OHIO WILDLIFE COUNCIL APPROVES |
EXPANDED YOUTH HUNTING OPPORTUNITIES
COLUMBUS, OH - A new, statewide deer gun hunting season for young
hunters, an expansion of the existing youth spring turkey hunting season,
and the use of two-way radios for hunter safety highlighted proposals
approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council last night, according to the Ohio
Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Young hunters in Ohio will have increased hunting options with the
approval of a new youth deer gun season on Saturday, November 22 and Sunday,
November 23, 2003 for both private and public lands.
"These special hunts provide young outdoor enthusiasts with a chance
to experience our state's great deer hunting during a prime time before the
regular deer gun season," said Steven A. Gray, chief of the ODNR Division of
Wildlife. "We hope adult hunters will take a new, young hunter and
introduce them to the excitement and challenge of deer hunting."
Young hunters will be permitted to bag one deer of either sex in any
county of Ohio. Any deer taken will be part of the young hunter's total
The Ohio Wildlife Council also approved an extension of hunting
hours for the two-day spring youth wild turkey season, which will begin in
2004. This extension will allow the spring youth turkey hunt to open from
sunrise to sunset on both private and public land. For 2003, the season
will continue to open at sunrise and close at noon.
Two-way radios will now be permitted for safety-related and personal
communication while deer hunting. They will not be allowed to aid in the
hunting of deer.
Following Ohio's record 204,652 deer taken this past season, the
2003-2004 deer season will expand the two deer limit in many Ohio counties.
However, there will be no three deer limit counties. The regulations call
for 54 counties in Zone B, mostly in southern and eastern Ohio, to have a
two deer limit. Zone A will consist of 29 northern and western counties,
which would have a one deer limit. And a restricted zone, Zone R, will
encompass five northwest Ohio counties with a one deer limit with special
The statewide deer gun season will be held from December 1 through
December 7. The increasingly popular archery season will open October 4,
2003 and last through January 31, 2004. The statewide primitive or
muzzleloader season will open on the traditional date of December 27 and run
four days through December 30. The special area primitive hunts will be
open October 20 - 25 at Salt Fork, Shawnee and Wildcat Hollow state wildlife
areas for antlered deer only.
The legal hunting hours for rabbit, pheasant and quail is now from
sunrise to sunset. This change brings legal hunting hours in line on both
private and public land. Squirrel season will now open on September 1 to
coincide with the opening of several other seasons.
"Hunters should look forward to September 1 as opening day of
hunting season for the year," according to Gray. "On that one day the season
will begin for doves, squirrel and Canada geese. It is also the Labor Day
holiday, a great day to kick off the hunting season."
Additional hunting and trapping rules and season dates will reflect
those now in effect with only slight changes next fall in opening season
The following changes were also approved for the Ginseng Management
Program: Opening day has been set for September 1 and diggers are required
to immediately replant seeds at the place where the plant was collected.
The fee for certifying ginseng will be $3 a pound.
EDITORS NOTE: SEE APPROVED CHANGES BELOW
APPROVED HUNTING AND TRAPPING REGULATIONS, 2003-04
(SIGNIFICANT CHANGES ARE IN BOLD PRINT, IF YOUR EMAIL SYSTEM
DOES NOT SUPPORT RICH TEXT FORMAT, SEE OHIODNR.COM FOR LIST)
DEER: Zone R -- Hunters could take only one deer during the
2003-04 deer seasons, which could be a deer of either sex during archery or
primitive seasons, or during the first two days of the statewide gun season
or a buck only during the last five days of the gun season. Five counties
include: Paulding, Putnam, Henry, Van Wert, Wood.
Zone A -- Hunters could take only one deer during the
2003-04 seasons, which could be a deer of either sex. Twenty-nine counties,
including: Allen, Auglaize, Cuyahoga, Darke, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Geauga,
Hancock, Hardin, Lake, Lorain, Lucas, Marion, Medina, Mercer, Miami,
Montgomery, Ottawa, Portage, Preble, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Stark,
Summit, Wayne, Williams, Wyandot.
Zone B -- Hunters could take no more than two deer during
the 2003-04 seasons, of which only one could be an antlered deer. Fifty-four
counties, including: Adams, Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown,
Butler, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton,
Crawford, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Gallia, Greene, Guernsey,
Hamilton, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Huron, Jackson, Jefferson,
Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Madison, Mahoning, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan,
Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Richland, Ross, Scioto,
Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Union, Vinton, Warren, Washington.
SQUIRREL: September 1 through January 31. Hours one-half
hour before sunrise to sunset. Daily bag limit 6.
GROUSE: Open second Saturday in October (11) through
February 29. Hours one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Daily bag limit
YOUNG HUNTERS' UPLAND SEASON: Open the two Saturdays and
Sundays immediately before the regular opening date (October 25 and 26 &
November 1 and 2) 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 (see map). Daily bag limits same as
during the regular hunting seasons.
FALL WILD TURKEY: Open second Saturday in October 11 through
the third following Sunday, October 26 for hunters using a shotgun with
shot, a longbow or a crossbow and through the Sunday after Thanksgiving,
November 30, for hunters using a longbow or a crossbow. Limit one turkey of
either sex per fall season. Hours one-half hour before sunrise to sunset
from October 11 through October 26 and one-half hour before sunrise to
one-half hour after sunset from October 27 through November 30. Thirty-six
counties open for fall turkey hunting: 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, ands Washington.
RABBIT: Open first Friday in November (7) through February
29. Hours sunrise to sunset. Daily bag limit 4.
PHEASANT: Open first Friday in November (7) through January
4. Hours sunrise to sunset. Daily bag limit 2. Cocks only.
QUAIL: Open first Friday in November (7) through November
30. Hours sunrise to sunset. See map for counties open to hunting. 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
RACCOON AND OPOSSUM HUNTING: Open November 10 through
January 31. No daily bag limit.
MINK AND MUSKRAT TRAPPING: Open November 10 through February
29. 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 January 10, 2004 through February 29 and
South Zone (rest of state) opens December 26 through February 29.
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 ODNR Division of Wildlife
SPRING WILD TURKEY: Open statewide (except on designated
youth hunting areas) on the fourth Monday in April (26) (2004) through the
fourth following Sunday, May 23. Hours one-half hour before sunrise to
noon. Public hunting areas will be open 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 24 & 25, 2004). 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 13, 2003
through March 22, 2004. Hours one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. No
daily bag limit.
FALCONRY: Seasons for all non-migratory small game species
will open on the third Saturday in August (16) and extend through March 10