Obtaining a Hunting License in Ohio

A white tailed deer standing in Port Clinton, Ohio

Chaithanya Krishna Photography/Getty Images

If you're heading to Ohio from out of state to do some hunting, you'll need to get a hunting license. Ohio has a variety of licenses plus special permits for hunting deer, wild turkey, wild boar, waterfowl, and small game. Each category has its own season and requirements. Learn more about how to get an Ohio hunting license and the type you'll need.

Who Needs a Hunting License?

An Ohio hunting license is required for all persons hunting on Ohio land except the following:

  • Residents and nonresidents hunting on land that they own
  • Children and grandchildren 17 and younger hunting on land owned by parents or grandparents
  • Tenants of landowner hunting on land where they live
  • Active duty U.S. military personnel while on leave or furlough (Note: Military personnel stationed in Ohio but not on leave or furlough must purchase a resident Ohio license and permits.)

For complete information on Ohio hunting regulations, visit Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Resident License Fees

Anyone applying for a resident Ohio hunting license must have lived in the state for the past six consecutive months. Annual resident general hunting licenses range for adults (age 18-65), youth (resident and nonresident, age 17 and younger), and for seniors (age 66 and older and born on or after January 1, 1938). Licenses for those born on or before December 31, 1937, are free. Licenses are valid from March 1 until the last day of February. All sales final. No refunds. In addition to the general license, hunters need a special permit for the type of wildlife hunted (e.g., deer, waterfowl, wild turkey). 

Nonresident License Fees

In addition to the general license, hunters need a special permit for the type of wildlife hunted. A three-day tourist license is also available (not valid for deer, turkey, or furbearers).

Special Free Licenses

The following people must have an Ohio hunting license, but there is no charge:

  • Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937
  • Ohio residents with a veteran's license plate displaying the international wheelchair symbol
  • Permanently disabled veterans who are Ohio residents and receive a pension or disability
  • Ohio residents who are former Prisoners of War

Additional Permits

Additional permits are required for each type of wildlife hunted. These are the costs for special permits for the 2018-2019 season:

  • Either-sex deer: $24 adults and $12 youth (resident and nonresident), $12 seniors (resident only)
  • Antlerless deer: $15 for everyone
  • Fur taker: $15 adults and $8 youth (resident and nonresident), $8 seniors (resident only)
  • Spring and fall turkey: $24 adults and $12 youth (resident and nonresident), $12 seniors (resident only)

Where to Buy an Ohio Hunting License

Ohio hunting licenses may be purchased online at Ohio Division of Wildlife if you have previously held an Ohio license or have evidence of successfully completing a hunter education course and are at least 21 years old.

Alternately, you may purchase a license from authorized agents located in every county in Ohio. These license agents are listed at Ohio Division of Wildlife. You can also call 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543) to find an agent.

To purchase a hunting license you will need:

  • Cash, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover Card
  • Proof of residency

Ohio Hunting Education Courses

Instructor-led courses are held throughout the year in all of Ohio's 88 counties. These are free and average 8 to 12 hours. Certified volunteer instructors and Ohio Division of Wildlife employees typically teach the course in a structured classroom environment.

Home-study online courses are available for youth 17 and younger. The course takes about four hours. Once all quizzes are passed, an in-person final exam is required. There's a $15 fee for online study.

Adults with previous knowledge of hunting and firearms can take a proficiency test online. There's a $15 fee for online study.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources advises persons with little knowledge or exposure to firearms or hunting to strongly consider taking this type of course. Courses are on the Ohio Division of Wildlife website.

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