The 2018-2019 small game and migratory bird hunting seasons and the trapping seasons were proposed to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday, Jan. 10, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The hunting season date proposals prepared by the ODNR Division of Wildlife maintain many traditional opening dates. Proposals concerning Ohio’s white-tailed deer hunting seasons will be presented at the next Ohio Wildlife Council meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
Notable changes among the proposals included requiring an annual or daily range permit on all ODNR Division of Wildlife firearm target ranges (class A, B and C); modifying waterfowl bag limits by increasing the hen mallard, black duck and pintail daily bag limit from one to two; requiring tree stands on all ODNR Division of Wildlife properties to meet certain criteria; establishing a controlled hunting permit for quail at Crown City Wildlife Area; adding Erie, Hancock and Sandusky counties to the 2018 fall turkey season; and modifying hunting hours for the 2019 spring turkey season.
Additional proposed rule changes included lengthening the permitted dates for camping at both Crown City and Woodbury wildlife areas; increasing annual fees for watercraft docking permits at Knox Lake; and modifying several nuisance trapping regulations. For a complete list of all proposed changes, visit the Winter 2018 Proposed Rule Summary at wildohio.gov.
The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all of the ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. The council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates after considering public input.
Open houses to receive public comments about hunting, trapping, and fishing regulations and other wildlife issues will be held on Saturday, March 3, from 12-3 p.m. Open houses will be held at the ODNR Division of Wildlife District One, District Two, District Three and District Four offices, as well as the Greene County Fish and Game Association clubhouse in Xenia.
Open houses give the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed fishing, hunting and trapping regulations with ODNR Division of Wildlife officials. For Ohioans who are unable to attend an open house, comments will be accepted online at wildohio.gov beginning on Monday, Feb. 12. Directions to the open houses can be found at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).
A statewide hearing on all of the proposed rules will be held at the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District One office on Thursday, March 15, at 9 a.m. The office is located at 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus, 43215.
Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments on a topic that is currently being considered by council are asked to register at least two days before the meeting by calling 614-265-6304. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.
• Hunters checked 13,268 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s muzzleloader season, Jan. 6-9, according to the ODNR. During last year’s muzzleloader season, 15,843 white-tailed deer were checked. Hunters had to endure arctic weather conditions all but the last day which I am sure contributed to the decline from last year.Hunters still have opportunities to pursue deer this winter, as archery season remains open through Sunday, Feb. 4.
• To biologists, Canada geese are an outstanding conservation success story. Once extirpated from the state as a breeding species, Ohio now supports a healthy, growing population. However, to a landowner they can be viewed as nuisances that create conflict.
Learn more about conflict management with Canada geese during a free public program on Monday February 5, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 8:00pm. The program will take place at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife District One Headquarters, located at 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus Ohio 43215.
The seminar will be led by Division of Wildlife staff that specializes in dealing with goose conflicts. Topics to be covered will not only include conflict management but also Canada goose biology, ecology, and population trends. This program is best suited for ages 16 and up. The program is free but pre-registration is required as seating is limited. ODNR, Division of Wildlife at (614) 644-3925 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!
Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.