FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2009
Input Requested from Ohio's Waterfowl Hunters
Survey online at wildohio.com
COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife is seeking input from Ohio's waterfowl hunters to help the agency evaluate its waterfowl management program.
Every year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service provides guidelines to state wildlife agencies, such as the Ohio Division of Wildlife, that must be followed when setting annual hunting seasons and bag limits for migratory game birds, including ducks and geese. The guidelines are issued during the summer and little time is available to gather public input before annual regulations must be established for fall hunting seasons.
"The Division of Wildlife strives to set hunting season dates, bag limits and related rules in a manner that is biologically sound and satisfying to the majority of waterfowl hunters. Input from Ohio's waterfowl hunters will enable us to accomplish the goal more effectively," said Dave Risley, executive administrator for Wildlife Management and Research.
Recent waterfowl hunting seasons have been based on relatively abundant duck and goose populations. Thus, fairly liberal season lengths and bag limits have been offered since 1997. However, an extended drought in the U.S. and Canadian prairies could impact the number and quality of wetlands used by many duck species and result in fewer ducks and shortened seasons in the future.
"If regulation options are restricted, we want to know what Ohio waterfowl hunters would prefer, especially in terms of the timing of a shortened season, so we can establish regulations that allow for quality hunting opportunities whether the season is 60, 45 or 30 days in length," noted Risley.
Ohio's waterfowl hunters are encouraged to use the Internet to visit the Division of Wildlife's home page, wildohio.com and complete the Ohio Waterfowl Hunter Survey. A link is available on the home page; each waterfowl hunter should complete the survey only once. Although the survey requires each individual to provide a valid e-mail address, that information will be used only to communicate with participants about waterfowl hunting issues and survey results. E-mail addresses will not be sold or provided to other companies or agencies. The online survey will be available until March 15, 2009.