COLUMBUS – Ohio’s hunters and anglers will soon be able to purchase their new licenses. On Thursday, March 1, outdoorsmen and women will be able to purchase their 2018-2019 licenses at wildohio.gov and at hundreds of participating agents throughout the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Licenses are also available for purchase on many mobile devices.
A new purchasing system, launched last year, makes it easier for hunters, anglers and conservationists to obtain licenses, permits or other products. Licenses and permits are grouped by category, such as hunting or fishing. Anyone with an online account can also go to wildohio.gov and obtain a free reprint of a valid license or permit (this option is not available at participating agents).
Ohio’s 2018-2019 licenses are valid immediately upon purchase through Feb. 28, 2019. For the costs of licenses and specific permits, go to wildohio.gov.
Deer and fall turkey permits will be available for purchase in June after the Ohio Wildlife Council votes on the upcoming seasons and dates.
For people who want to support Ohio’s wildlife in other ways, the ODNR Division of Wildlife offers the Ohio Wildlife Legacy stamp. The idea for the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp began as a grassroots effort to inform the public about the need to fund wildlife conservation. Offering the stamp to the public has continued with the positive support of individuals and conservation groups throughout the state. To learn more, visit wildohio.gov/support.
Never Late for Dinner: Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference Examines Ohio’s Predators
Join us as we welcome experts from here in Ohio and across the country to examine Ohio’s predatory animals at the 34th annual Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference hosted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) on Tuesday, March 6, at the Ohio Union on The Ohio State University’s campus in Columbus.
From predators that fly sky high to those that howl in the night, this conference is sure to make attendees hungry for more information. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Aaron Corcoran from the University of North Carolina. Corcoran is passionate about communicating science to others and his research, which focuses on the aerial warfare between bats and their insect prey.
Doors open for registration at 8 a.m., and the conference, titled “Predators: Never Late for Dinner” will run from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The Ohio Union is located at 1739 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (Ohio State’s campus). The conference is sponsored by the ODNR Division of Wildlife and is open to the public. Conference attendees should park in the attached Ohio Union South parking garage for $10.
Register now at wildohio.gov or call 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). People who register before Thursday, March 1, will receive a discounted rate of $25, and the cost will be $35 after that date or the day of the conference. A reduced-price student registration is also available for $10. Those who register before the conference will have the option of signing up for the sit-down lunch.
Conference attendees who register before the conference may purchase the 2018 Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp and pin featuring the eastern garter snake at a discounted price of $12 for a 20 percent savings. The stamps and pins will also be available for purchase at the conference for the regular price of $15. Details about the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp are available at wildohio.gov. Proceeds from the sale of the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp are used to support endangered and threatened native species, habitat restoration, land purchases, conservation easements and educational products for students and wildlife enthusiasts.
The first Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference was held at The Ohio State University in 1985 with 40 people in attendance. The conference continues to grow, with more than 900 people attending last year’s daylong event. Representatives from a wide range of conservation and natural resource organizations will offer displays and be available to answer questions. ODNR staff will also be on hand to answer questions from those in attendance.
Ohio Wildlife Council Receives 2018-2019 Deer Hunting Proposals
The Ohio Wildlife Council heard proposals for Ohio’s 2018-2019 white-tailed deer hunting season dates and bag limits at Wednesday’s meeting, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The proposed season dates are nearly identical to previous seasons.
Overview of proposed deer hunting seasons for 2018-2019:
- Deer archery: Sept. 29, 2018-Feb. 3, 2019
- Youth deer gun: Nov. 17-18, 2018
- Deer gun: Nov. 26-Dec. 2, 2018; Dec. 15-16, 2018
- Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 5-8, 2019
Deer bag limits were proposed to remain the same for all but one county. A reduction in the bag limit from three deer to two deer was proposed for Jefferson County. All other county bag limits would remain the same. The ODNR Division of Wildlife also proposed modifications for hunting on public land that would permit hunters to harvest only one antlerless deer from public hunting areas per license year and require that only antlered deer be harvested on public land after Dec. 2. This proposal would allow for some herd growth on public land. The statewide bag limit was proposed to remain at six deer, only one of which may be antlered, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit.
In other proposals, the ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed to allow the use of devices such as range finders on archery equipment that utilize only non-visible light when hunting in Ohio. Any device that projects a beam of visible light would still be prohibited. Proposed changes to furbearer management included modifying the list of counties open to river otter trapping and creating a limited bobcat trapping season to support scientific research. Trapping for bobcats would be limited to two zones in eastern and southern Ohio, with a small, fixed quota for each zone. Trappers would be required to purchase an additional $5 permit and only be allowed to harvest one bobcat per license year. Trapping in each zone would close when the quota is reached. The data collected from these bobcats would provide scientists with a better idea of the population in Ohio. New counties were proposed to open for river otter trapping, as the species is now prevalent in many areas. River otter bag limits have not changed.
A correction was made to the counties proposed to open for fall wild turkey hunting beginning in 2018. The corrected proposed county list includes Erie, Hancock and Lucas counties. Sandusky County is not proposed to be open to fall turkey hunting at this time.
A complete list of proposed rules changes can be found at wildohio.gov.
The Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on all proposals after receiving public input. Open houses to receive public comments about hunting, trapping and fishing regulations and wildlife issues will be held on Saturday, March 3. Open houses will be held at the ODNR Division of Wildlife District One, District Two, District Three and District Four offices and the Greene County Fish and Game Association clubhouse in Xenia. Directions to the open houses can be found at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).
Open houses give the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed fishing, hunting and trapping regulations with the ODNR Division of Wildlife officials. For Ohioans who are unable to attend an open house, comments will be accepted online at wildohio.gov. The online form will be available starting Monday, Feb. 12, through Sunday, March 4.
A statewide hearing on all of the proposed rules will be held at the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District One office on Thursday, March 15, at 9 a.m. The office is located at 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus, Ohio 43215.
The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. The council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its meeting on Wednesday, April 11, after considering public input. Small game, migratory bird and wild turkey hunting season dates were proposed at the January council meeting and will also be voted on by the council on April 11.
Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments on a topic that is currently being considered by council are asked to register at least two days before the meeting by calling 614-265-6304. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.