Columbus – Ohio waterfowl hunters will have one canvasback in
the bag this year as well as a full season on scaup.
Ohio hunters will again enjoy a 60-day duck hunting season and a
six-duck bag limit this year, according to rules passed by the Ohio
Wildlife Council in early August. The 2009-2010 waterfowl hunting
season dates are the most liberal regulations allowed by the U.S.
Fish & Wildlife Service.
The waterfowl hunting seasons are set to open Oct. 17 in both
Ohio’s north and south zones. Hunters 15 years of age and younger
will have the opportunity to enjoy a special statewide youth season
The duck hunting season in the North Zone is Oct. 17 through
Dec. 6, followed by a late portion that opens Dec. 26 through Jan.
3, 2010. In the South Zone, duck season is open Oct. 17 through
Nov. 1, followed by a late portion that opens Dec. 12 and runs
through Jan. 24, 2010.
The zones are unchanged this year, and, according to federal
law, but can only be manipulated every five years. The next time
zone changes can be considered is in 2010.
The daily bag limit for ducks is six, which may not include more
than four mallards (no more than one may be female), three wood
ducks, one black duck, two redheads, two scaup, one canvasback, one
pintail and one mottled duck.
Canvasback populations have recovered well enough to allow for
limited harvest opportunity this year whereas the season on
canvasbacks was closed a year ago.
Likewise, scaup populations have improved from 2008 and the bag
limit of two applies for the entire season, unlike the regulations
in place last year that effectively split the season.
The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, of which only two
may be hooded. The daily bag limit for coots is 15. Possession
limits after the first day are twice the daily bag limit.
The wood duck bag limit is again three, which was increased from
two last year across most of Mississippi Flyway. The flyway wood
duck harvest last year increased to about 640,000, from 600,000 in
2007. In Ohio, the wood duck harvest increased from 11,419 in 2007
to 15,585 in 2008. Wood ducks were virtually the only species that
saw an increased harvest in Ohio in 2008.
Ohio hunters will enjoy a slightly longer goose season this year
that essentially adds an extra weekend to each zone. In the Lake
Erie Canada Goose Zone, the goose season is Oct. 17 through Nov. 29
followed by a second segment that opens Dec. 7 and runs through
Jan. 3, 2010. The goose season for the remainder of the North Zone
is Oct. 17 through Nov. 29, with a second segment that runs from
Dec. 19 through Jan. 17, 2010. In the South Zone, goose season is
Oct. 17 through Nov. 8 followed by a second segment that opens Dec.
12 and runs through Jan. 31, 2010.
They goose season is the longest in history at 74 days. The
season topped 70 days for the first time just last year.
The daily bag limit for Canada geese is two. Light geese (snows,
blues, Ross’) have a daily bag limit of 10, and white-fronted geese
and brant have a daily bag limit of one. The possession limit for
brant and geese is twice the daily bag limit after the first
Those planning to hunt waterfowl are required to answer several
questions for the Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey when
purchasing his or her hunting licenses. A state wetland habitat
stamp endorsement and a valid and signed federal duck stamp are
required when hunting waterfowl, in addition to an Ohio hunting
license. The 2009-2010 hunting licenses and wetland stamps are on
sale now and remain valid through Feb. 28, 2010.
Copies of this season’s waterfowl hunting regulations, which
include maps of the zones (Publication 295, Waterfowl Hunting
Seasons), will be available online at wildohio.com or by late September at all