COLUMBUS – Deer hunting is an extremely popular activity
for sportsmen and women statewide and Ohio’s white-tailed deer continue to provide
hunters across the state with excellent opportunities for success as they head
out into the field. Ohio’s deer-gun season opens Monday, Nov. 30 and not only
provides opportunities for outdoor sports enthusiasts, but hunting remains the
most effective management tool for maintaining Ohio’s healthy deer population,
according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Hunters and others who have questions about hunting can
contact the ODNR Division of Wildlife toll-free at 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). The
white-tailed deer-gun hunting seasons occur typically at a time when many Ohio hunters
have last-minute questions, and ODNR Division of Wildlife will be available to
assist. Special call center hours include:
8 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20-21, and 8 a.m.-5
p.m. Nov. 22, for youth deer-gun season.
8 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28, to Saturday, Dec. 5, for
The hotline will be closed Thanksgiving Day.
Ohioans are encouraged to help enforce state wildlife laws
by reporting violations to the division's Turn-In-a-Poacher (TIP) hotline by
calling 800-POACHER (762-2437). Established in 1982, the TIP program allows
individuals to anonymously call toll-free to report wildlife violations. The
800-POACHER hotline is open for calls 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
Tips concerning wildlife violations can also be submitted at
wildohio.gov. Tipsters may be eligible
to receive a cash award.
Hunting Season Details, Dates, Hours and Bag Limits
Ohio’s annual youth white-tailed deer hunting season gives
young hunters the opportunity to pursue the state’s most popular big-game
animal on Nov. 21-22, and is open to hunters with a valid youth hunting license
and a deer permit.
During the deer-gun seasons, deer can be hunted with a
shotgun, a muzzleloader .38 caliber or larger, a handgun .357 caliber or
larger, specific pistol-cartridge rifles or bows from Monday, Nov. 30, to
Sunday, Dec. 6. Details about deer hunting rules are contained in the 2015-2016
Ohio Hunting Regulations, available where licenses are sold or at wildohio.gov.
Only either-sex permits may be used after Sunday, Nov. 29, unless hunting in an
ODNR Division of Wildlife authorized controlled hunt. Deer bag limits are determined
by county, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. The statewide bag
limit is six deer. Additional ODNR Division of Wildlife authorized controlled
hunting opportunities do not count against county bag limits. Hunters may
harvest only one buck in Ohio, regardless of method of take or location.
Hunting hours for all deer seasons are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes
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 goal. In the last few years, through increased
antlerless harvests, most counties are now at or near goal. Therefore, to help
stabilize deer populations, bag limits were reduced, and antlerless permit use
has been eliminated in most counties for the 2015-2016 season.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife is in the process of resetting
Ohio’s population goals and is asking hunters that receive the survey to help
by completing and returning the survey as soon as they are done hunting or at
the end of the season. Landowner surveys have already been distributed, and
hunter surveys will be mailed later this month. Hunters for this year’s survey
will be randomly selected from the list of hunters who purchased a license and
deer permit by Nov. 16. Public input is an important part of Ohio’s deer
management program, and survey participants are asked to complete and return
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