New program connects Ohio hunters with participating landowners
COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife recently launched a new incentive program that provides a path for Ohio hunters to access participating landowner properties during the hunting season. Enrollment for the Ohio Landowner and Hunter Access Partnership program is underway now, according to a news release from the agency..
Once enrolled, participating landowners receive annual payments ranging from $2 to $30 per acre, depending on the characteristics of the property and recreational opportunities available. Enrollment contracts are for two to three years, with the possibility of an extension. A list of rules is provided to participating hunters before accessing a property.
“Ohio is 95% privately owned, and many of these lands are prime outdoor recreational areas,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “This new program helps connect landowners and hunters through incentives and opens many more acres of land to Ohio’s hunting enthusiasts.”
Those interested in hunting the enrolled properties must first obtain a free daily access permit. Permits are available from Sept. 1, 2021, to June 1, 2022, and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. More information for both landowners and hunters can be found on the Ohio Landowner/Hunter Access Partnership Program page at wildohio.gov.
The Ohio Landowner and Hunter Access Partnership program is funded, in part, by the federal Farm Bill under the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). This bill provides funding to state and tribal agencies through a competitive grant process to implement programs encouraging hunting access on private properties. The federal dollars funding this program exclude fishing, trapping, and white-tailed deer gun hunting, however, landowners can still give written permission for these activities on their property.
Landowners interested in creating, improving, and protecting wildlife habitat on their property are encouraged to work with a Division of Wildlife private lands biologist. Contact information for the private land biologist can be found on the Private Lands Biologists Contact Information page at https://www.wildohio.gov .