Deer archery season opens this Saturday
COLUMBUS - Approximately 300,000 bowhunters, representing more than half of all Ohioans who hunt deer, are expected to participate in the statewide archery deer hunting season that opens September 29, according to experts with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
During last year's four-month archery season, bowhunters killed 67,912 deer, an increase of 13 percent from the previous year. Crossbow hunters took 38,489 of that number and longbow hunters took a record 29,423 deer. Overall, archers accounted for nearly 29 percent of 237,316 deer taken during Ohio's combined 2006-07 archery, muzzleloader and gun seasons.
Licking County led the state in both the vertical bow and crossbow harvest. Coshocton, Hlmes, Tuscarawas and Guernsey rounded out the top fivecounties in crossbow harvest, while Coshocton, Knox, Muskingum and Holmes completed the list of top fivecounties in vertical bow harvest.
This year, hunters who purchase an Ohio hunting license and $24 deer permit will be eligible to buy the new $15 antlerless deer permit, which replaces the urban deer permit and is valid September 29 through November 25.
"The intent of the reduced price antlerless deer permit is to focus additional pressure on the antlerless segment of the population. Expanding antlerless hunting opportunities not only aids in herd management, but has the added benefit of improving the buck age structure by reducing pressure on the antlered segment of the populations," said Mike Tonkovich, deer biologist for the Division of Wildlife.
"By limiting the use of the antlerless deer permit to the first tow months of the season, the division can safely evaluate it as a management tool, while encouraging hunters to commit to harvesting an antlerless deer early," said Tonkovich.
After November 25, archery hunters must use a deer permit for antlerless deer. Under the new regulation, hunters can take one additional antlerless deer in Zone A, up to two additional in Zone B, and up to three additional in Zone C. Details on this new opportunity for archery hunters can be reviewed on the division's Web site at http://wildohio.com/ and click on the "Frequently Asked Questions" link.
The antlerless deer permits will also be valid for Division of Wildlife controlled deer hunts and for hunting deer in an urban unit.
This year's statewide archery season remains open from September 29 through February 3, including the week of deer-gun season November 26 through December 2. Deer-gun hunters will also be able to enjoy an additional weekend of hunting December 15 and 16.
Archers may hunt one halfhour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, except during the statewide gun, youth and muzzleloader seasons when they are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Archers hunting during the statewide gun, youth or muzzleloader seasons must meet the hunter orange requirements of those seasons.
To hunt deer in Ohio, hunters must possess a deer permit in addition to a valid hunting license. State law allows hunters to take only one antlered buck per year, regardless the type of deer season, deer permit or weapon used for deer hunting.
A detailed listing of deer hunting rules is contained in the 2007- 2008 Ohio Hunting Regulations tat is available where licenses are sold, or may be viewed online at http://wildohio.com/