FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2011
2011-12 Waterfowl Hunting Season Dates Approved by Wildlife Council
Third zone for duck hunting added; new option offered by the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service
COLUMBUS, OH - The 2011-2012 waterfowl hunting season dates have been approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.
Ohio duck hunters can now take advantage of three zones for hunting. Based on comments received from waterfowl hunters in recent years and recent survey results, there was a need to separate the Lake Erie Marsh Region from the rest of the North Zone so that season dates would better maximize hunting opportunities when waterfowl are most abundant in different regions of Ohio. Also, the border between the North Zone and the South Zone has moved south to Interstate 70. This move attempts to maximize hunting opportunities.
"I appreciate the efforts of Division of Wildlife staff to solicit input from the hunting public with respect to their preferences for hunting waterfowl and then use that information to develop season proposals that reflect what the majority of hunters have indicated is most important to them," stated Dr. Larry Mixon, chairman of Ohio Wildlife Council.
The newly created Lake Erie Marsh Zone encompasses portions of Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Erie counties. The duck hunting season in the Lake Erie Marsh Zone is October 15-30 followed by a second segment that opens November 12 through December 25.
The duck hunting season in the North Zone is October 15-30, followed by a second segment that opens November 19 through January 1. In the South Zone, duck season is open October 22 through November 6, followed by a second segment that opens December 17 and runs through January 29, 2012.
The daily bag limit for ducks is six, which may not include more than four mallards (no more than one may be female), three wood ducks, one black duck, two redheads, two scaup, one canvasback, two pintails, and one mottled duck. The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, of which no more than two may be hooded mergansers. The daily bag limit for coots is 15. Possession limits after the first day are twice the daily bag limit.
In the Lake Erie Canada Goose Zone, the goose season is October 15 through October 30 followed by a second segment that opens November 12 and runs through January 8, 2012. The goose season for the remainder of the North Zone is October 15 through October 30, with a second segment that runs from November 19 through January 1, 2012 and a third segment from January 9-22, 2012. In the South Zone, goose season is October 22 through November 20 followed by a second segment that opens December 17 and runs through January 29, 2012.
The daily bag limit for Canada geese is two. Light geese (snows, blues, Ross') have a daily bag limit of 10, white-fronted geese have a daily bag limit of two and brant have a daily bag limit of one. The possession limit for brant and geese is twice the daily bag limit after the first day.
Hunters 15 years of age and younger will have the opportunity to enjoy a special statewide waterfowl season October 1-2.
Licensed falconers may hunt in the Lake Erie Marsh, North, South and Lake Erie Canada Goose zones whenever these zones are open to waterfowl hunting; in addition properly licensed falconers may hunt ducks and coots statewide from February 4, 2012 through March 3, 2012 and geese from February 4 - 18, 2012.
Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification is required of all waterfowl hunters prior to hunting. New this year, migratory game bird hunters must call 1-877-HIPOHIO (447-6446) and answer a few survey questions to complete the HIP certification requirement. Once the survey has been completed, hunters will be provided a certification number to write on their Ohio hunting license. Waterfowl hunters age 18 and older will also need a state wetland habitat stamp which may be purchased at any hunting license agent or at wildohio.com. In addition, all waterfowl hunters age 16 and older must posses a signed federal duck stamp which can be purchased at most U.S. post offices.
Copies of this season's waterfowl hunting regulations, which include maps of the zones (Publication 295, Waterfowl Hunting Seasons), will be available online at wildohio.com or by late September to hunters at all license agent outlets.
The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at ohiodnr.com.
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