Columbus — Ohio’s youth hunters will have several opportunities to learn and improve their hunting skills this fall.
The DNR Division of Wildlife offers many ways for families to hunt together and create lasting traditions in the state’s outdoors.
Waterfowl: Youngsters age 15 or younger wanting to pursue waterfowl may do so statewide on public and private lands. On Nov. 23-24, the South Zone of Ohio will be open for young hunters. Hunters 15 years of age and younger must be accompanied by a nonhunting adult 18 years or older (no more than two youths per adult). More details regarding waterfowl zones, bag limits, and licensing requirements can be found in Publication 5295, 2012-2013 Waterfowl Hunting Seasons on wildohio.com.
Small game: Hunters age 17 and younger may hunt statewide for rabbit, pheasant, and all other legal game in season during two designated weekends, Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 27-28. Quail also may be taken in 16 designated open counties.
Pheasant releases for young hunters will occur prior to these dates on the following state wildlife areas: Resthaven, Oxbow, Berlin, Killdeer Plains, Camp Belden, Grand River, Spencer, Wellington, Delaware, Dillon, Caesar Creek, Rush Run, Fallsville, Tiffin River and Darke, as well as Charlemont Metropark in Lorain County and Ring Neck Ridge in Sandusky County. A permit is required to hunt the Ring Neck Ridge Area. The free permit can be obtained from the Sandusky County Park Office by calling 419-334-4495 or the Sandusky County Park District Office at 419-637-2900.
White-tailed deer: A youth deer gun season will be open statewide, Nov. 17-18. Hunters holding a valid youth hunting license and youth deer permit may take deer of either sex during this season in accordance with existing bag and deer-zone limits. Young hunters, regardless of age, must be accompanied by a nonhunting adult, 18 years or older, when hunting during this season.
Wild turkey: It’s not too early to begin planning for spring. A statewide spring youth wild turkey season will be offered on Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21. This hunt is open to youths age 17 and younger.
Controlled hunts: The DNR Division of Wildlife also offers several controlled hunts for young hunters throughout the season. Applications to participate in these hunts are accepted June 1-July 31. Applications are available at the division’s five district offices and on the division’s website. The applications may also be submitted by mail or online. There are controlled youth hunts for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and waterfowl.
To participate in the upcoming youth hunts, all young hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult and must abide by all regular hunting hours and bag limits. A valid 2012-13 youth hunting license, along with the appropriate permits, is required. For complete details on all of Ohio's youth hunting seasons, refer to the 2012-2013 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet, call 800-WILDLIFE (800-945-3543) or go online to wildohio.com.