Thousands of Ring-Necked Pheasants to be Released Across Ohio

COLUMBUS, OH – More than 15,000 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 on Friday, Oct. 21, and Friday, Oct. 28, 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. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30.

Ohio’s small game hunting season begins on Friday, Nov. 4, with pheasant releases to take place Thursday, Nov. 3, and Thursday, Nov. 10. The final release of the year is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 23, and should provide improved pheasant hunting opportunities during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

A table of scheduled release numbers and locations can be found at

Hunters should note that pheasants will no longer be released at Shreve Wildlife Area in Wayne County.

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

Pheasant hunting season opens Friday, Nov. 4, and remains open through Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, with a daily bag limit of two rooster (male) birds. No hens (females) may be killed. Females are all brown while the males have a green head, a red and brown body and long tail feathers.

Statewide pheasant hunting hours are sunrise to sunset.