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Sunday, April 14th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Sunday, April 14th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Ohio’s hunting season dates proposed for the 2024-25 season

The proposed deer seasons are similar to last year. As in years past, only one buck may be harvested, regardless of where or how it is shot. (Stock photo by Bill Key)

Columbus — The 2024-25 Ohio hunting and trapping season dates for white-tailed deer, waterfowl, and other migratory game birds, furbearers, small game, and additional species were proposed to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday, Feb. 7, according to the Ohio DNR (ODNR). The Division of Wildlife also proposed removing the trumpeter swan from the state’s threatened species list.

A complete list of proposed rule changes and proposed hunting and trapping seasons dates for 2024-25 are available at wildohio.gov. Everyone who would like to comment on Division of Wildlife proposals can do so online at wildohio.gov from Feb. 10 through March 13. A statewide hearing on all proposed rules is set to take place Wednesday, March 20.

Deer hunting proposals

The proposed deer seasons are similar to last year. As in years past, only one buck may be harvested, regardless of where or how it is shot. Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. The proposed statewide deer hunting dates for 2024-25 include:

• Deer archery: Sept. 28-Feb. 2, 2025

• Youth deer gun: Nov. 16-17

• Deer gun: Dec. 2-Dec. 8; Dec. 21-22

• Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 4-7, 2025.

The wildlife council also heard a proposal to allow deer management permits to be valid until Dec. 22, the last day of the bonus deer gun hunting weekend. Currently, deer management permits are only valid until the day before the statewide seven-day gun season.

MORE WHITETAIL COVERAGE FROM OHIO OUTDOOR NEWS:

Ohio Insider: Conducting a deer season autopsy

Too many deer in Ohio? Depends on who you ask

Ohio’s 2023-24 deer harvest highest in more than a decade, includes near record buck kill

Bag limit increases from two to three deer were proposed in six counties: Butler, Clinton, Fayette, Greene, Madison, and Pickaway. Deer bag limit increases are designed to slow herd growth and increase hunting opportunities. A proposed bag limit map is available at wildohio.gov.

The proposals also included expanding the chronic wasting disease (CWD) disease surveillance area of Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties to include Auglaize and Jackson townships in Allen County. A CWD-positive deer was discovered in Allen County in 2023.

Additionally, the Division of Wildlife proposed reducing the number of mandatory CWD testing days for deer taken within disease surveillance areas from 14 to four. If approved, hunters within the disease surveillance area would be required to submit samples for testing during the first two days of the early disease surveillance area gun season (Oct. 12-13) and the first two days of the weeklong deer gun season (Dec. 2-3).

The Division of Wildlife will continue to offer voluntary testing drop-off locations and monitor for CWD within and around the disease surveillance area.

Hunters in the expanded disease surveillance area will have additional opportunities to harvest deer, if approved:

• Early deer archery: Sept. 14-Feb. 2, 2025

• Early deer gun: Oct. 12-14

Additional hunt proposals

During the February meeting, the Ohio Wildlife Council also heard proposals on fall wild turkey hunting dates, ruffed grouse hunting dates, and a revision to river otter trapping zones.

The fall wild turkey hunting proposal would establish the season, open in 70 counties, as Oct. 1 to Oct. 27. The proposed season limit is one bird.

The Division of Wildlife proposed a reduced ruffed grouse hunting season from Nov. 1 to Dec. 1, in 17 southern and eastern counties: Adams, Athens, Belmont, Gallia, Guernsey, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington. The proposed daily limit is one bird.

Another proposal would reclassify the state’s river otter trapping zones. Ohio currently has river otter bag limits split between zones A, B, and C, although no counties are assigned to Zone A. The proposal would rename Zone C, comprised of 22 counties and having a season bag limit of three, to Zone A.

Zone B, which includes the rest of the state, would have a season bag limit of one. The total season bag limit would remain three.

Trumpeter swan delisting

The Division of Wildlife submitted a proposal to remove the trumpeter swan from the state’s list of threatened species.

After years of management and monitoring, trumpeter swan populations have exceeded the division’s goals for the species’ recovery.

Ohio Wildlife Council

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that considers all Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals interested in providing comments are asked to call 614-265-6304 at least two days prior to the meeting to register. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.

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