Licenses and Permits
Ohio and federal hunting laws are presented in a summarized form. Ohio laws in their entirety can be found by consulting the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) or the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC). These laws are subject to change. It is the responsibility of the hunter to be aware of the most current laws when hunting.
Hunting & Trapping Licenses & Permits
A complete list of license and permit options for hunting and trapping can be found in the current Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations.
Multiyear Hunting Licenses (Ohio Residents Only)
A multiyear license allows an Ohio resident the opportunity to lock-in rates and avoid transaction fees for the length of the license. These licenses can be purchased for 3 years, 5 years, or 10 years. Permits and stamps must be purchased annually.
Multiyear license customers may pay additional fee for hard plastic license (Ohio Conservation Card) if desired.
Lifetime Hunting Licenses (Ohio Residents Only)
A lifetime license creates an Ohio tradition that lasts a lifetime! A lifetime license, purchased for yourself or as a gift, provides a lifetime of outdoors enjoyment, regardless of where they live in the future. The cost of the license offers considerable savings and convenience to the holder and supports conservation programs. Revenue generated by lifetime licenses provide long-term financial support for Ohio’s fish and wildlife.
All Lifetime license holders will be mailed a plastic card (Ohio Conservation Card) to serve as their license.
Apprentice Hunting License & Fur Taker Permit
Ohio residents and nonresidents may purchase an apprentice hunting license or apprentice fur taker permit without having taken a hunter or fur taker education course.
Apprentice hunting licenses and apprentice fur taker permits allow new hunters and trappers, both adults and youth, to sample the experience of hunting and trapping under the mentorship of a licensed adult prior to completing a hunter or trapper education course.
To hunt or trap, apprentice license and permit holders must be accompanied by a licensed hunter or trapper 21 years old or older. The licensed hunter may not accompany more than two (2) apprentice license holders at the same time.
Accompany means to go along with another person while staying within a distance from the person that enables uninterrupted, unaided visual and auditory communications.
There is no limit to the number of apprentice licenses that can be purchased.
Having previously held an apprentice license does not qualify the holder to purchase a regular hunting license or fur taker permit. To obtain a regular hunting license, a hunter education course must be successfully completed. To obtain a regular fur taker permit, a hunter education course and trapper education course must be successfully completed. Apprentice licenses and fur taker permits are available to both Ohio residents and nonresidents, youth and adults.
Apprentice Hunting License or Fur Taker Permit holders MUST be accompanied by a licensed hunter or fur taker age 21 or older. Accompany means to go along with another person while staying within a distance from the person that enables uninterrupted, unaided visual and auditory communication.
Waterfowl Stamps & HIP Survey
To hunt migratory birds in Ohio, you must have the following:
- A valid Ohio hunting license.
- Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification.
In addition to the requirements above, to hunt waterfowl in Ohio, you must also have the following:
- A printed Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp endorsement is required of all persons 18 or older.
- A signed federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp (Duck Stamp) is required of all persons age 16 and older.
Hunters who plan to hunt migratory game birds, including mourning doves, ducks, geese, woodcock, rails, coots, and snipe must have a harvest information program (HIP) certification number on their hunting license. Migratory game bird hunters must call 1-877-HIP-OHIO (1-877-447-6446) and take a short survey. A certification number will be provided to the hunter once the phone survey has been completed.
This certification number can be written on the hunting license and must be carried while hunting migratory birds. IF you're using the HuntFish OH app, you can find your HIP confirmation number under current licenses. Hunters can also display the HIP confirmation number in the app by going to the Menu > Manage Account > View Your Licenses and Permits.
Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp
Make your contribution to wetland and waterfowl conservation by purchasing your $15 Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp. More than 1 million stamps have been sold since its beginning in 1982, and it has generated more than $10 million for wetland conservation, land acquisition, development, and preservation of waterfowl areas within the U.S. and on waterfowl breeding grounds in Canada.
The Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp can be purchased online by visiting the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System, or at any license vendor. There will be an indication of your purchase of the Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp on your hunting license.
Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp (Duck Stamp)
Hunters 16 years of age and older are required to purchase this stamp to hunt ducks, geese, and brant. These stamps are available at many U.S. post office branches, usps.com or duckstamp.com. Internet orders may take up to 14 days for delivery.
Because there is no indication of your purchase of the Federal Duck Stamp on your hunting license, the printed Federal Duck Stamp must be carried with you.
If you bought an E-Stamp, you must carry your 45-day receipt with you at all times while hunting. Once the receipt has expired, you must carry your current, signed Federal Duck Stamp. If you purchased your E-Stamp at a retail store, you must carry the E-Stamp/45-day receipt. Your purchase/credit card receipt from the store is not valid as a Duck Stamp. (Please see the Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations for more information).
Shooting Range Permits
Permits are required of shooters age 18 or older for admission to Class A ranges operated by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Shooters age 17 and under are not required to purchase a permit, but must be accompanied by and directly monitored by an adult (age 18 years or older) holding a valid shooting range permit. Shooting range permits can be purchased in the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System.
License Requirements & Information
Hunting licenses and permits are available at all authorized license sales agents and online.
- Ohio's license year begins March 1 and ends the last day of February. All costs include a $1.00 writing fee. All sales are final. No refunds are given.
- Hunter age and residency determine which licenses are available for purchase.
- All hunters, regardless of age, must carry a valid hunting license to hunt or trap game in Ohio. Hunting deer, turkey, waterfowl or hunting or trapping of furbearers requires the hunter to possess an additional, game-specific permit.
- Licenses and permits purchased at retail outlets will be printed on plain white paper. The paper can be trimmed and folded down. It is highly recommended you protect you licenses and permits from the elements. Customers must be present to purchase a license or permit.
Hunter Education Requirement
Anyone applying for a hunting license, except an apprentice license, is required to successfully complete a hunter education course. Applicants must do one of the following:
- Present a previously held hunting license.
- Present evidence of having successfully completed a hunter education course (from any state).
- Swear he or she is 21 years of age or older and previously held a legal hunting license (from any state).
Hunters 15 years of age and younger and those of any age hunting with an apprentice license must be accompanied by an adult.
A permanent customer identification number will be assigned to all applicants of hunting or fishing licenses.
Every youth and adult who applies for any license or permit is required to provide their Social Security Number (SSN). Federal Statute 42 requires the SSN of any individual to whom the state issues a recreational hunting or fishing license. Applicants must also declare their residency and provide their full name, date of birth, gender, mailing address, height, weight, hair color, and eye color. Once provided and recorded in the licensing system, applicants will only be required to update their information on file if it changes.
If applicants do not have an active SSN, they must submit written verification on form DNR 9151, available by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800 945- 3543). Upon receipt of this form, the Ohio Division of Wildlife will issue an official customer identification number for use in obtaining hunting and fishing licenses or completing landowner game check.
Non-U.S. citizens who are also nonresidents of Ohio will be asked for an alternative form of identification as a substitute for the SSN.
Ohio Residency Status
An Ohio resident is a person who has resided in the state of Ohio for the past six consecutive months. All others are considered nonresidents and must purchase a nonresident license.
Duplicate Licenses and Permits
Lost, stolen, or destroyed licenses and permits may be re-issued at any license sales location or online. Reprints are free online and cost $4 at a license agent.
Licenses and permits can also be purchased on a mobile device. Hunters must carry their licenses and permits at all times while hunting, and must present their license upon request. Licenses can be displayed on a mobile device. However, deer and turkey permits are only valid when printed and carried by the hunter.
Ohio's Wildlife Licensing System (Purchase Online)
Customers with internet access can visit the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System to obtain products, enroll in hunter or trapper education courses, or manage their customer account with the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
Purchase Licenses and Permits
Any license, permit, or a duplicate license can be obtained through the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System. Customers are required to have an account and update their customer record prior to making a purchase. Licenses and permits can be printed as required when payment is made.
Complete Game Check
Once the harvested animal is tagged, hunters have the option to complete the game check process online.
