HUNTING SEASON FOR OHIOS UPLAND GAME SPECIES OPENS SOON AKRON, OH Ring-necked pheasant, cottontail rabbit, and bobwhite quail seasons will begin on November 4, 2005, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. These three species are Ohios most popular upland game. "Sportsmen can expect good rabbit hunting opportunities across the state this year," said Scott Hull, project leader with the Olentangy Wildlife Research Station. "In addition, hunters can look forward to good hunting for pheasants, especially in northwest and central Ohio, and quail in the southwest region of the state." Rabbits, pheasants, and quail may be hunted from sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limits for all three species remain unchanged at four rabbits, two pheasants (roosters only), and four quail per hunter. Cottontail rabbit hunting continues through February 28, 2006. Ring-necked pheasant hunting is open through January 2, 2006. Both seasons are closed only during the statewide 2005 deer-gun hunting season, November 28 through December 4. The Division of Wildlife releases pheasants on selected public hunting areas throughout the state on opening day of the pheasant season, the second Saturday of the season, and Thanksgiving Day. Hunters may call 1-800-WILDLIFE for locations of specific release sites. Nearly 6,000 pheasants will be released on eleven wildlife areas in northeast Ohio said Dan Kramer, Wildlife Management Supervisor. Bobwhite quail hunting is limited to 16 southern Ohio counties. These counties are listed in the 2005-2006 Ohio Hunting Regulations. The season continues through November 27. Hunters are reminded that snowshoe hares are not legal game in Ohio and may not be taken. Recently reintroduced to northeastern Ohio after nearly a century of absence, snowshoe hares are brown early in the season, resembling cottontail rabbits. To avoid confusion between cottontail rabbits and snowshoe hares, portions of Geauga and Ashtabula counties will be closed to all rabbit hunting from November 4 through December 4. The coats of most hares will have turned white by early December, allowing for proper distinction. There are two restricted zones that cover portions of Geauga and Ashtabula counties. The first restricted area encompasses parts of Geauga and Ashtabula counties and is bordered by U.S. Route 6 to the north, U.S. Route 322 to the south, Kile Road to the west, and State Route 534 to the east. The second restricted area is in Ashtabula County bounded on the north by Cork-Cold Springs Road, on the west by Windsor-Mechanicsville Road, on the south by New Hudson Road and on the east by U.S. Route 45. A map of these two areas can be viewed in the 2005-2006 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations and on the Internet at ohiodnr.com/wildlife. Additional hunting information is contained in the 2005-2006 Ohio Hunting Regulations brochure, which is available where hunting licenses are sold, on the Internet at ohiodnr.com/wildlife or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE. EDITORS NOTE: A COMPLETE LISTING OF ALL RELEASE SIGHTS IN OHIO CAN BE OBTAINED BY CONTACTING WILDLIFE DISTRICT THREE.