Permission to Hunt
The landowner’s written permission is required for hunting
and trapping on private land, regardless of whether the land is
posted. Permission slips are available at Division of Wildlife
district offices and some license outlets.
The Penalty for Hunting Without Written Permission
The maximum penalty for hunting without written permission of
the landowner for a first offense is 60 days in jail and a $500
fine. The maximum penalty for a second offense is 90 days in
jail and a $750 fine.
A person must carry written permission at all
times while engaging in hunting or trapping on private land and
exhibit it upon request to a state wildlife officer, sheriff,
deputy sheriff, police officer, other law enforcement officer,
owner of the land, or the landowner’s authorized agent.
Unless otherwise indicated, game may be taken with longbow,
crossbow, or any caliber handgun, rifle, shotgun (10 gauge or
smaller), or airgun. Be safe and choose the appropriate method
for the species.
Game birds and game quadrupeds may not be taken by trapping.
Electronic callers may be used while hunting, except while
hunting migratory game birds (waterfowl, rails, and shorebirds)
and wild turkeys. It is lawful to use electronic callers for
It shall be unlawful to use any device capable of
transmitting or receiving a person’s voice to aid in the hunting
or taking of deer.
Spotlighting of wild animals from vehicles, including
illuminating with headlights, is prohibited. Spotlighting is
illegal whether hunting implements are carried in the vehicle or
Persons hunting, trapping, or pursuing furbearing animals at
night must carry a continuous white light visible for at least
1/4 mile. When two or more persons are hunting or trapping
together for furbearing animals, only one light is required and
may be carried by any member of the party. Persons hunting foxes
or coyotes with a call from a stationary position may use a
single beam light.
It is unlawful to possess a hunting device while training or
working a dog pursuing coyotes from sunset to sunrise.
All hunting from motor vehicles, except boats and machinery
being used in farm operations is prohibited. Hunters who are
physically handicapped to the extent that they cannot walk, may
hunt from a stationary vehicle in a field except on a public
hunting area. Hunting all game and furbearers except mink,
muskrat, and beaver is lawful from a boat or powercraft. All
hunting from aircraft is prohibited.
It is unlawful to shoot from, on, across, or along a public
road or highway.
During the statewide muzzleloader season and youth deer gun
season it is unlawful to hunt legal game with shot shells
containing shot larger than #4. Waterfowl hunters must use
nontoxic shot of any size.
During the youth deer gun season, deer gun season, and the
muzzleloader deer season all hunters must visibly wear a vest,
jacket, coat, or coveralls that are solid hunter orange or
hunter orange camo, except waterfowl hunters.
Longbows and crossbows may be used to take legal game.
However, crossbows may not be used to hunt migratory game birds.
Longbow hunters may use a hand-held mechanical release.
Crossbows may be cocked with a device, but must have a working
safety and a stock more than 25 inches long.
Arrows for longbow and crossbow must be tipped with a
broadhead not less than 3/4 inch wide while hunting deer or
turkey. The arrow tip must have a minimum of two cutting edges
which may be exposed or unexposed.
It is unlawful to hunt deer or turkey with a longbow having a
draw weight of less than 40 pounds, or with a crossbow having a
draw weight of less than 75 pounds or more than 200 pounds.
Poisoned or explosive arrows are unlawful. While hunting, it
is unlawful to have attached to a longbow or crossbow any
mechanical, electrical, or electronic device capable of
projecting a beam of light.
Share the Bounty
There are two organizations in Ohio fighting hunger by
helping hunters donate a portion or all of their venison to
folks who need it.
The Division of Wildlife wishes to thank you, the Ohio
hunter, for making a difference by donating your venison to the
hungry of our state.
Visit the Hunters for the Hungry section of our web site for
Public Hunting Lands
It is unlawful for any person to use a rifle, pistol, revolver,
shotgun or other firearm at any time on any land or water area,
controlled or administered by the Division of Wildlife except
while lawfully trapping, or hunting wild animals, or target
practicing on a designated Division of Wildlife target range.
Portions of Deer Creek, Resthaven, La Su An, Grand
River, Brush Creek, Waterloo, Cooper Hollow, East Fork, and
Fallsville wildlife areas will be open for disabled persons to drive
their cars or trucks to designated interior areas for hunting.
Disabled persons are required to have a physician’s statement
listing the illness or disability that prohibits them from walking.
It remains unlawful to shoot from any motorized vehicle.
It is unlawful to hunt with or possess any shot
except nontoxic shot at Metzger Marsh, Mallard Club, Pipe Creek,
Magee Marsh, Toussaint, and Little Portage wildlife areas.
All hunting and trapping on Magee Marsh Wildlife
Area is by permit only.
On All Wildlife Areas
It is illegal to sit, stand, or otherwise be in contact with oil
or gas production or transmission wells, pumps, tanks, pipes,
and other equipment.
