COLUMBUS, Ohio—Ohio’s gun deer season returns this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15-16, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Hunters can use any legal shotgun, muzzleloader, or handgun during the extended season. The extra weekend days were added in 2006 in response to hunters’ requests for extended weekend hunting hours.
Hunters may take only one antlered deer each license year, regardless of where or how it is taken. A deer permit is required in addition to a valid Ohio hunting license, and hunters must purchase and possess the appropriate permits to hunt during the extended season.
Hunters harvested 86,964 deer during the traditional deer-gun season, Nov. 26-Dec. 2.
Ohio is divided into three deer hunting zones. One deer may be harvested in Zone A (six counties) and two deer in Zone B (44 counties). Three deer may be harvested in Zone C (38 counties). All zone-specific bag limits apply to the extended season.
Those hunting in urban units and at Division of Wildlife-authorized controlled hunts will have a six-deer bag limit, and those deer do not count against the hunter’s zone bag limit.
Whitetail deer are the most popular game animal in Ohio. Ohio ranks eighth nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has an $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.
Hunters must still report their deer harvest, but they are no longer required to take their deer to a check station for physical inspection.
More information about Ohio deer hunting, including options for checking deer, can be found in the 2012-2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at www.wildohio.com.
Hunters participating in the extended season are encouraged to donate any extra venison to organizations assisting Ohioans in need. ODNR Division of Wildlife is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who donate deer are not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer are taken to a participating processor. To see which counties are involved in this program, go to www.fhfh.org/ChaptersState.asp?StateLookup=OH.