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Specialty Licenses and Permits

Landowners wishing to apply for a deer damage or goose damage permit must visit the Nuisance Wildlife page for the correct application.

Specialty License and Permit Categories 

Click each category below to learn more about the licenses and permits, as well as how to apply.

 

Aquaculture 

Permits 

Aquaculture (Class A and B) and White Amur Permits are issued annually by the ODNR, Division of Wildlife through our District and Sandusky Fisheries and Enforcement Unit offices. Please refer to the Aquaculture Law Digest for information on the Aquaculture (Class A and B) and White Amur permits. As of March 1, 2015, Aquaculture Permit holders (Class A and B) will be required to maintain records of all sales or purchases of aquaculture species for a period of at least two years. Sales or purchases may be recorded on the Aquaculture Sales Record Form.

Aquaculture Law Digest

Aquaculture A Permit Application [pdf 615Kb]
Aquaculture A Permit: Apply Online/Access Account

Aquaculture B Permit Application [pdf 615Kb] 
Aquaculture B Permit: Apply Online/Access Account

White Amur/Grass Carp Permit Application [pdf 541Kb] 
White Amur/Grass Carp Permit: Apply Online/Access Account


Bait Dealer/Collector Permits are issued annually by the ODNR, Division of Wildlife through our District and Sandusky Fisheries and Enforcement Unit offices. Please refer to the Bait Dealer & Bait Collector Law Digest for information on the Bait Dealer/Collector Permit.

Bait Dealer/Collector Permit Application [pdf 607Kb] 
Bait Dealer/Collector Permit: Apply Online/Access Account


Fish Transportation and Fish Wholesale Permits are issued annually through our Sandusky Fisheries and Enforcement Unit office. Please refer to the Commercial Fishing Law Digest for information on the Fish Transportation and Fish Wholesale permits.

Commercial Law Fishing Digest

Fish Transportation and Wholesale Permit Application [pdf 549Kb] 
Fish Transportation Permit: Apply Online/Access Account

Fish Wholesale Permit: Apply Online/Access Account



VHS, Fish Importation & Fish Transportation
Aquaculture permit applicants and fish haulers should be aware of the VHS Proclamation made by the Department of Agriculture. This Proclamation prohibits the intra-state transportation, sale, or distribution of 28 fish species susceptible to Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) out of the affected region in northern Ohio. Furthermore, in order to import fish into Ohio, the Ohio Department of Agriculture must first be contacted at:

Dr. Tony Forshey
State Veterinarian
Ohio Department of Agriculture
Division of Animal Industry
8995 E. Main St., Bldg. 6
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
(614) 728-6220
(614) 728-6310 Fax

Gary Stansberry
Aquaculture Coordinator
Ohio Department of Agriculture
Division of Animal Industry
8995 E. Main St., Bldg. 6
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068
(614) 325-0735
(614) 728-6285 Fax
gstansberry@agri.ohio.gov
 

NOTE: Beginning immediately, emerald shiners Notropis atherinoides collected from all United States waters of Lake Erie, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York will no longer require testing and disease-free certification for VHS as a condition for importation into Ohio when their final destination is north of the Proclamation Line within the State (north of a line that that follows US Highway 6 from the Indiana border to the intersection of US Highway 6 and Interstate 90 continuing along Interstate 90 east to the Pennsylvania border). 


Additional Information:

  • Out-of-state aquaculture facilities do not need an aquaculture permit. These facilities are regulated by their resident state. Only an Ohio Fish Transportation Permit and Ohio Department of Agriculture Animal Importation Permit are needed to bring fish into the state.
  • Be sure to have your permit in by May 1st if you want to be included on the Propagators List which is made available to the public on our website and in publication.
  • If you want the additional free permits, be sure to indicate on the application.
  • You must include both the common name and scientific name of the species you are raising.
  • Permit holders raising select Class B species outside the watershed of concern can use a Class A Aquaculture Permit. See the Aquaculture Law Digest for further information.
  • Permit holders may not rear or propagate aquatic species in waters other than those under private control - including any body of water that would allow egress of the fish into public waters or waters of the state without first obtaining written permission from the Chief of the Division of Wildlife or his designee.
  • Please visit The Ohio State University's Aquaculture Program website or the Ohio Aquaculture Association website for information on fish culture methods, nutritional requirements, aquacultural system design and management, species selection and water quality management for existing and prospective aquaculturists.

