COLUMBUS — A total of more than 14,000 ring-necked pheasants will be released at 24 Ohio public hunting areas this fall to provide additional hunting opportunities across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The ODNR Division of Wildlife will release pheasants prior to the small-game weekends for youth hunters. Youth ages 17 and younger can hunt statewide for rabbit, pheasant and all other legal game in season during two designated weekends, Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 27-28.

Locally, Oxbow and the Tiffin River Wildlife Area (Fulton County) will have 40 pheasants released for the youth opener and 90 for the second youth release.

Ohio’s small game hunting season begins on Friday, Nov. 2. Pheasants will be released for opening day, and prior to the Veterans Day and Thanksgiving holiday weekends.

Oxbow will get 120 birds released for the Nov. 2 opener, 60 for the Veterans Day release and 70 for Thanksgiving. The Tiffin River Area will get 80 ringnecks for the season opener, 60 for the second release and 60 for Thanksgiving.

A full table of scheduled release numbers and locations can be found at bit.ly/2018ohiopheasant.

Hunters should note the increased youth hunting opportunity available at the Spring Valley Wildlife Area located on the Greene and Warren county line. Pheasants will be released there for the two youth weekends in October as well as the other three release dates.

Youth and regular pheasant hunting within the Ringneck Ridge Area in Sandusky County requires a free permit from the Sandusky County Park District. Visit sanduskycountyparks.com for more information.

Pheasant hunting season opens Friday, Nov. 2, and remains open through Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, with a daily bag limit of two rooster (male) birds. No hens (females) may be killed. Females are all brown. The males have a red and brown body, a green head and long tail feathers.

Statewide pheasant hunting hours are sunrise to sunset.

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