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Ohio seeks hunter opinions about a new Hunter Access Program

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

-- Access to hunt deer is essential to successful deer management.  Because 95 percent of Ohio’s land base is held in private ownership, access to private property is vital to the success of Ohio’s deer management program.

 Access to private property is a privilege that cannot be legislated.  That’s why hunters and landowners work cooperatively to develop positive relationships that facilitate the harvest of deer, specifically does, from private property.  To that end, the Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) has teamed up with the Ohio Farm Bureau (OFB) to explore the possibility of developing a web-based deer hunter access program. 

When using this program, landowners and farmers looking for hunters to help control local deer herds would select hunters from a searchable database based on a set of criteria.  For instance, the landowner may be looking for someone with 10+ years of bowhunting experience who is willing to bow hunt only, harvest a doe before a buck, and limit their hunting to weekends only.  This search may yield contact information for 25 hunters. 

The landowner would select hunters from this list and contact the hunters directly.  Hunters who participate would have to agree to a set of rules and regulations governing the use of the land.  Hunters unwilling or unable to abide by established guidelines would be removed from the database.
 
The level of control sought by landowners and farmers in this program is a long way from the time when a handshake and head-nod were all that were needed. A few bad experiences are all it takes to lose the privilege.  Hunters and landowners alike still stand to reap the benefits of the past.  The difference is hunters must be willing to build a profile of themselves in addition to the handshake.  When using the program, interested hunters must be willing to apply for a place to hunt on participating properties.  There would be no cost to apply or to hunt. 

The purpose of the survey is to assess the willingness of hunters to participate in this program.  Hunters are advised they can only submit the survey one time, and to be sure they are ready to submit before ending the program.

Ohio hunters can access the survey at:  http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/survey-intro.zgi?p=WEB2292XXP3NFC

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