Download the latest Fish Propagators List [pdf 233Kb] 

 

Boat Stake 

Boat Stake permits are only available at Knox Lake located in Knox County, Ohio. You may dock your boat at one of the stakes in the lake with a Boat Stake permit. There are 85 permits available on a first come first serve basis after January 1st. One permit per customer is allowed. The annual fee for dock space or a tie up stake is $80.00. Applications post marked prior to January 1st of the year the permit will be issued will not be accepted.

Additional Information:

 

Captive White-tailed Deer 

“Captive white-tailed deer” means legally acquired deer that are held in private ownership at a facility licensed under ORC 943.03 or 943.031 and under ORC 1533.71 or 1533.721 and OAC 1501:31-19-04.

This license allows you to hold legally acquired deer in captivity and sell the deer and carcasses. This license is not required of persons who possess a Wild Animal Hunting Preserve license. The license is void when you no longer have captive white-tailed deer or if it has been revoked.

All white-tailed deer carcasses sold for food must be properly tagged as provided for in ORC 1533.74.

Additional Information:

  • DNR 8833, Captive White-tailed Deer Propagation Application [pdf 600Kb]  (link coming soon)
  • Publication 5453, Captive White-tailed Deer Propagation [pdf 223Kb]  (link coming soon)
  • DNR 8850, Wild Animal Food Tag Approval Application [pdf 149Kb]  (link coming soon)

 

Commercial Bird Shooting Preserve 

A “Commercial Bird Shooting Preserve” is an area of land where game birds are released and hunted by shooting, as authorized by a commercial bird shooting preserve license obtained under ORC 1533.71, 1533.72, 1533.73, 1533.77 and OAC 1501:31-31-02.

Commercial Bird Shooting Preserve Permits are areas, approved by the Division of Wildlife, for year-round hunting of game birds legally acquired or propagated. A hunting license is not required to hunt approved game birds on these areas, other than wild turkeys. The permit has an annual fee of $200.00. A minimum of 500 game birds must be released on the preserve annually.

Additional Information:

 

Dog Training Grounds 

Dog training grounds are areas, approved by the Division of Wildlife, available for the year-round training of hunting dogs. Dog training grounds may not (1) exceed 50 acres in size, (2) be established within the boundaries of a licensed shooting preserve, or (3) be established within 1500 feet of a preserve’s perimeter (except by the operator of the preserve). Dog Training Grounds Permits are issued annually, they are $75 dollars for the first time buyer (includes 200 bird leg bands, an applicator, and 25 boundary signs). Each year after, the permit is free if it is renewed by April 30 of each year. Applications submitted after April 30th are treated as a new application.

DNR 8999 Dog Training Grounds Application [pdf 173Kb] 
Dog Training Grounds Permit: Apply Online/Access Account


Additional Information:

 

Falconry

Falconry Permits 

Falconry is a sport employing the use of a raptor to take wild game in place of a firearm. The sport has been romanticized in many books and movies in recent years, but falconry is actually a demanding sport that requires a great deal of patience, time, dedication, and money. It also requires daily devotion to the care of the raptor(s). The sport is licensed and regulated by the ODNR, Division of Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Should you decide to become an Ohio Falconer, you will first need to locate a sponsor who is already a general or master class falconer. It is recommended that you review the Ohio Falconry Association’s website (www.ohiofalconry.org) to obtain information on sponsorship, as the Division of Wildlife does not maintain a list of falconers who will consider being a sponsor. Once you have attained a sponsor, at their direction, an appointment may be made to take the Ohio Falconry Exam. A $75 fee is required to apply and take the examination which is administered at our Central Office in Columbus. A passing grade of eighty percent is required and those who fail the exam must wait six months to take the test and must pay the $75 fee again.

Once you have successfully passed the falconry exam, a mew and/or weathering area(s) are constructed and proper equipment is purchased or made with input from your sponsor. At this time you will also need to successfully pass a Hunter Education course and purchase a hunting license, if you have not already done so. Once the facilities are completed, an inspection is conducted by the permit office, and a permit application can be made to the Ohio Division of Wildlife for a Falconry Permit. At the same time, you may apply for a Raptor Capture Permit to acquire your first bird. Falconry permits are issued on a three year basis at a cost of $75 ($25 per year).

For additional information, and to find other falconers, you should contact the Ohio Falconry Association at www.ohiofalconry.org or the North American Falconry Association at www.n-a-f-a.com. Recommended reading for the exam is North American Falconry and Hunting Hawks by Beebe and Webster. If you have any questions, please contact the Permit Coordinator.

