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Only minor changes in deer hunting rules for Ohio's 2012-2013

Posted on April 26, 2012

Columbus — The Ohio Wildlife Council approved hunting and trapping regulations for the 2012-13 hunting seasons during its April 4 meeting, according to the DNR Division of Wildlife.

Seven west-central Ohio counties will move from deer Zone A to Zone B: Auglaize, Darke, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby. Madison County, currently in Zone B, will move to Zone A.

Antlerless deer permits will no longer be valid the first week of deer gun season in Zone C. The antlerless permits will be valid until Nov. 25 in deer Zones A, B and C. This is a return to regulations adopted in 2007.

Deer hunters will have until noon the following day to complete the automated game check process. The only exception will be on the last day of any season when automated game check must be completed by 11:30 p.m. 

A hunter may take only one buck in Ohio, regardless of zone, hunting method, or season. Either a $15 antlerless deer permit or $24 either-sex deer permit and a valid hunting license are required to hunt deer in Ohio.

Seasons and Dates for 2012-13:

  • Archery season – Sept. 29 through Feb. 3, 2013
  • Special area muzzleloader hunts – Oct. 15-20
  • Youth deer gun season – Nov. 17-18
  • Statewide deer gun season – Nov. 26 through Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-16
  • Statewide muzzleloader season – Jan. 5-8, 2013

Deer bag limits are zone specific by permit type. A hunter may take one deer from Zone A, two deer from Zone B and three deer from Zone C during the entire 2012-2013 season using the either-sex deer permit. Only one antlered deer may be taken regardless of zone.

Additionally, a hunter may take one antlerless deer from Zone A, two antlerless deer from Zone B, and three antlerless deer from Zone C during the archery season from Sept. 29 to Nov. 25 using the antlerless deer permit.

Those hunting in urban units and at Division of Wildlife-authorized controlled hunts may use the antlerless deer permits during all deer hunting seasons. Urban units and controlled hunts will again have a six-deer bag limit, and those deer will not count against the hunter's zone bag limit.

Deer Hunting Zones -

  • Zone A –The zone includes six counties: Erie, Fayette, Madison, Ottawa, Sandusky and Wood.
  • Zone B – The zone includes 44 counties: Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Auglaize, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Darke, Defiance, Fulton, Geauga, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Lake, Logan, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Paulding, Portage, Preble, Putnam, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Union, Van Wert, Warren, Wayne, Williams and Wyandot.
  • Zone C – The zone includes 38 counties: Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Gallia, Guernsey, Hamilton, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Richland, Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Washington.

Hunting seasons for rabbit, pheasant, quail, squirrel, crow and wild turkey were approved as proposed. In addition, trapping seasons for beaver, mink, muskrat, and river otter, along with the hunting and trapping seasons for fox, raccoon, skunk, and weasel, were also approved.