Ohio has many wonderful natural areas that are suitable for hunting, fishing and recreation. If desiring e to hunt on privately owned land in Ohio, or if you are an Ohio land owner, be familiar with the Ohio Department of Natural Resource's regulations concerning hunting on private land.
No hunting is legally permitted on privately owned land in Ohio without the land owner's express written consent. This is true regardless of whether the land in question is posted. Hunters are legally required to carry a written permission form on their person while hunting on privately owned land, and they are obligated to show this permission upon request to any law enforcement officer, the land owner, or the land owner's authorized agent. The permission form is available at Ohio Division of Wildlife district offices, some licensing agents, and on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website. The permission form releases the land owner from all legal liability for any injury, property damage or loss of life or property incurred on the land for the duration of the permit. The land owner can determine the dates of the permission period, indicating the period on the form. By agreeing to the permission to hunt, the land owner does not imply that the lands are safe to enter or hunt.
Conditions for Permission
Although the permission form grants legal protections to the land owner in the event of injury or property damage, it does not extend the same protections to the hunter seeking permission to use the land. The hunter using the land is bound to observe several stated conditions, as well as any further conditions that the land owner may choose to list on the form. The stated conditions include taking proper care in handling of firearms, respecting the rights of the property owner and obeying all Division of Wildlife laws and regulations. The form also explicitly forbids the hunter from damaging the land owner's property, including fences and buildings, and prohibits the hunter from littering or dumping on the property.
Licensing and Penalties
All deer hunters in Ohio must be properly licensed to hunt, whether they are on private land, public land, or they hunt their own land as a land owner. Hunting licenses may be purchased online (at the Department of Natural Resources website), at a license vendor (located in every county in Ohio), or through the mail, by requesting a mail order form from the Department of Natural Resources. Also, every deer hunter in Ohio is legally required to visibly wear either a vest, coat, jacket, or coveralls that are solid hunter orange or hunter orange camouflage. Hunting on private land in Ohio without written permission is an offense punishable by up to a $500 fine and 60 days in jail. For a second offense, the hunter can be fined up to $750 and jailed for up to 90 days.
- deer image by Charles Kaye from Fotolia.com