(Posted June 8, 2023)
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has developed a program aimed at providing hunters access to private lands throughout the state.
The Ohio Landowner-Hunter Access Partnership (OLHAP) was established in 2021 under the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program section of the Federal Farm Bill. A total of $1.8 million dollars was awarded to ODNR’s Division of Wildlife to recruit landowners interested in allowing hunting access on their property.
Annual payments to participating landowners start at $2 per acre for agricultural land and increases to $30 per acre for perineal wildlife cover. The contracts for enrollment last two years with the possibility of re-enrollment. Enrollment of new land began June 1 and runs through July 15. Those interested in enrolling their property can visit the Ohio Landowner-Hunter Access Partnership page at wildohio.gov.
Enrolled lands can be accessed between September and June by those with a free daily access permit. Permits are distributed on a first come, first served basis and reduce overcrowding on huntable lands.
OLHAP permits cannot be obtained earlier than 8 p.m. the day before the hunter wishes to use a particular property, and permits are valid only from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the date listed on the permit. Participating hunters receive a list of rules for the property prior to accessing the land, and landowners receive a notification when hunters will access their property. All hunting activities except white-tailed deer gun hunting are permitted by OLHAP users. Permits can be obtained at wildohio.gov or on the free HuntFish OH mobile app.
Call the Madison Soil and Water Conservation District at (740) 852-4003 and ask for Broc Sehen, wildlife specialist, for more information on the OLHAP program. Go to www.madisonsoilandwater.com for information about conservation programs available in the area.