Duck Statewide Harvest
Goose Statewide Harvest
No. Waterfowl Licenses Sold Annually
Ducks Per Hunter
Geese Per Hunter
Cost of Resident Waterfowl Hunting License
Cost of Resident State Stamps and Permits
Federal Duck Stamp
Season $180.96; three-day license $40.56
Cost of Non-Resident Waterfowl Hunting License
Cost of Non-Resident State Stamps and Permits
Federal Duck Stamp
Waterfowl hunting in Ohio is a case of the haves versus the have-nots. The extensive wetlands along Lake Erie once held incredible waterfowling potential. Those wetlands that weren't drained and developed or farmed still do. However, most of these areas were bought long ago by private hunt clubs. In fact, the Winous Point Shooting Club, established in 1856 at Muddy Creek Bay and the Sandusky River, is the oldest continuously operating waterfowl hunting club in the country. If you can gain access to these clubs, you can still experience great hunting along Lake Erie marshes.
For those who don't have access to hunt clubs, Ohio still has some quality waterfowl hunting opportunities at controlled waterfowl hunts. Several places offer these hunts: Ottawa NWR, Magee Marsh WMA, Mercer Wildlife Area, Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area and Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area. Hunters apply for a lottery to hunt these places. You can only win one day a year. However, the tradeoff is the opportunity to hunt at a place that's highly managed for waterfowl and receives less pressure than open public hunting areas. Adult and youth hunts are available.
Other areas are also open to the public with no draw required. Good opportunities exist at state wildlife areas across Ohio, including Merceer, Metzger Marsh, Killbuck Marsh, Funk Bottoms, Big Island, Salt Fork and Mallard Club Marsh state wildlife areas. Most of the best hunting in the state is in the Lake Erie/Sandusky Bay area in the northwest and along the Ohio River in the south.
Goose hunting in Ohio can be pretty good. Geese were released at Mercer, Magee Marsh, Killdeer Plains and Mosquito Creek decades ago. Today, Ohio's Canada geese are flourishing. Goose hunters enjoy a long season with splits, giving hunters an opportunity to hunt during the migration and also target geese that stick around for winter. In fact, the season in the southern zone goes well into February.
Ohio might not be a North Dakota or an Arkansas, but it has some reasonably good hunting in confined spaces, so we'll give it a B.
— Compiled and written by Joe Shead