LOGAN — With fewer activities available and places to go around Ohio and across the United States, many people are going to local and state parks to keep busy.
Some will be enjoying these parks by sitting by the water and fishing while some will soon be gathering gear to go out and hunt. But a recent change may show a decrease in the amount of people partaking in these activities for the time being.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of wildlife has temporarily suspended the sale of non-resident hunting and fishing licenses until further notice due to public health concerns regarding COVID-19.
The temporary suspension went into effect at midnight on Monday and will be lifted once the stay at home order and other guidelines regarding the coronavirus are lifted.
“People entering the state are being asked to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days, making recreational travel unfeasible,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “We look forward to reopening license sales when hunters and anglers can safely return.”
Those from out-of-state who currently possess a non-resident hunting or fishing license are still allowed to partake in the sport of their choosing in Ohio but ODNR asks that the rule set by the Ohio Department of Health regarding self-quarantining for 14 days once entering the state be followed.
These licenses have led to a substantial amount of revenue for ODNR in the past. Last year, from the beginning of March to the end of June, the department made a little over $1.3 million from five different types of fishing licenses and $655,074 from three types of hunting licenses.
Brian Plasters, communication manager with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, said it is important to note that this revenue is not necessarily lost because people may come back and get a hunting or fishing license later in the year once the change is lifted.
He added that changes have been made in the last year and these amounts may not reflect the revenue ODNR will make from March through the end of May this year.
The youth spring turkey hunting season is set to begin Saturday, April 18 and the south zone of Ohio can begin their spring turkey season on Monday, April 20.