 

Fur Dealer 

Fur Dealer Permits 

Persons who deal in or buy green or dried furs, skins or parts taken from fur-bearing animals of the state, must have a fur dealer’s permit. The annual fee is $75 for residents and $200 for non-residents.

Daily records must be kept of all purchases and sales of furs, skins and parts thereof of fur-bearing animals. A daily report form is provided for your use. An annual summary of all transactions is required to be submitted to the Division by May 15th.

See the Fur Dealer Regulations for more information. (ORC 1533.23, 1533.24, OAC 1501:31-15-19)

Ginseng 

American ginseng is a slow-growing perennial herb that grows in the understory of deciduous forests. It typically grows to a height of 8 to 15 inches. Ginseng prefers mature woodlands, frequently on slopes, where it favors rich soil and dense shade. American ginseng occurs from Quebec, Canada, west to Minnesota and south to Georgia and Oklahoma. It is a plant that can be found throughout Ohio, but its populations are often small and scattered. Ginseng has long been valued for its medicinal qualities. Ohio, like many other states, has established a ginseng management program to allow for collection and to ensure the continued presence of ginseng for generations to come.

The Ohio Administrative Code, the set of laws that govern the state, lists all of the laws regarding the harvesting, selling, and buying of ginseng.


Overview of Ohio Ginseng Regulations 

Digging Ginseng

A permit is not required to dig wild ginseng in Ohio, but a ginseng digger must have written permission from the landowner or designee to hunt and harvest on private and public lands. Digging ginseng is prohibited on state-owned lands and on national park property. The Wayne National Forest offers a permit to collect ginseng on their lands. Contact the Forest's website or offices for information.

  • Nelsonville: (740) 753-0101
  • Marietta: (740) 373-9055
  • Pedro: (740) 534-6500


Quick Facts 

  • Ginseng harvest season is from September 1st to December 31st annually. Harvest on private property may only be done during the established harvest season.
  • Plants must have at least three leaves (prongs) before they may be harvested.
  • Collectors/diggers must keep accurate harvest records by county and collection date.
  • Collectors/diggers must immediately plant the seeds from collected plants at the place where the plants were collected.
  • A Ginseng Dealer Permit from the Division of Wildlife is required to buy ginseng for resale or export.
  • All ginseng must be certified by the Division of Wildlife before it is exported from Ohio. Certification documents must be kept with each lot of ginseng leaving the state.


Buying Ginseng 

For anyone interested in buying ginseng for resale or export, a Ginseng Dealer Permit from the Division of Wildlife is required. The permit itself is free, but there are record keeping requirements. All ginseng dug in Ohio must be certified before it leaves the state of Ohio. Contact your nearest Division of Wildlife District Office to find out when and where to have ginseng certified. Note there is a certification fee of $3 per pound.

Ginseng dealers may not buy dry, uncertified ginseng between April 1st and September 15th. You also may not buy or sell wild green ginseng that was collected between April 1st and August 31st.

When buying ginseng root, you must obtain the following information from the seller/digger:

  • the seller’s name and address
  • the dealer’s state registration permit number (if applicable) and ginseng certification number
  • the weight of ginseng root collected by county
  • the date of the transaction

Ginseng dealers are also responsible for:

  • Displaying educational materials provided by the Division of Wildlife.
  • Showing proof of certification to any out-of-state purchaser.
  • the weight of ginseng root collected by county
  • Keeping accurate records of all ginseng sold and purchased. These records are open to inspection by authorized Division of Wildlife employees.
  • Submitting for weighing all uncertified ginseng on hand as of March 31 to the Division of Wildlife and they will receive a receipt for it.

A person may only possess ginseng from a state with a ginseng management program that has been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Anyone interested in learning more about Ohio ginseng may call 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) for more information.

  • List of Ohio Ginseng Dealers [pdf 531Kb] (link coming soon)
  • Ginseng Dealer Application [pdf 153Kb] (link coming soon)
  • Ginseng Conversion Chart [pdf 10Kb] (link coming soon)
  • Ginseng Form Request [pdf 84.4Kb] (link coming soon)


Growing Ginseng 


Federal Regulations 

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is charged with regulating ginseng through the Division of Scientific Authority and Division of Management Authority. For export permit applications and past Scientific Authority findings, visit the USFWS American Ginseng web page.

