Ohio Small Game Regulations

Table of Contents

  • Squirrel Hunting
  • Pheasant Hunting
  • Grouse Hunting
  • Rabbit Hunting
  • Hunting of Fox, Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum, and Weasel
  • Coyote Hunting and Trapping
  • Quail Hunting
  • Feral Swine (Wild Boar) Hunting
  • Legal Equipment for Small Game and Furbearer Hunting
  • Youth Small Game Season

Squirrel Hunting

  • Species: Red, gray, black, and fox squirrels are legal game.
  • Hours: Hunting is allowed from 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.

Pheasant Hunting

  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset.
  • Species Restrictions: Only male pheasants may be hunted.
  • Releases: The Division of Wildlife conducts additional pheasant releases on specific dates at designated wildlife areas and parks.

Grouse Hunting

  • Hours: 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.
  • Season Dates: Vary between private and public land.
  • Bag Limit: Daily limit is one grouse statewide.

Rabbit Hunting

  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset.
  • Species Note: Snowshoe hares are protected and not legal game.

Hunting of Fox, Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum, and Weasel

  • Hours: There are no restrictions on hours for these species.
  • Licenses Required: Hunters must obtain a hunting license and a fur taker permit.

Coyote Hunting and Trapping

  • Regulations During Deer Gun Season: Coyote hunting adheres to the same hours and legal devices as the deer gun season.
  • Night Hunting: Rifles and night vision scopes are permitted, but night hunting is restricted during deer gun and muzzleloader seasons.

Quail Hunting

Quail hunting is subject to specific regulations to ensure the conservation and management of the species. Here are the key guidelines:

  • Hours: Hunting is permitted from sunrise to sunset.
  • Locations: Quail hunting is allowed on private lands in open counties, Tri-Valley Wildlife Area, and Crown City Wildlife Area (controlled hunts only).
  • Restrictions: Quail hunting is closed on all other public hunting areas to maintain the population and habitat.

Feral Swine (Wild Boar) Hunting

Feral swine are considered an invasive species and pose significant ecological risks. As such, hunters are encouraged to participate in controlling their population under the following guidelines:

  • License Requirement: A valid hunting license is required to hunt feral swine.
  • Hunting During Deer Season: If hunting during deer gun season, the same hours and legal devices apply.
  • Equipment: Rifles and night vision scopes are legal for feral swine hunting. However, restrictions apply to night hunting and rifle use during deer gun and muzzleloader seasons.
  • Reporting: Hunters are encouraged to report all feral swine sightings to the Division of Wildlife.
  • Transport and Trapping: It's illegal to transport trapped feral swine. Live trapping is permitted only if the animals are euthanized at the trap site. Use of foothold traps or snares for feral swine is illegal.

Legal Equipment for Small Game and Furbearer Hunting

In Ohio, hunters must adhere to specific equipment regulations across various small game and furbearer species. The legal equipment includes:

  • Longbow or Bow: Including compound and recurve bows.
  • Crossbow
  • Handgun: Any caliber is permissible.
  • Rifle: Any caliber can be used.
  • Shotgun: 10 gauge or smaller is allowed.
  • Airgun

Youth Small Game Season

Youth hunting seasons are designed to introduce younger generations to hunting in a regulated and ethical manner. During the youth small game season:

  • Game: Rabbit, pheasant, and all other legal game in season are open for youth hunting.
  • Quail: Only in counties and wildlife areas open to quail hunting.
  • Pheasant Releases: Occurs on specific wildlife areas for youth hunts with daily bag limits consistent with the regular hunting season.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.