Small game season starts

Ring-necked pheasant, cottontail rabbit and bobwhite quail seasons start at sunrise today.

Ohio’s cottontail rabbit populations are strong this year, and it is expected hunting will be good to excellent throughout the state. Rabbit season continues through Feb. 28.

Pheasant hunting is open through Jan. 5, and quail season ends Dec. 1. Both seasons are closed during the statewide deer-gun season Dec. 2-8.

Quail hunting is open in 16 counties in southern Ohio.

Rabbits, pheasants and quail may be hunted from sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit for the three species remains unchanged at four rabbits, two pheasants (roosters/males only) and four quail.

Cottontail rabbit-hunting restrictions were removed this year in the snowshoe hare-protected area in Geauga and Ashtabula counties. Snowshoe hares are protected as a state-endangered species, and it is illegal to kill them in Ohio.