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Hunting in Ohio in general carries numerous regulations and requirements, mostly to ensure both hunter and civilian safety. However, laws for hunting on private property are even more strictly enforced because of the consequences of trespassing where animal preservation and personal safety are threatened by hunting on private property without permission.
In order for any hunter to hunt on private land, no matter the season or hunting style (such as firearms, bow and arrows or traps), he must first gain written permission from the land owner. This permission form is available through Ohio's Department of Natural Resources (see Resources). It requires the hunter's license number and a specification of the exact dates the hunter plans to be on the property. Also, hunters cannot use the written permission form to hunt on any other private property other than those owned by the owner who gave permission.
When a hunter gains permission to hunt on private land, they are required to uphold a strict code of conduct in respecting the owner's resources. Hunters are not allowed to damage any fences, buildings or other property in the pursuit of game. Any trash created by the hunter's presence must be removed. All other laws applicable to hunting on public lands also apply to hunting on private lands, including the prohibition of hunting from a moving vehicle or the use of illegal baits.
Private property laws can be tricky, especially during the heat of chasing down wounded game. Should a hunter shoot an animal on public property and that animal then flees onto private property and dies, the hunter must still receive permission from the landowner before being able to claim the downed animal.
Should a hunter be caught illegally trespassing on private property in Ohio, the first offense is a maximum of 60 days jail time and a $500 fine. A second offense results in 90 days in prison and a $750 fine.
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