BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
The marshes and agricultural fields of Ottawa County and the waters of Sandusky Bay are already luring groups of waterfowl hunters this week. The men, women and young hunters are getting ready for the early waterfowl hunting seasons that begin on Saturday, Sept. 2 for jumbo Canada geese and speedy blue- and green-winged teal.
The early Canada goose season this year is Sept. 2-10 with a daily bag limit of five geese. The early teal season is Sept. 2-17 with a daily bag limit of six ducks.
Hunters aren’t forgetting the early mourning dove hunting season that will open around Ohio on Friday, Sept. 1 and run through Nov. 5, with a liberal 15 bird daily bag limit. The best dove hunting in the area can be found at the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s managed dove fields at the Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area in Sandusky County.
Flocks of Canada geese are plentiful, with the Ohio population at an all-time high and most geese living almost year-round around Ohio. Teal are a migratory duck and have started to show up in the area.
Doves are the most numerous game bird in Ohio.
Waterfowl hunters are scouting the marshes, and getting duck hunting blinds ready. The agricultural fields where geese have been feeding for weeks will provide most of the good goose hunting.
Veteran hunters have been working on their accuracy at the clay target ranges, and making sure waterfowl
decoys, waders and other gear are ready to go. Retrieving dogs have been in training for weeks.
One thing many hunters have to remember to do is to purchase the needed ducks stamps and hunting licenses for the new waterfowl hunting seasons.
The Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp ($15) and a Federal Duck Stamp ($25) are needed, as well as an Ohio Hunting license, which is $19 for adults, $10 for youth .
Anyone 18 years or older hunting waterfowl must have an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp if 18 or older and a Federal Duck Stamp if 16 and older.