COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Wildlife Council heard proposals for Ohio’s 2017-2018 deer season dates and bag limits, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Among the proposals were modifications to bag limits for several counties throughout the state.
Overview of proposed deer hunting seasons for 2017-2018:
Deer archery: Sept. 30, 2017-Feb. 4, 2018
Youth deer gun: Nov. 18-19, 2017
Deer gun: Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2017; Dec. 16-17, 2017
Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 6-9, 2018
The county bag limits were proposed to be modified for several counties throughout the state. An increase in the bag limit, from two deer per county to three deer per county, was proposed for Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Fairfield, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Washington counties. These proposed changes are designed to slow the rate of growth, but still allow the herds to increase.
A reduction in the bag limit, from three deer per county to two deer per county was proposed for Allen, Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding, Putnam and Williams counties. All other county bag limits would remain the same. The statewide bag limit was proposed to remain at six deer, only one deer may be antlered and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. These proposed changes are designed to encourage herd growth in these counties.
In other proposals, the ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed to allow any straight-walled cartridge rifle with a minimum caliber of .357 to a maximum caliber of .50 be allowed for hunting deer in Ohio. There have been three seasons of hunting deer with straight-walled cartridge rifles in Ohio with no biological impacts to the herd or additional hunter incidents. Defining the allowable rifles would make the rule easily understood and easily enforced, while also being inclusive of a great number of rifle options.
A complete list of proposed rules changes can be found at wildohio.gov.