September 1 Opening Day for Ohio

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September 1, opening day of the fall hunting season, marks the time Ohio hunters take to the state's forests, fields and waters in pursuit of squirrel, mourning dove, and Canada goose, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

"Many hunters look forward to opening day each year," said Steven A. Gray, chief of the Division of Wildlife. "Hunters this year will also be able to enjoy the early season hunts with the kick-off of Ohio's new apprentice hunting license."

The apprentice hunting license was developed as part of a nationwide effort called "Families Afield," designed to remove barriers that prevent hunters from passing along the hunting heritage. Apprentice hunting licenses allow new hunters, both adults and youth, to sample the experience of hunting under the mentorship of a licensed adult, prior to completing a hunter education course.

The Division of Wildlife predicts hunting for doves and Canada geese will be excellent this year. Squirrel hunting should be very good; an excellent crop of acorns last fall is an indicator that hunters should see good numbers of gray squirrels in southeastern and south-central Ohio this year. The outlook for fox squirrels is good, particularly in northeastern, central, and western portions of the state.

Rail, moorhen and snipe also open on September 1. Teal season opens on September 2 and runs through September 17.

Hunting is one of the state's best recreational bargains, with a one-year license for Ohio residents costing just $19. Those hunting waterfowl must also purchase a federal Duck Stamp, along with an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp, at a cost of $15 each. These licenses and permits can be purchased at any of more than 1,200 license vendors in the state, or online at ohiodnr.com/wildlife.

Detailed information on these and other upcoming hunting seasons can be found in the 2006-07 Ohio Hunting Regulations, available where hunting licenses are sold, online at ohiodnr.com/wildlife or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.