Ohio dove hunting season extended this year.
Ohio dove hunters will have plenty of days to hunt this fall with an additional 20 days being added to the upcoming season.
The changes were approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council on July 16, 2014. Opening day for the 2014-15 early migratory bird season will be September 1st. The first part of the season will run through November 9th with an additional hunting window running from December 13th to January 1st, 2015.
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The extra days were added because a study showed that the population of mourning doves in Ohio was increasing from year to year. Hunters may take up to 15 doves per day and may not possess more than 45 doves at a time.
The Ohio Division of Natural Resources (ODNR) is also offering several controlled hunts for dove on the first two days of the season at Fallsville, Rush Run, Spring Valley, Indian Creek and Bott State Wildlife Areas. There will be more controlled hunts at St. Marys State Fish Hatchery on September 1, 6, 13 and 20.
The drawings for the opening day controlled hunts will be held on August 23 at noon at each wildlife area's headquarters. The rest of the drawings will be held at noon on the day of the hunt.
Legal shooting hours for the controlled dove hunts will be from noon to sunset unless otherwise posted. For hunters not participating in a controlled hunt, legal shooting hours are from sunrise to sunset unless posted differently at one of Ohio's many public dove hunting areas.
"Because of the popularity of dove hunting, we plant crops at some of our state wildlife areas to attract doves," said Northeast Ohio supervisor Doug Miller. "The dove fields at the Highlandtown, Mosquito Creek and Killbuck wildlife areas draw the biggest crowds. Because of a wet spring, though, we won't know how successful the plantings will be until later in August."
Remember to become familiar with the dove hunting regulations in Ohio before heading out for a hunt. Some important regulations to note are as follows:
- Baiting for doves is illegal, but hunting over normal agricultural fields is fine.
- Lead shot may be used.
- Federal duck stamps and wetland habitat stamps are not required for dove hunting.
Dove hunting in Ohio is one of the most exciting wingshooting opportunities in the state. The action can be fast and heavy and doves make for some of the most challenging shots with their speed and agility.
A great spot to set up early in the season before the crops are harvested in the fields is near a water source such as a farm pond with perching areas, such as trees or power lines, nearby.
Do you plan on dove hunting this season? Share your plans and tips in the comments section below.