By Ohio Department of Natural Resources
-- Ohio archery and Zone C (listed below) deer-gun hunters may again have the opportunity to take additional doe deer this fall if a proposed regulation is accepted by the Ohio Wildlife Council in April, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Under the proposal, hunters could again buy additional antlerless deer permits at reduced prices for hunting in an urban zone, participating in a controlled hunt or hunting during the Sept. 27 to Nov. 30 portion of the archery season. The Division is proposing the deadline for using the antlerless permit be extended to Dec. 7 for those hunting in Zone C. Cost of the antlerless deer permit remains at $15.
As was the requirement last year, hunters must purchase a regular deer permit before purchasing antlerless deer permits. The permit system remains otherwise unchanged from last year: hunters may still take up to one additional antlerless deer in Zone A, up to two additional antlerless deer in Zone B and up to three additional antlerless deer in Zone C.
However, use of the antlerless deer permit during the first part of the archery season and deer-gun week in Zone C would not count against the hunter's zone bag limit, under the proposed rule. The sale of these permits will cease after Nov. 30 so hunters need to commit early to buying and using the extra reduced-cost opportunity.
Archery season would run from Sept. 27 through Feb. 1, 2009. The popular youth deer-gun season is proposed for Nov. 22-23. Regular deer-gun season would run Dec. 1 through Dec. 7. An additional deer-gun hunting weekend is proposed for Dec. 20 -21. Statewide muzzleloader season would run Dec. 27-30. Special area muzzleloader hunts would be open Oct. 20-25 at Salt Fork, Shawnee and Wildcat Hollow. Muzzleloader hunts at these areas will no longer require a special permit and hunters may use either deer permit for this hunt. The bag limit remains at one deer of either sex with any antlered deer harvested counting toward the one-buck yearly limit for the year.
The proposed regulations maintain the same deer zones as the last three years. A three-deer limit (Zone C) would cover 38 central, south, southeastern, and southwestern counties. The 30 counties of Zone B would have a two-deer limit, and the 20 northwestern counties of Zone A would have a one-deer limit. A hunter may take only one buck in Ohio, regardless of zone, hunting method or season.
During the youth deer-gun season, young hunters would be permitted to bag only one deer of either sex in any county of Ohio. Any deer taken would be part of the young hunter's total season limit.
During the 2007-2008 season, which concluded Feb. 3, hunters bagged more than 230,000 deer. Approximately 475,000 people hunted white-tailed deer in Ohio this year.
Open houses will be held on Sunday, March 2 in each of the state's five wildlife districts to provide the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed hunting and trapping regulations with state wildlife officials. Directions to the open houses can be obtained by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE or visiting wildohio.com on the Internet.
A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 6 at the wildlife division's District One Office, located at 1500 Dublin Road in Columbus. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules during its April 2 meeting.
Proposed Bag Limits and Deer Hunting Zones for the 2008-09 Season:
Zone A -- Hunters could take only one deer during the 2008-2009 seasons, which could be a deer of either sex. The zone includes 20 counties: Allen, Auglaize, Darke, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Ottawa, Paulding, Preble, Putnam, Sandusky, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, and Wood.
Zone B -- Hunters could take no more than two deer during the 2008-2009 seasons, of which only one could be an antlered deer. The zone includes 30 counties: Ashland, Ashtabula, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Fayette, Geauga, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Huron, Lake, Logan, Lorain, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Portage, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Union, Warren, Wayne, and Wyandot.
Zone C -- Hunters could take no more than three deer during the 2008-2009 seasons, of which only one could be an antlered deer. The zone includes 38 counties: Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Gallia, Guernsey, Hamilton, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Richland, Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Vinton, and Washington.