USFWS regulations that implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): 50 CFR Parts 10, 13, 17, and 23

USDA-APHIS handles inspections at authorized ports. Review their requirements for export before exporting ginseng


International Regulations

American ginseng is listed in Appendix II of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international agreement between countries to ensure that international trade in certain plants and animals does not threaten their survival in the wild. American ginseng was listed in CITES Appendix II in 1975 due to concerns of the species being over-harvested as a consequence of international trade. Appendix II allows trade that is biologically sustainable and legal and includes species that, although currently not threatened with extinction, may become so without trade controls. In order to ensure that American ginseng roots are legally and sustainably harvested, CITES permits issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are required to export American ginseng. For more information about CITES and American ginseng, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website.

CITES 

CITES Appendices. Ginseng is an Appendix II species.

Research 

Wild Ginseng Conservation. Dr. James McGraw's Lab, West Virginia University.

 

Nuisance Wild Animal Control 

Bat Exclusion Authorization Application 

When 14 or fewer bats are inside a structure, a bat exclusion can be performed at any time of the year. However, when 15 or more bats are inside a structure, it is illegal to perform an exclusion between May 16-July 31. In situations where human health and safety is at risk, a property owner/designee may seek written authorization from the Chief of the Division of Wildlife to perform a bat exclusion during the restricted dates. Before applying for authorization, the property owner/designee must inspect the property for bats and perform two bat watches at the structure within a 7-day period. To apply for this exclusion authorization, please complete and return the form below:

Bat Exclusion Authorization Application [pdf 509Kb] (link coming soon)

Please call the ODNR Division of Wildlife customer service at 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) for more information.
 


Commercial Nuisance Wild Animal Control

Below are the materials you will need to complete the application in order to become a Commercial Nuisance Wild Animal Control Operator (CNWACO). The fee for obtaining a CNWACO license is $40 per year and the license must be renewed annually by the last day of February.

Study Materials:

Application:
This application is for businesses and individuals performing Nuisance Wild Animal Control for hire. Landowners wishing to apply for a deer damage or goose damage permit must visit the Nuisance Wildlife page for the correct application.

Nuisance Control License: Apply Online/Access Account
Nuisance Wild Animal Control Application [pdf 111Kb] 
Nuisance Control License Holders [pdf 137Kb] (link coming soon)
Bat Exclusion Authorization Application [pdf 509Kb] (link coming soon)


Test 

Required for all permit holders and employees who will perform Nuisance Wild Animal Control activities.

  • Number of questions: 100
  • Has a time limit of: 01:30:00
  • Must be finished in one sitting. You cannot save and finish later.
  • Questions displayed per page: 5
  • Will allow you to go back and change answers.
  • Will let you finish with some questions unanswered if you are not sure of the answer.
  • Passing grade=80%
  • Take the Ohio CNWACO Certification Test


Frequently Asked Questions 

I am an employee of a company. Do I need my own Commercial Nuisance Wild Animal Control Operator license?
No, but you must be certified or work under on-site supervision of a certified employee. On-site supervision shall be while staying within a distance from the person that enables uninterrupted, unaided visual and auditory communications.

I did not pass the test the first time I took it. Can I take the test again? And will I be penalized for taking it multiple times?
Yes, you may retake the test as many times as you need. There is no penalty for taking it more than once.

Do I need to take the certification test before I submit my permit application?
No, you may send in your application at any time. All that is required with the application is the $40 annual fee.

I passed my certification test, but I was not able to print my certificate. What do I do?
We can print your certificate for you if necessary. Please call (614) 265-6439 with your request. Be sure to provide your mailing address.

Can I save a copy of my certificate to my computer?
Yes, you can save your certificate as a pdf. Doing so will give you the ability to print it at any time.

 

Ohio Lake Erie Fishing Guide License

Under ORC 1533.51, no person shall be or serve as a fishing guide in the Lake Erie fishing district without a license from the Division of Wildlife. The Lake Erie fishing district is defined in ORC 1533.02. The fishing guide license and decal must be renewed annually by April 15th. There is a license fee of $50.00 per year. Proof of valid U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) license is required prior to the issuance of a Lake Erie Fishing Guide license. The USCG license must be maintained while operating as a fishing guide.

ICE GUIDE ONLY: If you are only applying for an ice fishing guide license, the boat and USCG information is not required; unless, you are using an airboat. If you are using an airboat to transport people to/from your ice shanties, a USCG license will be required. Either way, you will need to know the number of ice shanties and the general area of use.

