ODNR Division of Wildlife Investigating Ways to Improve Hunter Access

Columbus, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR)
Division of Wildlife has teamed up with the Ohio Farm Bureau to
consider a pilot program that will help manage local deer herds and
expand hunter access.

The two agencies are exploring the possibility of developing a
web-based deer hunter access program. Through the program, which
would be run on a trial basis in selected counties, landowners
could review a searchable database of deer hunters and select
hunters to whom they would grant hunting permissions. A survey,
available at wildohio.com, will
help determine deer hunters’ interest in participating in such a
program.

To be involved in the program, hunters would have to complete an
online profile that could include the number of years hunting
experience, willingness to harvest does, preferred type of hunting
(archery, shotgun, muzzleloader), and willingness to submit to a
background check at the request of the landowner.

The program’s concept provides landowners with a desired level
of control and hunters benefit from increased hunting
opportunities.

Hunters will not be charged to submit their profiles to become
eligible for the access program. There is also no additional charge
to hunt on enrolled properties. All who submit their profiles are
not guaranteed to receive hunting permissions.

Access to hunt deer is a major component to successful deer
management. Because 95 percent of Ohio’s land base is held in
private ownership, access to private property is vital to the
success of Ohio’s deer management program. Access to private
property is a privilege that cannot be legislated.  For that reason
it is essential that hunters and landowners work cooperatively to
develop positive relationships that facilitate the harvest of deer,
specifically does, from private property.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance
between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the
benefit of all. To access the survey, deer hunters are encouraged
to visit the front page of the Division of Wildlife website at
http://wildohio.com.

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