Ohio Hunting Reports


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    See ya

  2. I think it is very dead around here … non one reporting, no one scouting,,,, . I am ready to rock and roll and there’s a lot of birds this year…. many kinds

  3. There are a lot of birds scattered throughout Ohio at this time. Reports of excellent field shoots from NW Ohio all the way to Ashtabula are being reported. The birds seem to be hitting the fields in droves first thing in the morning, then going out to Lake Erie or a nearby river to rest in the mid-daytime. Large flocks are reported as well with many limits of Mallards, Blacks and Gadwalls being the most prolific.

  4. Well, there are birds all over Ohio. Trying to keep the water open for this weekend’s NZ opener could be a problem. I officially think the State of Ohio does not know their ass from a hold in the ground when it comes to waterfowling here. The only open zone is up on Lake Erie, and that has been getting pounded from all over the state. There are people going up there to hunt that have no idea what to do or where to go, but it is the only open zone so everyone is there. Not my cup of tea. In the mean time, we have cold weather, snow…. and the rest of the state is shut down. The month of November, regardless of weather, is historically the best waterfowling month overall year after year. Ohio does a lot of winter draining of lakes as well, so we all have to watch and make sure hunters can even get their boats in the lakes by the time season comes in. Ohio North Zone has been shit down the entire month of November and that is BS. Even if we didn’t have this weather right now, there are always lots of ducks of different kinds all over the state. I just do not understand their thinking on making up our dates.

    • Anthony,

      We had a tough November here too. As soon as we got water in our dry areas it froze out. We haven’t had the lake effect snow that you guys have had but we’re already switching into goose hunting mode here.

      ~ Webmaster

  5. Going out to big island sunday wondering if any good has happend or anything flyin in if not will post monday let you all know how it went.

    • Colonel (retired) Al Faber

      Chris, any luck Sunday?

    • got a blue wing that was it sw alot of birds none wanted to gather the stregth to just land oh.Not sure if theve just been blasted at call shy and what not maybe its just me.Saw a nice can maybe when second part season comes in it will be better but all in all a slow day huntin better than any good day at work

  6. I wandered around Delaware Wildlife Area on Saturday and didn’t see anything flying or even hiding on the ponds or river. When I was up there for early goose, I accidentally jumped about 8 mallards and they almost knocked my hat off when they flew past. They knew I wasn’t allowed to shoot them. This past Saturday I almost stepped on a pheasant that waited patiently while I double-checked the DNR site on my phone to verify that they weren’t in season.

    Hopefully this cold snap we’re getting will push them down from the north. I usually hunt in Ashtabula during Thanksgiving and Christmas, so the Central Ohio scene is new to me.

  7. Started the season off good this last weekend. Three of us at the marsh, 2 mornings = 23 birds. There are a ton of geese this year and a very good amount of ducks. Local Mallards had a great hatch. The amount of Teal on the Lake Erie shores is crazy right now. Lots and lots of Greenwings, with some Bluewings still as well. These flights of BW Teal coming thru now are mainly the mother hens of the year as all of the teal we shot were larger,adult females. From everything I can see right now, all of the DU and Delta Reports are spot on with us (especially our flyway area) having a great hatch and flight this year. Good luck to everyone, let’s go get ’em !!!!

  8. Just moved to Cincinnati and I am getting out to scout for private land to hunt, but I could use some advice on which public areas might be the best to try while I get settled in. i have a boat so I can access rivers and lakes if they are worth it. Any guidance would be appreciated.

    • Where did you move from? I think there are a few guys on here that hunt down that way.

      • The last place we lived in the USA was Erie, PA, but have lived all over and spent the last 7 years overseas so i am getting all my stuff out of storage and getting back at it again. Any help with networking would be great. Thanks.

  9. Colonel (retired) Al Faber

    Colder weather finally moving into central Ohio and with it the first real waves of Teal. If the pattern continues we should be set for a great opener to the first-split. Smaller ponds and marshes appear more lucrative now than larger lakes, patterns seem to be changing daily. Scout farms at dusk and follow the birds below the trees, they are tucked-in to smaller areas off the beaten path. Water levels look good just about everywhere, especially when compared to the past few years. It should be a great fall season!

  10. The Dove opener is in the books to kick off the 2013 season and was a good one. There are a lot of Doves coming thru Ohio this year. I am starting to see some ducks flying around these days as well, so most of the molting will be finished up and the birds should be ready to fly as scheduled. With these cool nights this week, I expect some Teal to be coming thru Ohio as well. Good luck everyone and be safe. I will report back after this weekend. Out !

    • Colonel (retired) Al Faber

      You were right Anthony, great opener for doves. New dog this year and his first retrieve in the field (ever) was a banded dove!

      What a great sign of things to come…!

  11. Ohio Wildlife Council Approves Waterfowl Hunting Season Dates
    Youth waterfowl hunting weekend is Oct. 5-6

    COLUMBUS, OH – The 2013-14 waterfowl hunting season dates were approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council at its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 21, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

    Changes for the upcoming waterfowl seasons include a decrease in the scaup bag limit to three, an increase in the canvasback bag limit to two and the youth waterfowl season will now be Oct. 5-6 statewide. See the 2013-2014 Waterfowl Hunting Seasons for more waterfowl hunting information, including zone maps.