Lake Erie Fishing Guide License: Apply Online/Access Account

DNR 8950, Lake Erie Fishing Guide License Application [pdf 593Kb] 

Additional Information:

 

Wild Animal Collection 

Scientific Collecting Permit

Collection of wild animals in Ohio that would otherwise be prohibited requires a scientific collecting or education permit. Scientific collecting permits are primarily for survey and inventory of wildlife species that are protected, being collected during the closed hunting or trapping season, collected in excess of daily bag limits or collected with devices or techniques otherwise prohibited.

Applicants must be directly affiliated with or an appropriate representative from one of the following institutions:

  • A college, university, high school, junior high or elementary school as an educator, researcher, student, masters or doctoral candidate.
  • A public agency, such as federal, state, city of county unit of government, engaged in a wildlife or scientific area of study or research.
  • A non-profit educational or conservation organization that is associated with wildlife or scientific area of study or research.
  • A scientific research organization or bona fide environmental consulting firm performing wildlife related work for a third party.

Applicants who are not directly affiliated with an institution listed above must provide the following information to verify qualification for a permit:

  • Personal qualifications to perform the activity.
  • Specific purpose necessary to perform the activity.
  • The location(s) where collected specimens will be maintained. Name and address of the facility to be used as a repository for voucher specimens.

*A project that will include the collection or possession of migratory birds, eggs, nest, parts, or the collection of protected species, may require a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in addition to a state permit.

Possession of a scientific collecting permit does not constitute permission to collect on Division of Wildlife owned or controlled properties. Special regulations prohibit collection of wild animals and plants from wildlife areas without the permission of the Chief of the Division of Wildlife. Those wishing to conduct activities on wildlife areas must first request to do so in writing to the Division of Wildlife. In your request, you must list specifically what benefit your activity has to wildlife.

For additional info, see Publication 326 - Wild Animal Collecting Permits Information 

To obtain copies of the application, contact the nearest Division of Wildlife District Office or the Division of Wildlife, Permit Coordinator.

  • Scientific Collecting Permit Application [pdf 51Kb] 
  • Approved Herpetologist Permit [pdf 272Kb] (link coming soon)
  • Approved Herpetologists [pdf 171Kb] (link coming soon)
  • Bat Diversity Database for Reporting - Instructions [pdf 147Kb] (link coming soon)
  • Bat Diversity Database for Reporting - Template [pdf 413Kb] (link coming soon)
  • Wildlife Diversity Database for Reporting - Instructions [pdf 137Kb] (link coming soon)
  • Wildlife Diversity Database for Reporting - Template [pdf 2,729Kb] (link coming soon)



Education Permit

Qualified educators who hold an education permit may possess dead wild animal parts, nests, eggs, mounts or study skins and live wild animals for educational programming or display.

Applicants must be directly affiliated with, or an appropriate representative from one of the following institutions:

  • A college, university, high school, junior high or elementary school as an educator.
  • A public agency, such as federal, state, city or county unit of government, performing wildlife education.
  • An educational or conservation organization, museum or zoological garden that displays or performs wildlife education.
  • A licensed Ohio Wildlife Rehabilitator who has permanent resident wildlife used for educational activities.

Applicants not directly affiliated with an institution listed must provide the following information to verify qualification for a permit:

  • Personal qualifications to perform this activity.
  • Specific purpose necessary for you to perform this activity.
  • The location(s) where collected specimens will be maintained. Name and address of the facility to be used as a repository for voucher specimens.

*A project that will include the collection or possession of migratory birds, eggs, nest, parts, or the collection of protected species, may require a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in addition to a state permit



Banding Permit 

Wild Animal Banding Permits are free and are for the purpose of banding activities only. Permit holders agree to not hold any species longer than the period of time necessary for banding. When banding migratory birds, a Banding Permit is required from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), or activities must be conducted under the supervision of a USFWS master banding permit holder.

For more information:

Banding Permit Application [pdf 64Kb] 



Ohio Mussel Survey Protocol 

All native mussels are protected in the State of Ohio (Section 1533.324 of the Ohio Revised Code). In addition, ten federally listed species occur in the State and are protected by the Endangered Species Act (87 Stat. 884, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Impacts to State and federally protected mussels and their habitats should be avoided and minimized to the maximum extent practicable. If impacts cannot be avoided, all streams which contain mussels or potential mussel habitat must be surveyed prior to any proposed stream disturbance.

