COLUMBUS, OH – Hunters will have their first opportunity to
pursue white-tailed deer when archery season opens on Saturday, Sept. 26,
according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Deer hunters
should be aware of certain changes when purchasing permits before heading into
the field this year.
Ohio’s 2015-2016 deer seasons include:
• Archery: Sept. 26-Feb. 7, 2016
• Youth gun: Nov. 21-22
• Gun: Nov. 30-Dec. 6 and Dec. 28-Dec. 29
• Muzzleloader: Jan. 9-12, 2016
The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly
managing Ohio’s deer populations through a combination of regulatory and
programmatic changes. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide
a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing
conflicts with landowners and motorists.
Until recently, deer populations in nearly all of Ohio’s
counties were well above their target numbers. In the last few years, through
increased harvests, dramatic strides have been made in many counties to bring
those populations closer toward their goal. Once a county’s deer population is
near goal, harvest regulations are adjusted to maintain the population.
Since most counties are near their target levels, antlerless
permit use was changed for the upcoming deer hunting seasons, and these permits
are no longer valid in most counties (see attached bag limit map). Antlerless
permits will be valid in the remaining 10 counties until Nov. 29, the Sunday
before the deer-gun season. Only one antlerless permit may be used per county,
regardless of the bag limit.
The statewide bag limit was reduced to six deer. Deer bag
limits are determined by county (see bag limit map), and hunters cannot exceed
a county bag limit. No more than six deer may be taken from all counties when combined.
Additional ODNR Division of Wildlife authorized controlled hunting
opportunities do not count against statewide or county bag limits. Hunters may
harvest only one buck in Ohio, regardless of method of take or location.
New this year, the .450 Marlin straight-walled cartridge was
added to the list of specific straight-walled cartridge rifles legal for use
during the deer-gun and youth deer-gun seasons. These specific straight-walled
cartridge rifles are legal for deer hunting: .357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, .38
Special, .375 Super Magnum, .375 Winchester, .38-55, .41 Long Colt, .41 Magnum,
.44 Special, .44 Magnum, .444 Marlin, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .45 Long Colt, .45
Winchester Magnum, .45 Smith & Wesson, .450 Marlin, .454 Casull, .460 Smith
& Wesson, .45-70, .45-90, .45-110, .475 Linebaugh, .50-70, .50-90, .50-100,
.50-110 and .500 Smith and Wesson. Shotguns and straight-walled cartridge
rifles may have no more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined
while deer hunting.
Also new this year, two additional days of deer gun season
will be offered Dec. 28-29 to provide more gun hunting opportunities. Additionally,
the antlerless-only muzzleloader season was suspended this year.
Deer hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30
minutes past sunset for all deer seasons. This includes gun and muzzleloader
seasons. Additional details about deer hunting rules are contained in the
2015-2016 Ohio Hunting Regulations, available where licenses are sold, or at wildohio.gov.