Proposals show little change in hunting, trapping regulations



COLUMBUS -- Ohio sportsmen won't see many changes in next year's hunting and trapping regulations, based on proposals presented last week to the Ohio Wildlife Council by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The kick-off date for the state's fall hunting seasons is Sept. 1 with the opening of squirrel, dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen and snipe hunting. Other proposed hunting and trapping rules and season dates will be similar to those now in effect with only slight changes to fall hunting dates.
Proposals concerning Ohio's white-tailed deer hunting will be heard during a separate wildlife council meeting Feb. 8. This will follow state wildlife biologists' assessment of the 2005-06 deer season, which ends Jan. 31. Those results will affect suggested modifications to current zone boundaries and bag limits for next season.
Open houses will be held March 5 in each of the state's five wildlife district offices to give the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed hunting and trapping regulations with state wildlife officials. Directions to the meetings can be obtained by calling (800) WILDLIFE.
A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at 9 a.m. March 9 at the wildlife division's District One office, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its April 5 meeting.
2006-07 HUNTING/TRAPPING REGULATIONS
Squirrel: Sept. 1 through Jan. 31, 2007. Hours are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is six.
Grouse: Open Oct. 14 through Feb. 28, 2007. Hours are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is three.
Young Hunters' Upland Season: Open the two Saturdays and Sundays immediately before the regular opening date (Oct. 21-22 and 28-29) statewide (public and private lands). Rabbit, pheasant, and all other legal game that is in season may be taken. Quail may be taken in counties open to quail hunting. Daily bag limits are the same as during the regular hunting seasons.
Fall wild turkey: Open Oct. 14-29 for hunters using a shotgun with shot, a longbow or a crossbow and through Nov. 26 for hunters using a longbow or a crossbow. Limit one turkey of either sex per fall season. Hours are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset from Oct. 14-29, and a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset from Oct. 30 through Nov. 26.
Rabbit: Open Nov. 3 through Feb. 28, 2007. Hours are sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is four.
Pheasant: Open Nov. 3 through Jan. 1, 2007. Hours are sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is two. Roosters only.
Quail: Open Nov. 3-26. Hours are sunrise to sunset. The bag limit is four.
Fox, opossum, weasel and skunk trapping: Open Nov. 10 through Jan. 31, 2007. No restriction on hours. No daily bag limit.
Fox hunting: Open Nov. 10 through Jan. 31, 2007. Daytime hunting of fox closed during deer-gun season. No other restriction on hours. No daily bag limit.
Raccoon trapping: Open Nov. 10 through Jan. 31, 2007. Season extends through March 15, 2007, in Erie, Ottawa, and Sandusky counties, and Lucas County east of the Maumee River. No restriction on hours. No daily bag limits.
Raccoon and opossum hunting: Open Nov. 10 through Jan. 31, 2007. No daily bag limit.
Mink and muskrat trapping: Open Nov. 10 through Feb. 28, 2007. Season extends through March 15, 2007 in Erie, Ottawa, and Sandusky counties and Lucas County east of the Maumee River. No restriction on hours. No daily bag limit.
Beaver trapping: Opens statewide Dec. 26 through Feb. 28, 2007. It is prohibited to trap beaver on state public hunting areas without a special beaver-trapping permit from the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
River otter trapping: Opens statewide Dec. 26 through Feb. 28, 2007. It is prohibited to trap otter on state public hunting areas without a special beaver/otter trapping permit from the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Season bag limits are three in Zone C, one in Zone B and Zone A is closed.
Young hunters' spring wild turkey: Open statewide to youth hunters (17 years old and younger) for turkey hunting on April 21-22, immediately before the regular spring wild turkey season. Hours for youth hunts will be a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. The limit is two bearded turkeys per hunter, per spring season, of which only one may be taken during the young hunters' season.
Spring wild turkey: Open statewide (except on designated youth hunting areas) April 23, 2007, through May 20, 2007. Hours are a half-hour before sunrise to noon. The limit is two bearded turkeys per hunter per spring season.
Crow: Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from June 9 through March 18, 2007, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 8, 2007, through March 16, 2008. Hours are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. No daily bag limit.
Doves, ducks, geese, coots and mergansers: Hunting days and bag limits will be set within the framework which will be provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service later this summer. Assuming the framework is similar to the 2005-06 season, dove season, the early goose season and the special teal season will open Sept. 1.
Falconry: Seasons for all nonmigratory small game species will open Sept. 1 and extend through March 10, 2007.

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