Columbus – While filling out your applications for Ohio’s
special deer hunts – known as controlled hunts in the Ohio Division
of Wildlife parlance – don’t overlook additional opportunities
being offered at 26 state nature preserves as well.
The Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, a sister
division to wildlife under the department of natural resources, is
offering 32 hunts on the selected preserves around the state. The
hunts are mostly set for early bowhunting season, but also include
two youth-gun hunts on Nov. 21, the youth special deer gun weekend,
and some hunts for mobility impaired hunters.
The DNAP hunts were expanded this year and allow you to take
your buddy along, a new feature requested by hunters after last
year’s trial hunts.
“We listened to the surveys,” explained Gary Obermiller,
northern region manager for DNAP. “Everybody wanted a buddy
The hunts are scheduled during the early phase of the archery
deer hunting season, between Sept. 26 and Nov. 29, inasmuch as most
of them are archery only and the majority of bow-killed deer are
taken before the deer gun season, which opens the Monday after
Thanksgiving, Nov. 30.
The application period was set to begin June 25 but will remain
open through Aug. 15. Beginning June 25, applications can be
requested by calling the ODNAP central office at 614-265-6453 or by
visiting online at ohiodnr.com and
clicking on “nature preserves.” Applications will be $5.
Note that the nature preserve hunt applications are separate
from those that must be made for wildlife division controlled deer
hunts on such areas as Plum Brook and Ravenna. For details on those
hunts, visit online at ohiodnr.com/wildlife. The
application period for the wildlife division controlled hunts,
including waterfowl hunts as well, runs through July 31.
Orientation for those drawn for DNAP hunts is Sept. 19 and 20 at
various preserve offices. Those drawn will need to bring their
hunting buddies to the orientations, which also will provide time
for scouting the designated preserve. Hunters and their buddies
will be granted two-week periods during which they can hunt.
Hunts in Zone A, the west-northwest deer zone, will allow a
two-deer bag under zone rules, one on a $15 antlerless tag and one
on a $24 either-sex tag. The Zone B bag is four deer, two on the
$15 antlerless tags and two on $24 tags. Similarly, the Zone C bag
is six, three on $15 tags and three on $24 ones.
Note that the bag limits in the various zones this year are
additive. That means you can take two deer with proper tags in Zone
A, four more in Zone B, and six more in Zone C.