With September just around the corner, so are several of Ohio’s most popular hunting seasons, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. In early September, Ohioans begin hunting squirrels, doves, and some waterfowl. Deer hunting begins soon, as well.

Hunting seasons for squirrel (fox, red, and gray), dove, rail (Virginia and sora), snipe, and gallinule begin Friday, Sept. 1. Early Canada goose season runs from Saturday, Sept. 2 until Sunday, Sept. 10, and early teal (blue-winged and green-winged) hunting is Saturday, Sept. 2 through Sunday, Sept. 17. The deer archery season is not far behind, with statewide hunting opening on Sept. 30 and an archery season in three targeted counties beginning Sept. 9.

A dove sits on a tree branch in the shade while looking to the right and slightly downward with brightly lit leaves in the background
In early September, Ohioans begin hunting squirrels, doves, some waterfowl. Deer hunting begins soon, as well.

“Thousands of Ohioans look forward to the start of fall hunting seasons each year,” Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker said. “Ohio offers excellent habitat on both public and private land for a variety of species. Make this season memorable by spending it with someone new or sharing your harvest with friends and family.”

Squirrels can be found statewide, although fox squirrels are more abundant in western Ohio and gray squirrels are most abundant in eastern counties. Early in the hunting season, squirrels are found in forests and woodlands that have beech, oak, and hickory trees.

Doves have been a popular game bird since 1995. They are abundant during the start of the season, especially in agricultural areas and open fields, and migrate to southern habitats for the winter.

Canada geese, blue-winged teal, and green-winged teal are some of the earliest migratory waterfowl to arrive in Ohio’s wetlands. Waterfowl can be hunted in agricultural fields, from the shores of wetlands or ponds, or from a boat. Waterfowl identification is important in the early season, when similar species are not legal game, so it is a good idea to review an identification guide before an early season hunt.

Hunters are reminded to check the current regulations for changes to season dates and daily limits as the 2023 fall seasons begin. A summary of the 2023-24 hunting and trapping regulations can be found at, on the HuntFish OH app, or anywhere licenses are sold.

Ohio’s deer archery season begins soon. The statewide season opens Saturday, Sept. 30. Hunters in the Disease Surveillance Area (Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties) can begin archery hunting on Saturday, Sept. 9. Public land deer hunting opportunities abound; check the 2023-24 hunting and trapping regulations for additional details and requirements.

The Ohio Landowner-Hunter Access Partnership program opens an avenue for hunters to access private land and landowners to receive incentives for allowing hunter access. New properties were added for the 2023-24 season. Find more information about the program, sign up as a hunter or landowner, and find property near you at Hunters can access enrolled properties with a free daily permit.

The free HuntFish OH app is available to conveniently purchase hunting and fishing licenses, check game, view wildlife area maps, and much more. The HuntFish OH mobile app is available for iOS and Android users in the app store or Google Play. Users can check deer and wild turkey harvests through the app, even without an internet connection.

New and experienced hunters alike are encouraged to check out the Wild Ohio Harvest Community for information on getting started, hunting opportunities, and delicious wild game recipes. Make the most of your fall hunting season with online learning modules, hands-on workshops, and more.

Image by Gregor Mima from Pixabay

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