To work with mussels in Ohio there are three levels of minimum qualifications required based on stream group and survey type. Satisfaction of a higher qualification level allows the surveyor to work at the lower levels. Work at all three levels require an Ohio Scientific Collectors Permit from the Division of Wildlife. The three levels of qualification are as follows:

Level 1: For survey of systems which are likely to have federally listed mussels present (Group 2 and 4 streams), you must be on the USFWS approved list (link below).
Level 2: For survey of systems which are not likely to have federally listed mussels present (Group 1 and 3 streams), you must be on the ODNR approved list (link below).
Level 3: For reconnaissance of small systems not likely to have federally listed mussels present to determine if mussels are present (Group 1 streams), you must be on the ODNR approved list (link below).

 

Wild Animal Hunting Preserve 

A “Wild Animal Hunting Preserve” is an area of land where game, captive white-tailed deer, and nonnative wildlife other than game birds, are released and hunted as authorized by the wild animal hunting preserve license obtained under ORC 1533.721 and 1533.731 and OAC 1501:31-9-07.

Please look at Publication 5129 Wild Animal Hunting Preserve Requirements for general information and requirements. These requirements must be adhered to before the hunting preserve fence is closed and the Wild Animal Hunting Preserve license is issued. A wildlife officer will inspect the enclosure to make sure all requirements are met before the license is approved.

Additional Information:

 

Wild Animal Propagation


Licenses 

A Commercial Propagating License costs $40 and is required for people who desire to sell, offer for sale, trade, or barter native reptiles, amphibians, game birds, game quadrupeds, or fur-bearing animals which have been bred in captivity, legally obtained from out of state, or are the offspring of wild-captured animals. With this license, the license holder may possess for sale, trade or barter animals that are bred in captivity or otherwise legally obtained, with proper documentation.

Commercial Propagation Permit: Apply Online/Access Account

Wild Animal Propagation License Application [pdf 615Kb] 

A Noncommercial Propagating License costs $25 and is required for people who permanently possess native reptiles, amphibians, game birds, game quadrupeds, or fur-bearing animals but do not intend to sell, offer for sale, trade or barter animals. The license holder is limited to a total of four individuals of each species of collectible reptiles or amphibians have been taken from the wild. See OAC 1501:31-1-02 for a current list of collectible species..

Noncommercial Propagation Permit: Apply Online/Access Account

  • Laws: Wild Animal Propagation and Related Activities [pdf 188Kb] (link coming soon)
  • DNR 8850, Wild Animal Food Tag Approval Application [pdf 149Kb] (link coming soon)
  • DNR 8831 Wild Animal Propagation Records [pdf 162Kb] (link coming soon)


Overview 

A propagating license application must be requested from the Division of Wildlife within 10 days after taking possession of any native game bird, game quadruped, fur-bearing animal, reptile, amphibian, or wood turtle (Clemmys insculpta).

  • With a propagating license, except for state endangered species, an Ohio resident may possess:
  • Wild animals captively produced or legally obtained from out of state, with proper documentation.
  • Up to four total individuals of each wild-captured native reptile or amphibian from the “Wild-captured Native Reptiles and Amphibians” list below

Except for bullfrogs, green frogs, snapping or softshell turtles that can be harvested with a fishing license, a nonresident cannot take from the wild native reptiles or amphibians, live or dead.

Native wildlife taken from the wild in Ohio may NOT be bought, offered for sale, traded, bartered, or given as a gift.

  • A reptile or amphibian that has been captively produced or is not native to Ohio may not be released into the wild. Only reptiles/amphibians that were taken from the wild may be released back into the wild and only if:
  • They have not been held in captivity, in the same enclo¬sure, with any other reptile or amphibian, except when used as a food for another captive reptile or amphibian, and
  • They have not been in captivity for more than 30 days, and
  • They are released near the point of capture, or, you first have written authorization from the chief of the Division of Wildlife.

No endangered reptiles or amphibians may be possessed, bred, or sold except in accordance with ORC 1531.25 and OAC 1501:31-23-01.


Wild-Captured Native Reptiles and Amphibians 

Only Ohio residents may possess a total of four individuals from any of the following reptile or amphibian species or any hybrids taken from the wild. Residents over the age of 16 must have a permit to possess these or any Ohio native species.

