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Early Migratory Bird Season Dates Approved by Ohio Wildlife Council
Early goose season bag limit raised to four.

Ohio Division of Wildlife

Ohio Division of Wildlife

COLUMBUS, OHIO - -( The Ohio Wildlife Council has approved the state’s early migratory bird hunting seasons for this fall, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

September 1 will kick off the state’s hunting seasons with the opening of dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen and snipe. Squirrel hunting season also starts that day.

Ohio’s dove hunting season runs September 1 through October 25 and December 7 through December 21, with a daily limit of 15 birds and a possession limit of 30 birds.

Controlled dove hunts will be offered at Fallsville, Rush Run, Spring Valley, Indian Creek and Bott state wildlife areas, and St. Marys Fish Hatchery. These controlled hunts will take place Tuesday, September 1 and Wednesday, September 2; hunting hours will be noon to sunset. Youth-priority controlled dove hunts will be held at St. Marys Fish Hatchery on September 1, 5, 6, 13, 19 and 20.

Drawings for all of these hunts will take place at noon, Saturday, August 22, at the respective public area headquarters. Maps and details are available at Questions about any one of these hunts should be directed to the southwest ODNR Division of Wildlife district office at 937-372-9261.

Canada geese may be hunted statewide September 1-15, during the special early season, with a daily limit of four birds and possession limit of eight birds after the first day. The Mercer Goose Zone will not be open during the early Canada goose season.

The early teal hunting season will be open September 5 and end September 20, with a daily bag limit of four birds and possession limit of eight after the first day.

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 (HIP) certification. Anyone who intends to hunt migratory game birds must obtain a new HIP certification each year.

Sora rails, Virginia rails and moorhens can be hunted September 1 through November 9, with a daily limit of 25 rails and 15 moorhens. Hunting season for snipe will be September 1 through November 29 and December 7-23, with a daily bag limit of eight. The woodcock hunting season is open October 10 through November 23, with a daily bag limit of three birds and a possession limit of six birds.

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 2009-10 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations and the 2009 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons brochure can be found on line at The 2009 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons brochure will be available by late August at license outlets, Division of Wildlife district offices, or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at

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