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Getting Ohio hunting licenses is a requirement for all prospective hunters who plan to traverse the state wildernesses. However, prior to buying an OH hunting license, applicants will need to meet the requirements for obtaining a license to hunt set by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Division (ODNR). The ODNR categorizes hunting licenses by a number of factors including the applicant’s age, residency status, the type of game the applicant plans to hunt and for how long the license is valid. Certain segments of the population are offered hunting licenses at a discounted rate including seniors, military members and persons with disabilities. On the other hand, nonresident hunting license applicants such as tourists and visitors to Ohio have access to similar hunting privileges as residents, though at a higher cost. Still, the fees to purchase OH hunting licenses are reasonable compared to neighboring states. Applicants can go about buying a license to hunt in a few different ways. Ohio hunting licenses may be purchased online, in person or by mail. Online applicants have the advantage of being able to print their hunting credentials upon purchase from the comfort of their own home or office. In-person applicants will also be given their hunting documents straightaway, though they must visit an authorized license agent to receive their credentials. Before purchasing a hunting license, many applicants will find that they are required to complete a hunter education course prior to gaining licensure. To find out more about how to get hunting licenses in Ohio, including the hunter education requirements, navigate through the sections below:

What types of hunting licenses are available in Ohio?

The ODNR offers many different types of hunting licenses to both residents and nonresidents visiting the state. The type of license an individual may choose will depend on a number of factors such as the applicant’s age, the type of game he or she plans to hunt and for how long the individual would like to hold the license. Also, the cost of a license to hunt is based upon the applicant’s residential status, with nonresidents charged a higher fee than their resident counterparts. Hunting license options in the state are as follows:

  • Apprentice hunting licenses
  • Waterfowl hunting licenses
  • Deer hunting permits
  • Spring/fall turkey hunting permits

In addition to the above-mentioned license types, credentials for senior citizens are also offered. Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937 can apply for a hunting license for free. And other seniors 66 years of age and older are allowed hunting privileges at a reduced fee. Meanwhile, annual youth hunting licenses are designated for residents and nonresidents 17 years of age and younger.

A three-day license to hunt is also available through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. This type of license is reserved for nonresident hunting license applicants. Referred to as a tourist hunting license, these credentials allow visitors to hunt game with the exception of deer, turkey and furbearers.

To complete the hunting license application process, you will need to provide certain documents including a hunter education certificate. Ohio also offers discounted or free options for military veterans and disabled persons.

How do I purchase hunting licenses in Ohio?

Buying hunting licenses in Ohio requires applicants to complete a few steps before spending the necessary money. Prior to applying for a hunting license, you will need to complete the hunter education requirements for the state through the ODNR. Once completed, have your hunter education certificate ready and apply for a hunting license online, in person or by mail.

Online applicants must hold a credit or debit card to complete their transaction. Individuals who prefer to buy hunting licenses in person may do so by visiting a participating license agent. License agents are located at retail locations in each county in Ohio. Retailers such as discount department stores, grocery stores, hardware stores and convenience stores all perform hunting license sales transactions. To purchase a hunting license through the mail, applicants must contact the Wildlife Division via telephone to request a mail-in application.

Am I required to take any hunting classes in order to purchase an Ohio hunting license?

To get a hunting license in Ohio, you must first pass a hunter and trapper education course through the ODNR. Three options for meeting the hunter education requirement are available to applicants, including a traditional course and an online course. The third option allows experienced firearm handlers to test out of the education component.

The traditional classroom option is led by volunteer instructors who are experienced in the field. The duration of the course is approximately eight to 12 hours, and it culminates in a 100-question multiple-choice exam. Students must score an 80 percent or better to receive a passing score.

The home-study course allows students to work at their own pace, though they must also complete an in-person component of the course as well. Upon completion of the web-based modules, online hunter education students must attend three to four hours of classroom sessions to satisfy the requirements of the hunter certification.

Hunting license applicants with previous knowledge of hunting and firearms may be exempt from having to complete a hunter education course. Contact the ODNR by phone for more information on this hunter education option.

For bowhunter education courses, contact the Ohio Bowhunter Association’s Bowhunter Education Chairman.

How do I replace a lost Ohio hunting license?

Individuals who have had their Ohio hunting license lost, stolen or damaged may apply for a duplicate hunting license through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. To do so, visit any license agent location and request a duplicate hunting license application. Pay the duplicate hunting license fee to receive your hunting license copy.

Hunting license applicants whose original licenses were purchased online may purchase duplicates of their credentials for free. To complete this complementary transaction, users must log in to the online licensing system to reprint their license to hunt. If this is not an option, applicants can also visit an authorized licensing agent and pay a nominal fee to have their license reprinted. Additionally, the state now offers a smartphone app, which users can download to display an electronic version of their hunting license.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All throughout the United States, hunters safety classes must be completed in order for applicants to obtain their desired hunting permits and stamps. Failure to take this specific course will result in the rejection of your hunting license request, thus requiring you to start over.
Depending on your state of residence, you may be able to buy hunting licenses in a variety of ways, including online (through your state department’s portal), by mail, by phone or in person. Choose the option that is most convenient for you. Make sure to also have any type of official documentation and payment for fees on hand.
No. Different states have different limits and regulations on hunting licensure. Certain animals may be considered “prohibited species,” whereas other animals may be legal to hunt, so long as you have the necessary hunting permit/stamp. Keep in mind that if you do hunt for any type of prohibited species, you will be subject to serious consequences.
Yes. States typically offer various short-term hunters license options, such as one-day and one-week passes, to those who do not meet residency requirements. In order to receive issuance of a short-term hunting license, make sure to get in touch with your state/hunting wildlife department to find out the available methods you have to apply.
In the event your hunting credentials are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your state hunting/wildlife department to order a hunting license replacement. You may have to make an in-person visit to a local office to complete the process. At the time of your replacement request, you may be asked to present your state driving license or another type of identification.
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