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Hunting season underway on WPAFB

Deer in a field.

Wright-Patterson AFB deer season hunting times are sunrise to sunset daily. They are published and enforced by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. (Contributed photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- A lot of people do not realize hunting is allowed on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. But with proper seasonal permits and licenses, enthusiasts can hunt a variety of game across the installation.

WPAFB hunting season began Sept. 1 and runs through Feb. 28. Base permits are $20.

A valid Ohio hunting license is also required at additional cost, officials with the 88th Civil Engineer Group’s Environmental Branch said. Hunters must comply with all applicable federal, state and base licensing requirements.  

“Starting this year, installation permits are available for sale online within a new platform called iSportsman,” said Darryn Warner, 88 CEG’s Natural Resources program manager and base game warden.

You may access the site at https://wpafb.isportsman.net/. Permits are also sold at the Rod & Gun Club and through Outdoor Recreation.

All who hunt on base must read and acknowledge WPAFB Base Instruction 32-7064. Hunters are required to carry proper identification, licenses and permits at all times, as prescribed by this regulation.

Michael Brady, 88 CEG’s Environmental Branch section chief, says hunting season is an ideal opportunity to manage Wright-Patt’s wildlife population and it protects other natural resources such as plant habitats. Controlling the deer population also supports the Air Force mission by reducing potential risk for aircraft and vehicle strikes.

“Although deer have plant preferences, such as grasses, acorns, sunflowers and twigs, they’re known to eat several hundred different plant species—depending on seasonal availability,” Brady said. “Hunting season is a way to maintain a balance between Wright-Patt’s deer population and other natural habitats, and reduce potential risk for strike hazards on the airfield and roadways.”

When escorting guests onto WPAFB for hunting, sponsors are responsible for their actions and must remain within a reasonable distance for uninterrupted communication at all times, base officials said. Only one guest is allowed per sponsor each day.

When hunting on WPAFB property, a placard must be displayed on the dashboard or window of personal vehicles.

Hunting hours at Wright-Patterson AFB are sunrise to sunset, which is determined annually and published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in its Department of Wildlife Hunting & Trapping Regulations.

Wearing of orange hunting apparel is required and based on the specific game species being hunted. Archery deer hunters must follow ODNR-DOW orange requirements.

During force-protection conditions Charlie and Delta, no hunting is permitted on the installation.

Portable tree stands and ground blinds may be used during the season. However, the construction or use of permanent stands or the attachment of permanent climbing aids on trees is prohibited. All tree stands and ground blinds must be clearly marked with the owner’s name, organization and phone number in a permanent nonfading manner.

No tree stand or ground blind may be erected within 75 yards of another. Each licensed hunter is limited to one. Tree stands and ground blinds must be removed within 15 days after the end of hunting season.

Visit WPAFB’s Natural Resources program SharePoint and Facebook pages at https://usaf.dps.mil/teams/21020/WPAFB/CEI/CEIE/Pages/NR.aspx and www.facebook.com/WrightPattersonNaturalResources/ for additional details on hunting permits, licenses and requirements.

For more information, contact Darryn Warner at 937-257-4857 or darryn.warner@us.af.mil.

People allowed to hunt on WPAFB include:

  • active-duty, Reserve and retired military
  • Department of Defense civilians 
  • retired civilian personnel with DOD identification card
  • family members of active duty over age 16
  • Ohio National Guard members
  • disabled military veterans, as certified by Veterans Affairs (must possess proper credentials)
  • DOD contract employees with contractor ID cards (contractors do not have escort or sponsor privileges for base guests) 

The following game may be hunted during established seasons prescribed by Ohio or federal law and WPAFB:

  • deer
  • squirrel
  • rabbit
  • pheasant
  • fox
  • migratory birds (ducks, teal, mourning dove, gees e and woodcock)
  • raccoon
  • opossum
  • woodchuck
  • coyote
  • crow