Turtles:

  • Eastern Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus)
  • Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata)
  • Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica)
  • Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Lizards and Skinks:

  • Broad-headed Skink (Plestiodon laticeps)
  • Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)
  • Common Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)
  • Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus)

Snakes:

  • Common Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon sipedon)
  • Northern Brownsnake (Storeria dekayi dekayi)
  • Midland Brownsnake (Storeria dekayi wrightorum)
  • Northern Red-bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata)
  • Eastern Gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis)
  • Butler’s Gartersnake (Thamnophis butleri)
  • Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus)
  • Eastern Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon platirhinos)
  • Northern Ring-necked Snake (Diadophis punctatus edwardsii)
  • Midwestern Wormsnake (Carphophis amoenus helenae)
  • Eastern Wormsnake (Carphophis amoenus amoenus)
  • Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor)
  • Blue Racer (Coluber constrictor foxii)
  • Eastern Ratsnake (Pantherophis spiloides)
  • Eastern Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum)

Salamanders:

  • Common Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus)
  • Red-spotted Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)
  • Jefferson Salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum)
  • Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)
  • Smallmouth Salamander (Ambystoma texanum)
  • Streamside Salamander (Ambystoma barbouri)
  • Marbled Salamander (Ambystoma opacum)
  • Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)
  • Northern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus)
  • Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus ochrophaeus)
  • Eastern Redback Salamander (Plethodon cinereus)
  • Southern Ravine Salamander (Plethodon richmondi)
  • Northern Slimy Salamander (Plethodon glutinosus)
  • Kentucky Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus duryi)
  • Northern Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus porphyriticus)
  • Midland Mud Salamander (Pseudotriton montanus diastictus)
  • Northern Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber ruber)
  • Northern Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea bislineata)
  • Longtail Salamander (Eurycea longicauda)
  • Southern Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea cirrigera)

Frogs and Toads:

  • Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer crucifer)
  • Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor)
  • Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis)
  • Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata)
  • Mountain Chorus Frog (Pseudacris brachyphona)
  • American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)
  • Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)
  • Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)
  • Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris)
  • Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates utricularia)
  • Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvatica)
  • Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)
  • American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)


Record Keeping and Annual Reports

All propagation license holders must retain a certificate of origin, a bill of sale, receipted invoice, or other Division of Wildlife approved evidence of lawful acquisition for each individual animal captively produced or legally obtained from out of state. Accurate records for all animals, including wild-captured, must be maintained for five years by the license holder and be available for inspection by a representative of the Division of Wildlife at all reasonable hours.

Records must include:

  • Common and scientific name, number of animals received or sold, birth dates of captive born animals, and the date, location and length of all wild-captured animals.
  • The date of any and all deaths and escapes.
  • Date of the transaction and complete name and address of the person from whom an animal was purchased (including the seller’s propagating license number) or to whom the animal was sold, traded, bartered or given as a gift.
  • All bills of sales, invoices, or receipts of animals sold in past 5 years.
  • The total weight by species of softshell or snapping turtles that are sold solely for food be recorded, instead of the number of individuals.
  • Unique passive transponder (PIT) code of implanted snakes and/or turtles.

Note: persons who purchase snapping turtles, softshell turtles, bullfrogs, or green frogs for their own consumption are not required to keep records.


Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) Tags for Snakes & Turtles 

A unique passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag must be implanted under the skin of all live native snakes and turtles prior to sale, barter, trade, or gift.

PIT tags may be implanted by any person authorized by the owner. Only PIT tags that can be read by an “AVID Mini Tracker” reader may be implanted.

Any brand of PIT tag with a frequency of 135kHz, 134.2kHz, or 400kHz are permitted. PIT tags are available for purchase from the Division of Wildlife for $10.00 per unit.

 

Wildlife Rehabilitation 

Wildlife Rehabilitation Permits

The Ohio Division of Wildlife is dedicated to conserving and improving fish and wildlife resources and their habitats, and promoting their use and appreciation by the public so that these resources continue to enhance the quality of life for all Ohioans. Rehabilitation of injured or orphaned native wildlife is an important activity in Ohio, involving hundreds of public and private organizations and individuals.

The Division works in partnership with the Ohio Wildlife Rehabilitators Association to:

  • foster a relationship among rehabilitators to improve the quality of care given to native wildlife,
  • promote communication and education, and
  • ensure a rapid response team is available in the event of a catastrophe such as an oil spill.

