Ohio’s deer hunters have some new check-in rules which includes one that demands recording the kill by 11:30 p.m. on the of the animal’s expiration.
In the past the Ohio Division of Wildlife allowed hunters to check in their animals the following day.
Such a change could impact archery hunters who sit in their stands or ground blinds and then proceed to shoot a deer late in the day; sometimes too late to be recovered that same evening.
Yet these archery deer hunters may not be able to locate, tag and drag their deer until the following morning. This allows a fatally wounded animal an opportunity to lie down and die.
Otherwise a hunter that is feeling pressured may forge ahead, spooking the deer so that it runs off into the darkness, never to be retrieved.
However, the Ohio Division of Wildlife has taken this matter under consideration.
Hunters who are forced to wait until the following morning can tag the animal at that time, noting on the document that the deer was killed on the subsequent following morning and not the evening before, state wildlife officials say.
“No one knows when that deer actually died,” said Vicki Ervin, the Wildlife Division’s communications manager.
Ervin said also the agency took this possibility into account as it rewrote the rules in order to make them more applicable to the state’s new turkey- and deer-check-in system.
“Hunters that recover a deer the following day should report the harvest on the day they temporary tag the animal, and then complete automated game check-process and permanent tagging process by 11:30 p.m. that day,” Ervin said.
And hunters who are unable to recover a deer on the last day of a season, should inform their county wildlife officer or wildlife district office.
Which is good advice for any Ohio deer hunter with any question, says Tom Rowan, the Wildlife Division’s assistant chief.
“When in doubt you can call your county wildlife officer,” he said.
Also, a plus under the new check-in system is the ability to record a killed deer on a holiday such as Christmas or News Year’s Day when most check-in stations are closed.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn