For an agency which said the 2015-2016 deer-hunting regulations would closely mirror those employed during the 2014-2015 deer-hunting season, the Ohio Division of Wildlife proposed shot is actually pretty wide of the mark.
Maybe even off the target entirely.
Proposed are some substantial shifts that come before the expected major overhaul of deer management/regulations that everyone anticipates for the 2016-2017 deer-hunting session.
As set forth Wednesday (February 11) before the eight-member Ohio Wildlife Council, there are no fewer than six substantial changes and as proposed by the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
These proposals are:
· Reduced bag limits in the majority of Ohio’s 88 counties.
· Antlerless permits to be valid in only 10 of Ohio’s 88 counties and all of which are considered as being urban counties.
· A statewide maximum limit on the number of deer that a person can shoot at six animals, down from the previous nine animals.
· A suspension of the early, mid-October antlerless-only/muzzle-loader-only deer hunting season.
· Moving the youth-only general firearms deer-hunting season to the mid-October weekend slot previously enrolled in the antlerless-only/muzzle-loading-only deer-hunting season.
· The addition of a two-day general firearms deer-hunting season for December 26 and 27.
The major shift in the bag limits for counties will mean – if approved by the Wildlife Council – that four deer can be killed in only each of the following counties: Cuyahoga, Summit, Lucas, Hamilton, Franklin and Delaware.
Reductions to three deer per county (but where the use of one antlerless tag is permissible) envelope just four Northeast Ohio counties: Lake, Lorain, Stark, and Portage.
Geauga County will join a significant number of other counties in northwest, southeast and southwest Ohio where just two deer may be taken and where antlerless tags are not acceptable.
Significantly is the placement of such here-to-fore “deer rich” counties into the maximum two-animal bag limit. Among them are Guernsey, Coshocton and Muskingum.
Such heavyweight trophy deer counties as Adams and Brown in southwest Ohio are three deer maximum counties but where antlerless tags are not acceptable.
Proposed deer-hunting dates are:
· Archery deer-hunting season - September 26 to February 7.
· Youth-only/general firearms deer-hunting season – October 10 and 11.
· General firearms deer-hunting season – November 30 to December 6.
· “Bonus” general firearms deer-hunting season – December 26 and 27.
· Statewide muzzle-loader-only deer hunting season – January 2 to 5.
The Wildlife Division will conduct a teleconference with outdoors writers this afternoon (February 12) beginning at 2:30 p.m. As detailed in an electronic message to the journalists, the agency intends to explain the proposals and what was involved in establishing them.- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Jeff is the retired News-Herald reporter who covered the earth sciences, the area's three county park systems and the outdoors for the newspaper. During his 30 years with The News-Herald Jeff was the recipient of more than 100 state, regional and national journalism awards. He also is a columnist and features writer for the Ohio Outdoor News, which is published every other week and details the outdoors happenings in the state.