Persons desiring to rehabilitate orphaned or injured wild animals may apply for a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit (DNR 8987). Applicants must meet the requirements set forth in the OAC 1501:31-25-03 and must have completed the Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation Training offered by the Ohio Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (OWRA) or equivalent training.

There are two categories of wildlife rehabilitation. Category I Rehabilitation Permits allow individuals to rehabilitate healthy, orphaned, or non-rabies vector mammals such as squirrels, rabbits, and woodchucks. A Category II Rehabilitation Permit allows individuals with at least three years of rehabilitation experience as a Category I Rehabilitator or equivalent to rehabilitate all species of wild animals except rabies-vector species, deer, coyote, bobcat, mute swans, and state or federal endangered species unless otherwise approved by the Chief of the Division of Wildlife. Category II Rehabilitators must have the ability to properly care for wild animals that are diseased, injured, or need rehabilitative care. A limited number of Endangered Species permits are issued at the Chief’s discretion based on training, geographical location and agency need.

Interested persons are encouraged to first volunteer with a permitted rehabilitator to gain the valuable experience necessary to receive their own permit. Permits are issued at the discretion of the Division of Wildlife and may be denied in geographic areas without a viable need for additional rehabilitators or if the applicant does not meet the minimum qualifications.

The following criteria have been established to determine qualifications for the issuance of a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit:

  • The applicant for a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit must submit a completed application (DNR 8987) to the Division of Wildlife thirty (30) days prior to the start of the activity. The applicant must be eighteen years of age or older and must show proof of completion of Wildlife Rehabilitation Training offered by the OWRA or equivalent training.
  • Applicants must provide proof that proper facilities for all animals they wish to rehabilitate are available that includes cage and holding requirements as specified in the “Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation in Ohio” Publication 5475.
  • Applicants for Category I and II Rehabilitation Permits must meet qualifications stated above to have their application considered.


FAQs 

What is the difference between Category I & II Rehabilitators?

  • Category I and II permits differ in the wildlife they are able to accept and the requirements for their rehabilitation facilities.
  • Category I permit holders may only rehabilitate healthy, orphaned, non-rabies vector mammals such as squirrels, Eastern cottontail rabbits, and woodchucks.
  • Category II permit holders with the appropriate facility are eligible to rehabilitate all species of animals except rabies-vector species, deer, coyote, bobcat, mute swans, and state or federal endangered species unless otherwise approved by the Chief of the Division of Wildlife. Category II permit holders must also have at least three years of rehabilitation experience as a Category I or equivalent. Category II permit holders must have the ability to properly care for wild animals that are diseased, injured, or need rehabilitative care.


What do I need to rehabilitate birds?
Only Category II Rehabilitators with appropriate caging are eligible to take in birds. In addition, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Rehabilitator Permit is required for migratory species.


Can I accept animals from a Commercial Nuisance Wild Animal Control Operator (CNWACO)? 
No. Animals abandoned because of a purposeful action by the homeowner may not be rehabilitated. Any young from adults trapped or captured as nuisance animals shall not be accepted for rehabilitation. Under Ohio Administrative Code 1501:31-15-03, ALL raccoons, skunks, coyotes, fox, and opossums trapped or captured under authority of the nuisance wild animal regulation must be euthanized by the CNWACO or property owner, NOT given to or accepted by a rehabilitator. If a nuisance trapper attempts to give you any animal for rehabilitation, please contact the Wildlife Officer assigned to your county or the District Wildlife Management Supervisor as soon as possible.


Do I have to submit a Veterinary Assistance Voucher (DNR 8960) with every Wildlife Rehabilitation Application?
Yes, a Veterinary Assistance Voucher is required with every permit renewal or submission.


I am a Category I Rehabilitator and have been requested to accept an animal not covered by my permit that needs to be euthanized. Can I accept it and take it to my vet to be euthanized?
Yes. You may accept the animal from the public for transfer to an appropriately permitted rehabilitator or for euthanization by a veterinarian. Non-permitted animals should not be held longer than 48-hours.


I need to make a change to my Rehabilitation permit, what do I need to do?
All permit changes must be requested in writing. An email is acceptable. Please submit your written request to the Permit Coordinator (wildlife.permits@dnr.state.oh.us) or by mail at: Division of Wildlife, Attn: Wildlife Rehabilitation, 2045 Morse Rd., Bldg. G, Columbus, OH 43229. Your request will be reviewed and an updated permit will be mailed out upon approval.


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