing on the proposed rules was held on Thursday, March 11, at the wildlife division's District One office. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its April 7 meeting.

PROPOSED HUNTING AND TRAPPING REGULATIONS, 2004-05:

OVES, DUCKS, GEESE, COOTS, AND MERGANSERS: Hunting days and bag limits will be set within the framework which will be provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service later this summer. Assuming the framework is similar to the 2003-04 season, dove season, the early goose season and the special teal season will open September 1.

SQUIRREL: September 1 through January 31. Hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Daily bag limit 6.

GROUSE: Open second Saturday in October (9) through February 28. Hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Daily bag limit 3.

YOUNG HUNTERS’ UPLAND SEASON: Open the two Saturdays and Sundays immediately before the regular opening date (October 23, 24, 30 and 31) statewide (public and private lands). Rabbit, pheasant, and all other legal game that is in season may be taken. Quail may be taken in counties open to quail hunting. Daily bag limits same as during the regular hunting seasons.

FALL WILD TURKEY: Open second Saturday in October (9) through the third following Sunday, October 24 for hunters using a shotgun with shot, a longbow or a crossbow and through the Sunday after Thanksgiving, November 28, for hunters using a longbow or a crossbow. Counties open to hunting are Adams, Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Geauga, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Richland, Ross, Scioto, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton, and Washington counties. Limit one turkey of either sex per fall season. Hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset from October 9 through October 24 and one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset from October 25 through November 28.

RABBIT: Open first Friday in November (5) through February 28. Hours are sunrise to sunset. Daily bag limit 4.

PHEASANT: Open first Friday in November (5) through January 2. Hours are sunrise to sunset. Daily bag limit 2. Cocks only.

QUAIL: Open first Friday in November (5) through November 28. Hours are sunrise to sunset. Counties open to hunting are Adams, Athens, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Preble, Highland, Jackson, Meigs, Montgomery, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, and Warren. Daily bag limit 4.

FOX, OPOSSUM, SKUNK, AND WEASEL TRAPPING: Open November 10 through January 31. No restriction on hours. No daily bag limit.

FOX HUNTING: Open November 10 through January 31. Daytime hunting of fox closed during deer gun season. No other restriction on hours. No daily bag limit.

RACCOON TRAPPING: Open November 10 through January 31. Season extends through March 15 in Erie, Ottawa, and Sandusky counties and Lucas County east of the Maumee River. No restriction on hours. No daily bag limits.

RACCOON AND OPOSSUM HUNTING: Open November 10 through January 31. No daily bag limit.

MINK AND MUSKRAT TRAPPING: Ohio sportsmen will see few changes to next year’s hunting and trapping regulations, based on proposals presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. See proposed changes Open November 10 through February 28. Season extends through March 15 in Erie, Ottawa, and Sandusky counties and Lucas County east of the Maumee River. No restriction on hours. No daily bag limit.

BEAVER TRAPPING: North Zone (the area north of Interstate 76 and east of Interstate 77) opens December 26, 2004 through February 28, 2005 and the South Zone (rest of state) opens December 26, 2004 through March 15, 2005. Nonresidents may trap beaver only if the state of their residence permits Ohio citizens to trap beaver. Beaver trapping on state public hunting areas without a special beaver trapping permit from the Ohio Division of Wildlife is prohibited.

SPRING WILD TURKEY: Open statewide (except on designated youth hunting areas) on Monday April 18, 2005 through Sunday, May 15, 2005. Hours are one-half hour before sunrise to noon. Open statewide to youth hunters (17 years old and younger) for turkey hunting on the Saturday and Sunday immediately prior to the regular spring wild turkey season (April 16 & 17, 2005). Hours for youth hunts will be ½ hour before sunrise to sunset. Limit 2 bearded turkeys per hunter per spring season.

CROW: Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from June 11, 2004 through March 20, 2005. Hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. No daily bag limit.

FALCONRY: Seasons for all non-migratory small game species will open on September 1 and extend through March 10, 2005.