Roadside camping is prohibited on all state wildlife
areas. Primitive campgrounds are located on Woodbury, Tycoon, Wolf
Creek , and Monroe wildlife areas.
It is unlawful for any person to use or hunt with a
rifle, pistol, or revolver from October 15 through January 1 during
the daylight hours on any lands owned, administered or under
agreement with the Division of Wildlife, except when properly used
on a designated Division of Wildlife target range or when hunting
squirrels with a rimfire rifle, pistol, or revolver or when deer
hunting with a muzzleloading rifle or legal pistol or revolver
during the youth deer gun season, deer gun season, statewide
muzzleloader season, and the early muzzleloader season.
On Auburn Marsh Wildlife Area it is unlawful to use
a rifle, pistol, revolver, or a shotgun using slugs at any time.
Deer hunting at Auburn Marsh Wildlife Area is lawful using archery
All wildlife areas are closed to all activity other
than hunting, trapping, and fishing from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. September
1 through May 1 and from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. May 2 through August 31.
Beaver and river otter trapping are prohibited on
all state public hunting areas including state parks and forests
without a special permit from the Division of Wildlife. Consult our
district offices or this Website for information on how these
permits can be obtained.
State parks have special hunting and trapping
regulations. Some are not open to hunting or trapping. A permit is
required to build a duck blind on state park lakes. Consult the
Division of Parks and Recreation, 2045 Morse Rd. , Columbus , Ohio
43229 or the park manager.
It is unlawful to operate or park any vehicle on
properties administered by the Division of Wildlife except on
designated roads and parking areas.
Live furbearing animals, amphibians, reptiles, game quadrupeds,
or game birds may not be held in captivity or sold except by
Hides of furbearing animals taken legally during the
open season may be sold during that open season.
Furbearers may not be taken alive during open
hunting and trapping seasons.
Persons desiring to buy green or dried fur must have
a fur dealer’s permit.
It is unlawful to buy, sell or possess nongame birds
or their parts, dead or alive.
No person shall dig, harvest, or otherwise collect wild ginseng
from its natural habitat except during the season of September 1
through December 31 of each year. Ginseng plants with unripened
berries, or which have less than three-leaf stems (prongs)
cannot be harvested. Seeds from wild ginseng plants shall be
immediately replanted at the place where the plants were
collected. Any person collecting ginseng is required to keep
accurate records showing the number of pounds and ounces of
ginseng, both green and/or dry weight, collected in each Ohio
county by date of collection. Dealers and buyers shall acquire a
state dealer’s registration permit each year prior to purchasing
or otherwise acquiring Ohio ginseng. No person shall harvest
wild or cultivated ginseng from private or public property
without first obtaining written permission from the landowner or
For more information on ginseng harvest, contact the
Division of Wildlife.
The Division of Wildlife has established designated
dog training areas on some of its wildlife areas. Dogs may not be
trained or exercised on state public hunting areas from May 1
through August 31, except on these designated dog training areas. A
nonresident may not train, work, or exercise a dog in Ohio at any
time Ohio residents are not permitted to train, work, or exercise
dogs in the nonresident’s state. Training dogs while pursing
furbearing animals is permitted only from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
Firearms may not be carried by persons training or
working dogs during the closed season for furbearing animals.
Designated dog training areas are located on
portions of the Auburn Marsh, Berlin, Caesar Creek, Delaware,
Fallsville, Grand River, Highlandtown, Indian Creek, Killdeer
Plains, Lake La Su An, Maumee State Forest, Oxbow, Resthaven, Rush
Run, Spencer, and Woodbury wildlife areas.
The Division of Wildlife operates five Class A ranges. All
persons age 18 and older shooting on Class A ranges must
purchase a Shooting Range Permit which is available at all
hunting and fishing license outlets and on the Internet at
www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife. Permits are not sold at the shooting
Shooters age 17 and under are not required to
purchase a permit, but must be
accompanied by and directly monitored by an adult (age 18
years or older) holding a valid Shooting Range Permit.
Shooting Ranges – Hours of Operation
CLASS “A” RANGES
Hours of operation vary. All ranges are closed on Monday and
Tuesday as well as the following dates: New Year's Day, Easter,
Memorial Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and
Christmas Day. Contact the wildlife areas for detailed
• Delaware Wildlife Area* 8589
Horseshoe Rd. , Ashley (614) 644-3925
• Deer Creek Wildlife Area* 12552
Post Rd. , Route 1 Mt. Sterling (614) 644-3925
• Spring Valley Wildlife Area 1863
Rox - N Burlington Rd. Waynesville (937) 862-5162
• Grand River Wildlife Area* 6686
S.R. 534 Farmington (330) 889-3280
• Woodbury Wildlife Area* 23371
S.R. 60 S Warsaw (740) 824-3211
Closed during January and February.