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How close to a residence can hunters be while hunting?

K.O Asked:
Are there any Ohio laws that regulate how close a hunter can come to a residence while hunting or about shooting in the direction of a home? I live in Morrow County and my next door neighbor sometimes does gun target practice in the woods right beside our home. While target shooting, he (I’m assuming) shoots in a direction away from my home, but now that the leaves are down, I can see he has erected a deer-stand in a tree not more than 50-60 yards from my home and less than 10-20 yards from my property line. I’m concerned about safety and stray bullets if he or his young son attempt to hunt deer from that stand.

I’ve searched the Internet for Ohio laws or regulations, but I have only found laws about not shooting across a road, or from a vehicle, etc., but no mention of any regulation regarding how far away a hunter should be from neighboring homes or shooting towards a home.

We Found:
We spoke to Marianne Hartman from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, she says there is no Division of Wildlife regulation that mandates hunting outside of a set distance from private residences or buildings, or a distance from property boundaries. The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) has several statues that discuss shooting a firearm near certain premises. For example, Section 2923.16.1 ORC prohibits discharging a firearm at or into an occupied home, or a school safety zone, or within one thousand feet of any school building or school premises boundaries. Section 2923.16.2 ORC prohibits discharging a firearm upon, over, or within one hundred yards of a cemetery, or discharging a firearm on land adjacent to any church, schoolhouse, or other inhabited dwelling of someone else. These two sections mentioned do not specifically state anything about hunting and are not within the jurisdiction and authority of the Division of Wildlife.

Some communities or municipalities have their own specific regulations that may prohibit hunting or shooting firearms or bows near private residences, or how far you can hunt from a property line. These are enforced by local police departments. In most rural areas such as townships no such regulations exist and as long as other regulations are followed, a person could hunt in close proximity to a residence if they choose.

Shooting at home or building, or another person, can be considered criminal (such as assault) regardless if hunting was taking place or not, and for those that cause damage to property or injury to persons while hunting they can be charged under Section 1533.171 for Negligent Hunting. This section is under the authority of the Division of Wildlife.

Hunting in Ohio also requires the hunter, if not on their own property, to have written permission for the landowner where they are hunting. In the questions posed below, if the hunter was hunting legally they could hunt 60 yards from their neighbor or 20 yards from the property line, so long as they are not on their neighbors property or shooting into it. As mentioned above, local ordinances may be more restrictive and vary by area. However, in rural Morrow County outside of a city limit, it is doubtful there are any local laws regulating this.
Posted by on 11/18 at 05:08 PM
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