DNR, Staff Reports
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 Sept. 27,
according to the DNR Division of Wildlife.
During last year’s four-month archery season, bowhunters killed
78,639 deer, an increase of nearly 16 percent from the previous
year. Crossbow hunters took 42,292 of the total and longbow hunters
took a record 36,347 deer. Overall, bowhunters accounted for nearly
34 percent of 232,854 deer taken during Ohio’s combined 2007-08
archery, muzzleloader, and gun seasons.
Licking County led the state in both the vertical bow and
crossbow harvest. Coshocton, Knox, Tuscarawas, Holmes and Guernsey
rounded out the top five counties in crossbow harvest, while
Coshocton, Knox, Tuscarawas and Muskingum completed the list of top
five counties in vertical bow harvest.
Again this year, hunters who purchase an Ohio hunting license
and $24 deer permit will be eligible to buy the $15 antlerless deer
permit, which is valid Sept. 27 through Nov. 30. New this year, the
$15 antlerless deer permit will be valid through Dec. 7 in Zone C
only. However, the $15 antlerless permit may only be purchased
until Nov. 30. These tags will not be sold after this date.
“In spite of a record antlerless harvest – due largely to the
$15 antlerless permit – more work is needed, particularly in
eastern counties if Ohio is to continue to be a model for the rest
of the country,” said Mike Tonkovich, deer biologist for the
Division of Wildlife. “Hunters are strongly encouraged to take
advantage of the antlerless permit.”
The Division of Wildlife has been preaching the same message,
encouraging Ohio hunters to kill more does this season using the
reduced-priced antlerless permits and donating any extra venison to
the needy. The Division is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters
Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated
venison. Hunters who donate their deer to a food bank are not
required to pay the processing cost as long as funding for the
effort lasts. More information about this program can be found
online at www.fhfh.org
After Nov. 30, archery hunters must use a deer permit for
antlerless deer. Using the $15 antlerless deer permit, 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. 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 Sept. 27
through Feb. 1, including the week of deer gun season Dec. 1
through Dec. 7. Deer gun hunters will also be able to enjoy an
additional weekend of hunting Dec. 20 and Dec. 21.
Archers may hunt one half-hour before sunrise to one-half hour
after sunset, except during the statewide gun, youth, and
muzzleloader seasons when legal hours are one-half hour before
sunrise to sunset.