    Ohio is divided into three zones for duck, coot and merganser hunting. The seasons are split in each zone during the following dates:

    • Duck hunting season in the Lake Erie Marsh Zone is Oct. 12-27 and Nov. 9 – Dec. 22.
    • Duck hunting season in the North Zone is Oct. 19 – Nov. 3 and Nov. 30 – Jan. 12, 2014.
    • Duck hunting season in the South Zone is Oct. 19 – Nov. 3 and Dec. 14 – Jan. 26, 2014.

    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, three scaup, two 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 second day are three times the daily bag limit.

    Ohio is also divided into three zones for goose and brant hunting. The seasons are split in each zone during the following dates:

    • Goose hunting in the Lake Erie Canada Goose Zone is Oct. 12-27 and Nov. 9 – Jan. 9, 2014.
    • Goose hunting in the North Zone is Oct. 19 – Nov. 3 and Nov. 30 – Jan. 30, 2014.
    • Goose hunting in the South Zone is Oct. 19 – Nov. 3 and Nov. 30 – Jan. 30, 2014.

    The daily bag limit for Canada geese is three. Light geese (snows, Ross’s 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 three times the daily bag limit after the first day.

    Hunters 15 years of age and younger will have the opportunity to enjoy a statewide special youth waterfowl season Oct. 5-6. Bag limits established during the regular season apply.

    Licensed falconers can hunt ducks, geese, mergansers and coots statewide from Feb. 8 – March 4, 2014, and in the Lake Erie Marsh, North and South Zones whenever they 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 must also purchase an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp, available at any hunting license agent or 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, will be available 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.gov.

  12. This year is shaping up to be a great hunting season for all game. Ohio has a lot of game this year and all species of animals seem to have had successful babies. The waterfowl survey is out and numbers are strong once again in the traditional survey area. Realistically though, the numbers are much higher overall seeing as though a lot of waterfowl spread out and nested in other areas other than the US and Canadian areas of the PPR and Boreal Forests. Ohio had a lot of waterfowl stay here and raise broods this year, so I am very optimistic about our upcoming season. I know for a fact that Lake St Clair had the highest hatch it is had in years, with high numbers of Ringnecks, Mallards, Blacks, Teal and Redheads and Canvasbacks (which did not fly further North to their normal zones). Habitat in Ohio is great this year and every swamp, slough and pothole seem to be full of water. I expect a constant strong flight of waterfowl from October – January this year. Many species do move ahead of the cold fronts, especially the high numbers of Wigeon in our zones this year. Good luck and be safe….


  13. Ohio DNR seeking feedback from waterfowl hunters for the 2013-2014 season.

    Waterfowler.com encourages your participation in the online survey at the link below:


  14. Colonel (retired) Al Faber

    Final day of the 2012-2013 Waterfowl Season ended with a great hunt down on the Ohio & Scioto Rivers near Portsmouth last Sunday with a few good friends. Lots of ducks; redheads, blacks, mallards, teal, and our other team bagged a widgeon among others. Only 7 months until the next early teal season, just enough time to get ready…

  15. Colonel (retired) Al Faber

    If you are having trouble convincing the family to eat those ducks, geese and venison, try this recipe for chili. I know, everyone has a chili recipe. But they are all guaranteed to love this one, promise!

    Gail’s Wild & Wonderful Chili-

    Best if made a day before serving.

    2-1/2 pounds lean, coarsely ground Venison, Duck, Goose, or as a last resort, Beef. (any combination also works)
    2 tablespoons Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic (or any Cajun spice)
    2 tablespoons chili powder
    1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
    1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes ( or 2 14.5oz cans diced tomatoes,
    2 cups very finely chopped onions
    4 cups beef stock or water
    2 teaspoons minced garlic
    1 tablespoon corn flour or all purpose flour

    In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the meat, Meat Magic (or any Cajun spice), chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt; stir well. Cover pan and cook over high heat for 4 minutes. Stir well, cover pan and cook for 1 minute.

    Stir in the tomatoes and onions, cover pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom well each time.

    Add 2 cups of the stock and the garlic, stirring well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer; simmer for 1 hour, stirring and scraping pan occasionally.

    Skim oil from top of chili mixture, then in a small bowl stir together the corn flour and 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the chili mixture until well blended. Add the corn flour mixture, 1 cup more stock to the chili mixture, stirring well. Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring frequently and gently and making sure mixture doesn’t scorch (once you add flour, it’s more likely to scorch). Add the remaining 1 cup stock; cook and stir for 20 minutes more, being careful not to let chili scorch. Remove from heat and serve immediately in bowls, allowing about 1½ cups per serving. Also great with shredded Mexican cheese on to; over past; over white rice; over a cheese omelet;, in Tacos; and on hamburgers in the summer!

  16. Colonel (retired) Al Faber

    Just sent this letter to the Ohio Wildlife Council for consideration in the next round of discussions on waterfowl hunting in Ohio. Let me know what you think!

    Dear Wildlife Council:

    The following recommendation is not only based on my personal opinion and observations, but also upon those made by hundreds of waterfowl enthusiasts throughout Central Ohio. As the Central Ohio Field Editor for Waterfowler.com, I have the responsibility of networking with hundreds of waterfowl hunters in the area to track and report on hunting conditions, success, and observations which include the impact of weather conditions and regulation/rule changes. As a waterfowl hunter for more than 30 years, and hunting a minimum of 60 days each year, I have kept a close eye on waterfowl, their habitat and migration.

    Recommended Change: Move the north and south zone line from I70 back to SR30 where it previously was.

    Rationale: Unfortunately, scientists who have talked about the negative impact of global warming and its additional effects upon wildlife have been correct. Due to the trend in warm weather conditions during much of the waterfowl season, waterfowl are migrating later in the season. As we all know, due to the pairing and subsequent mating of waterfowl in the February timeframe, hunting must conclude by February 1st.

    The problem that has been created by shifting the north zone down to I70 has been a loss of successful hunting opportunities during the peak of the migration. Warm weather conditions are moving waterfowl into Central Ohio at the exact time the north zone is closing, preventing waterfowl hunting at the precise time the birds arrive in the area.

    Moving the south zone back to SR30 would keep the entire Central Ohio region open for hunting when waterfowl are arriving in the area. This is a peak time of the year for waterfowl migration, and hunters should have this opportunity to hunt more successfully.

    Again, this is not only my opinion, but that of hundreds of waterfowl hunters throughout Central Ohio. I have kept extensive journal records over the past 10-years, which all support; the best waterfowl hunting in this part of the state is mid-December through the end of January.

    Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration.

    Al Faber

    • I have been hunting waterfowl in Southern Ohio for 42 years and would disagree with your observations. On public lakes, which in my opinion is how waterfowl seasons are based, the traditional migration of waterfowl comes thru our state from mid October-end of November. This has always been the case and Kortright and Bellrose books and banding records confirm this. I have had way better decoying and variety, when the seasons were based on a straight season. Now our wintering mallards and blacks stay in our area and when the Erie begins to freeze we see even more, but it is not I-70 break that is at issue. We should have one season that runs statewide from mid October-mid November for 30 days and then December 26- January 25 for your second split, maybe a week difference for the 2 zones, however they are broken down. You would have less hunting pressure in the South zone and everyone would be happy.

      • Colonel (retired) Al Faber

        Dino, we agree more than we disagree. Central Ohio experiences the same patterns as Southern Ohio. A season here in Central Ohio from mid-December to the end of January is what we need “here.” Hunting almost everyday from Big Island Wildlife area to Buckeye Lake we see large numbers at that time. But lake Erie and North Zone hunters get frozen out much earlier. As an example, all small ponds and lakes were froze solid here last weekend, so we went to the Ohio & Scioto where the water was open, to include standing water in fields (Saturday), frozen on Sunday. Ducks need water and food, and the weather patterns here push all of Central Ohio’s hunters Southbound around mid-December. I agree, if there was “no” line, there would not be an issue. But if there “is” a line, it needs to go back to the SR30 lattitude. Otherwise we will continue to get shut-out early here and be forced to travel South of Chillicothe.

  17. Colonel (retired) Al Faber

    Hunted the Ohio and Scioto rivers this past weekend. Lots of ducks and geese but with all the standing water still open they chose fields versus the rivers. The coming cold weather should change things up a bit and push them to the rivers soon.

    • Great pic Al. Delta Waterfowl Foundation has received funding to do a study on migration timing. I’m sure, from what we’ve observed on migration trends here over the past 15-years will support the case your making.

  18. Way different here in the duck desert of SW Ohio. There have been several small pushes of ducks but I think there are still some north of us, a lot of ducks.

    We had a fair migration of SJB geese in here a couple weeks ago. We wore them out for a week but then comes a 60 degree day and we watched them head back north. That was a week and a half ago. Hopefully this cold will convince them to move south again as well as the ducks, but my experience has been once they come south as late as they did and then migrate back they are extremely reluctant to move back this way.

    We shall know in a couple of days.

    Hunted a small creek this AM. It was 4 degrees. Only heard 1 small group at daylight fly past behind us and on way out saw 4 blacks 150 yards upstream of where we had setup. All small water is frozen. The creek was 60% frozen. Will be locked up tighter’n Dicks hatband tomorrow.

  19. Goose hunting continues to be very good. There are a lot of birds in Ohio this late season,,, the key is patterning what times they leave the roosts and which field they are feeding in.

    Today was very good from 10:30-noon. We watched a lot of birds fly out this morning around 8:30 or so,,,, then around 10:30-10:45 we probably had 30 flocks of geese come into our field to feed for the late morning. Hammer time !!!! They were landing all over the field in small groups of 3 to 25 birds.

    Heading to Missour for the snow goose trek on 2/12 for a week. I will report back upon my return.

  20. it was a great season in Ohio for ducks.

    Canada geese are plentiful to wrap up the year….


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