Ohio May Be Changing Hunting and Trapping Regulations
Ohio sportsmen may notice a few changes in next year's hunting and trapping regulations, based on proposals presented January 7 to the Ohio Wildlife Council by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
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, 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 to fall and spring hunting dates.
The statewide muzzleloader season would move to early January and always include two weekend days. If the proposal is adopted, January 9 - 12, 2010 would be next season's dates.
Another proposed change for deer hunters includes those hunting in urban zones and at Division of Wildlife's authorized controlled hunts would have no bag limit. A valid hunting license and proper deer permits will still be required. A hunter may take only one buck in Ohio, regardless of zone, hunting method or season.
The remainder of the proposals concerning Ohio's white-tailed deer hunting will be heard during a separate wildlife council meeting on February 4. This will follow state wildlife biologists' assessment of the 2008-09 deer season, which ends on February 1. Those results may result in modifications to current zone boundaries and some bag limits for next season.
Two additional northwest Ohio counties would also be open for fall turkey hunting, bringing the total to 48 counties statewide. Spring gobbler hunters would be able to hunt all day the last two weeks of the four-week season. Legal hunting hour for May 3 - 16, 2010, would be one-half an hour before sunrise to sunset.
An additional proposal would cut the grouse bag limit from three to two and the season would end on January 31, 2010. Grouse populations continue long-term downward trend with flush rates and harvest rates at record lows.
Open houses will be held on Sunday, March 1 in each of the state's five wildlife districts to provide the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed hunting and trapping regulations with state wildlife officials. Directions to the open houses can be obtained by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE or visiting wildohio.com on the Internet.
A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at 9 a.m., Thursday, March 5 at the wildlife division's District One Office, located at 1500 Dublin Road in Columbus. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its April 2 meeting.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.