The 2012-13 waterfowl hunting season dates have been approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The 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 Oct. 13-28 followed by a second segment that opens Nov. 10-Dec. 23.
The duck hunting season in the North Zone is Oct. 13-28, followed by a second segment that opens Nov. 24 and runs through Jan. 6, 2013. In the South Zone, duck season is open Oct. 20-28, followed by a second segment that opens Dec. 8 and runs through Jan. 27, 2013.
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, four 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 Oct. 13-28 followed by a second segment that opens Nov. 10 and runs through Jan. 10, 2013. The goose season for the remainder of the North Zone is Oct. 13-28, with a second segment that runs from Nov. 24 through Jan. 6, 2013, and a third segment from Jan. 12-29, 2013. In the South Zone, goose season is Oct. 20-Nov. 11 followed by a second segment that opens Dec. 8 and runs through Jan. 31, 2013.
The daily bag limit for Canada geese is three, raised from two. Light geese (snows, Ross’ and blues) have a daily bag limit of 10, white-fronted geese have a daily bag limit of one 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 special statewide youth waterfowl seasons. Young hunters in the Lake Erie Marsh Zone and North Zone can hunt Sept. 29-30. The dates for South Zone youth hunters are Nov. 23-24.
Licensed falconers can hunt ducks, geese, mergansers and coots statewide from Feb. 8, 2013, through March 10, 2013, in the Lake Erie Marsh, North and South Zones whenever those zones are open to duck hunting.
Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification is required of all waterfowl hunters prior to hunting. Migratory game bird hunters must call 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 possess a signed federal duck stamp which can be purchased at most post offices.
Copies of this season's waterfowl hunting regulations, which include maps of the zones (Publication 5295, Waterfowl Hunting Seasons), will be available online at wildohio.com or available at all license agent outlets by late September.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.com.