deer in field

New program connects Ohio hunters with participating landowners

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife has 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.

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.”

For hunters

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.

For landowners

Landowners interested in finding out more about the program or who wish to enroll their property in the program can request more information and an OLHAP program representative will be in contact to provide more resources.

More information for both landowners and hunters can be found on the Ohio Landowner/Hunter Access Partnership Program page.

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.

The Division of Wildlife wants to help new and experienced hunters and anglers make the most of their outdoor adventures. Visit the Wild Ohio Harvest Community page for information on getting started, hunting and fishing opportunities, and delicious wild game recipes.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.