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Learn About Ohio Hunting Licenses

A hunting license in Ohio may be ordered online or in person, from a licensed dealer. Your age and residency status may affect the type of hunting permit you are allowed to purchase. License costs may vary. All hunters must take the hunter education course, unless exempt. 

An apprentice DNR license is available to hunters without a certificate. However, they must be accompanied by an adult on every hunt. Additional restrictions apply. 

Note that free licenses are available to qualifying customers. While engaging in the hunt, hunters must adhere to all DNR hunting license laws and regulations set forth by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Failure to do so may result in fines and penalties. To learn more about how to get hunting passes, the different types of credentials, courses for aspiring hunters and the current state laws and regulations, continue on to the sections below. 

How to Get a Hunting License in Ohio

Before you learn how to get a hunting license in Ohio, you must find out if you are eligible. Your age and residency status will affect what licenses are available to you. All hunters must carry a license, regardless of age. 

Hunters 15 years old or younger must be accompanied by an adult. Apprentice licenses may be purchased for applicants who have not yet completed a hunter education course. These courses are mandatory for all license holders. Licenses run from March to February, and may be purchased online or in person, from a licensed dealer.

Types of Hunting Licenses in Ohio 

There is no such pass as a lifetime hunting license in Ohio for residents. However, reduced-rate licenses are available for qualifying seniors. Ohio hunters licenses are valid from March to February of the following year. Your age and residency status will determine your license type eligibility.

Regardless of eligibility rules, all hunters must hold a valid license to take wildlife in Ohio. Pricing for each license varies, while age restrictions and hunting rules are different for each license. While an Ohio out of state hunting license cannot be used to hunt on state lands, it may be used by visitors to avoid the mandatory Ohio hunter safety course.

Hunter Safety and Education Courses in Ohio

The Ohio hunter safety course must be completed before applicants learn how to buy a hunting license in the state. However, exceptions may apply. The course may be taken online, at home or in a classroom setting. 

There are other non-mandatory courses available to Ohio residents, including bowhunting and trapper classes. A trapper course must be completed after the hunter education course, and before purchasing a trapper license, and pricing may vary. 

An apprentice license is available to hunters who have not taken the Ohio hunter education course, but apprentice hunters must be accompanied by a licensed adult at all times.

Ohio Hunting Laws and Regulations 

Ohio hunting season dates are based on the type of animal being taken, and the weapon being used. Dates range from a few days to several months across various private and public lands. 

Depending on the type of license you own, you may be restricted from certain areas, and from taking certain wildlife. Note that bagging and possession limits are different for each animal. 

Additionally, specific safety laws on equipment and motor vehicles must be adhered to at all times. All hunters must obey Ohio hunting regulations in the state; failure to do so will result in fines and penalties.