Ask the Ohio Division of Wildlife's Dave Scott just how liberal are this year's waterfowl hunting regulations and he'll tell you outright that these are "the good 'ol days."
Changes this year include the addition of one canvasback duck to the daily bag limit as well as a daily bag limit of two scaup for the entire season instead of just part of the season.
Don't forget either, says Scott, the Wildlife Division's chief wildlife biologist, that the daily bag limit will include three wood-ducks, which was the case for the first time last year and for which hunters were generally very, very happy.
Also, the state has accepted a 74-day goose hunting season instead of a 70-day season.
While that doesn’t seem like much additional opportunity it does allow for an extra weekend of goose hunting; which is when most hunters participate, Scott says.
As for the early season, the Canada goose daily bag limit has been increase to four from three, which was the prior case.
Annually, Ohio’s goose hunters shoot around 73,000 to 79,000 for all seasons with between 13,000 and 16,000 Canadas being taken during the early season which will run Sept. 1 to 15, statewide.
“Basically we’re at about the most liberal regulations, seasons and bag limits that we’ve ever had. I like to say that we’re in the good ‘ol days now,” Scott said.
As for the general waterfowl hunting seasons, in the North Zone the season will run Oct.17 to Dec. 6 and again Dec. 26 through Jan. 3. The daily bag limit will be six ducks, of which four can be mallards (only one hen) three wood-ducks, one black duck, two scaup, one pintail, one canvasback.
The Lake Erie Zone goose hunting season will run Oct. 17 through Nov. 29 and 29 and Dec. 7 through Jan. 3. The daily bga limit will be two Canada geese.
Copies of this season's waterfowl hunting regulations (and which includes maps) are available online at wildohio.com. It is publication number 295 and can also be found at the agency's electronic press release on the subject.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn