Ohio’s early fall hunting seasons


COLUMBUS — Thousands of Ohioans have eagerly been waiting for the calendar to turn to September, when popular hunting seasons open across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Early September is the time to hunt doves, squirrels, and some waterfowl, with white-tailed deer archery season just around the corner.

The tradition of a Sept. 1 season opener continues for squirrel (fox, gray, and red), dove, rail, snipe, and gallinule. Canada geese and teal (blue-winged, green-winged, and cinnamon) may be hunted starting Sept. 3 during the early waterfowl season. The deer archery hunting season is not far behind, with the statewide season beginning Sept. 24 and a season in a few targeted counties opening Sept. 10.

“Many Ohioans look forward to the start of fall hunting season,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Excellent public and private lands can be found across Ohio, creating great places to hunt squirrels, doves, and waterfowl in September. This is also a good time to introduce someone new to hunting and make new memories.

Doves are a popular game bird for hunters in Ohio. Doves are abundant throughout Ohio in early September before they migrate to southern habitats for the winter.

Squirrels were the first quarry of many beginning Ohio hunters and are still the state’s favorite small-game species. Early in the hunting season, squirrels are found in forests and woodlands that have beech, oak, and hickory trees.

Canada geese, blue-winged teal, and green-winged teal are some of the earliest migratory waterfowl to arrive in Ohio’s wetlands. Waterfowl can be hunted in agricultural fields, from the shores of wetlands or ponds, or from a boat. Be sure to review the waterfowl identification guide before an early season hunt.

Hunters are reminded to check the current regulations for changes to season dates and daily limits as the 2022 fall seasons begin. A summary of the 2022-23 hunting and trapping regulations can be found at wildohio.gov, on the HuntFish OH app, or anywhere licenses are sold.

Ohio’s deer archery season begins soon. The statewide season opens Saturday, Sept. 24. Hunters in the Disease Surveillance Area (Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties) can begin archery hunting two weeks before the statewide opener, on Sept. 10. Public land deer hunting opportunities abound; check the 2022-23 hunting and trapping regulations for additional details and requirements.