Lottery applications for controlled deer hunts, waterfowl hunts, and fishing opportunities can be purchased through the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System. Available opportunities will be listed on the license selection page when applications are accepted. Applicants will receive an email after lottery drawings have been completed.
Wild Ohio Store
The Wild Ohio Store is where customers can purchase non-license products from the Division of Wildlife. Available products include Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamps, Wild Ohio Magazine memberships, gift certificates, and donations.
Hunter and Trapper Education Classes
All hunters and trappers must complete an education course prior to purchasing any hunting license or trapping permit, except an apprentice license. Enrollment information and previous certifications can be viewed using the Manage Your Customer Account link in Ohio's Wildlife Licensing System.
Manage Your Customer Account
Customers have access to view and update their customer information by viewing the Manage Your Customer Account link in the Ohio's Wildlife Licensing System. Customers can also view their hunter and trapper course registrations, print their customer ID card which indicates their course certifications, view their licenses and game check for the current year, view their lottery applications and results, and view the status of their Wild Ohio Magazine membership and gift certificates. Please note only the current license year information is available. Please call 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543) if previous license or game check information is required or errors are identified.
Certain categories of persons are exempted from buying licenses, permits, and stamps:
- Ohio resident landowners, spouses, and their children are not required to have a hunting license, fur taker permit, either-sex deer permit, antlerless deer permit, spring or fall turkey permit, or Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp when hunting or trapping on land they own.
- A nonresident landowner, and the spouse and children living with the landowner, may hunt on that property without a license, either-sex deer permit, antlerless deer permit, spring or fall turkey permit, Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp, or fur taker permit if the nonresident's home state allows residents of Ohio owning property in the nonresident's home state, and the spouse and children living with the Ohio property owner, to hunt without a license, deer permit, spring or fall turkey permit, wetlands habitat stamp, or fur taker permit.
- A member of a limited liability company or partnership is a landowner provided the member is an Ohio resident and the limited liability company or limited liability partnership consists of three or fewer individual members or partners, or the beneficiary or trustee of a trust that has three or fewer trustees or beneficiaries.
- Tenants and their children on land on which they reside and from which they derive the majority (more than 50 percent) of their income from agricultural production on that land are not required to have a hunting license, fur taker permit, either-sex deer permit, antlerless deer permit, spring or fall turkey permit, or Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp when they are hunting or trapping on land where they reside.
- Ohio resident landowners' grandchildren who are under 18 years of age are not required to have a hunting license or an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp while hunting on their grandparents' land. All other licenses and permits are required.
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty while on leave or furlough are not required to purchase a hunting license, Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp, or fur taker permit. All other licenses and permits are required.
Members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty stationed in Ohio, but NOT on leave or furlough are required to purchase a resident Ohio hunting license and other applicable permits before hunting deer, turkey, or hunting and trapping furbearers, and an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp for hunting waterfowl.
Free License Eligibility
Free licenses can be obtained from a license agent and must be carried while hunting. License applications are at the right and also available by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543).
- Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937 will receive a free fishing license, hunting license, either-sex deer permit, antlerless deer permit, spring and fall turkey permits, Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp, and fur taker permit. Ohio residents age 66 and older who were born on or after January 1, 1938 are eligible for reduced-cost licenses and permits.
- Ohio residents who are holders of a veteran's license plate displaying the international wheelchair symbol must apply in writing for a free hunting license, fur taker permit, either-sex deer permit, spring or fall turkey permit, and an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp endorsement. Applications must be certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Permanently and totally disabled veterans who receive pension or compensation due to their service-related injuries and who are Ohio residents must apply in writing for a free hunting license, fur taker permit, either-sex deer permit, turkey permit, and Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp. Applications must be certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Ohio residents who are former prisoners of war must apply in writing for a free hunting license, fur taker permit, and Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp. All other licenses and permits are required to be purchased. Applications must be certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact
Ohio is a member of the agreement between states that if a person loses their hunting, trapping, or fishing privileges in one of those states, they may lost those privileges in all of the member states. If you lose your right to hunt, trap, or fish in Ohio, it is your responsibility to check with any other state before you hunt, trap, or fish there to ensure you have not lost your privileges in that state as well.