Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

16-day early teal hunt set for this season

Several fall hunting seasons open Sept.
1

By Mike
Moore
Editor

Columbus — Early season duck hunting is off to a good start,
even though the first shot has yet to be fired.

The Ohio Wildlife Council, the DNR Division of Wildlife’s rules
making body, in late July approved a 16-day early teal season that
will begin Sept. 2 and run through Sept. 17.

In comparison, last year’s season was only nine days.

Traditionally, there is an early hunting season for teal prior
to the opening of the regular waterfowl season due to the teal’s
early migration habits, particularly the blue-winged teal, said
Dave Risley, wildlife management administrator for the Division of
Wildlife.

The Mississippi Flyway Council signed off on the proposed teal
framework and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to
approve it when it issues its final waterfowl guidelines in late
August.

Risley said blue-winged teal are doing well in Ohio and across
the country as evidenced by an 28 percent population increase in
2006 compared to 2005, according to continental waterfowl surveys.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife survey of the population also showed
that blue-winged teal population is 30 percent higher than the
long-term average. Since 1994, blue-winged teal populations have
been above the goal of the North American Waterfowl Management
Plan, Risley said. The USFWS duck survey showed the blue-wing
population at 5.9 million, an increase of more than 1.3 million
more birds than last year (Ohio Outdoor News, July 21).

The early season daily bag limit for teal is four with a
possession limit of eight after the first day.

Along with the early season teal, the Division of Wildlife also
proposed a 60-day, split duck season with a daily bag limit of six.
The exact dates will be determined by the USFWS in late August, but
Risley said the hope is to push the season a bit later this year to
allow more opportunity on later migrants.

If approved, it would be 10 years running that Ohio has seen a
60-day, six-duck season, Risley said.

All of the proposals are preliminary at this point. The final
framework for waterfowl, including season dates and bag limits,
will be finalized late this month. But, the seasons should look
much like the proposals, Risley said.

“Rarely is there a change between the preliminaries and the
final and I don’t expect one this year,” he said.

Sept. 1 will kick off other state hunting seasons, including
mourning dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen, and snipe. Squirrel
hunting season also starts that day.

Ohio’s dove hunting season runs Sept. 1 through Oct. 15 and Nov.
11 through Nov. 25, with a daily limit of 15 and possession limit
of 30. This year marks Ohio’s 12th dove hunting season.

“Most of our dove hunting is front-end loaded,” Risley said in
explanation of the season dates. “But, we wanted to give some time
at the end also just before deer season because we do have some
migrant (birds) coming through.”

Controlled dove hunts will be available at Fallsville, Spring
Valley, Rush Run, Bott, and Indian Creek state wildlife areas Sept.
1-3 from noon to sunset. Information on these controlled hunts is
available by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

Canada geese may be hunted statewide Sept. 1-15 during the
special early season, with a daily limit of three and possession
limit of six after the first day. The daily bag limit is two Canada
geese for birds taken in the Crane Creek/Ottawa, Mosquito Creek and
Killdeer Plains mandatory reporting zones. The Mercer
goose-reporting zone will not be open during the early Canada goose
season.

Waterfowl hunters must have a valid hunting license in addition
to a state wetlands habitat stamp endorsement, a federal duck
stamp, and a Harvest Information Program certification. Everyone
who intends to hunt migratory game birds must obtain a new Harvest
Information Program certification.

Sora rails, Virginia rails, and moorhens may be hunted Sept. 1
through Nov. 9 with a daily limit of 25 rails and 15 moorhens.
Hunting season for snipe will be Sept. 1 through Nov. 26 and Dec.
9-28, with a daily bag limit of eight.

The woodcock hunting season is open Oct. 14 through Nov. 26,
with a daily bag limit of three and a possession limit of six.

Hunting hours during the seasons for rails, moorhens, snipe,
woodcock, teal, doves, and Canada geese are sunrise to sunset. The
only exceptions will be on wildlife areas that have specially
posted hunting times for doves. The 2006 Migratory Game Bird
Hunting Seasons brochure is available at license outlets, Division
of Wildlife district offices, or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

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