Proposed white-tailed deer hunting season dates and bag limits for the fall of 2020 were presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday, Feb. 19, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. Hunting season dates and bag limits are proposed by Division of Wildlife biologists.
The proposed deer season dates for 2020-2021: Deer archery: Sept. 26, 2020-Feb. 7, 2021; Youth deer gun: Nov. 21-22, 2020; Deer gun: Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2020; Dec. 19-20, 2020; Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 2-5, 2021.
Several county bag limits were proposed to change for the upcoming season in response to deer hunter and production landowner surveys The statewide deer bag limit was proposed to remain at six deer, only one of which may be antlered, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. Morrow County will be a two deer limit county, with the surrounding counties being three deer limits but not all of the surrounding counties have the same rules on the sexes that can be taken. A map of the proposed limits per county can be found at www.wildohio.gov.
It was also proposed to open small game and furbearer hunting during the seven-day deer gun season, Nov. 30-Dec. 6. This proposal is designed to allow more hunting opportunities for small game hunters and to better align regulations with other hunting seasons. If approved, all hunters (except waterfowl hunters) would be required to wear hunter orange during this season. Another proposal would exempt Lake La Su An Wildlife Area in Williams County from the antlerless deer restrictions on public lands following the week long gun season. This includes a limit of one antlerless deer on public land, and antlered deer only after Dec. 6.
A complete list of proposals being considered for 2020-2021 are available at www.wildohio.gov. Proposals concerning small game and migratory bird seasons were proposed to the council at the January meeting.Ohioans are encouraged to provide comments on the proposed rule changes and may do so in person or online. In-person comments can be submitted during the weeklong open house period from March 2-6, at any Division of Wildlife district office. Online submissions can be made at www.wildohio.gov beginning Friday, Feb. 21.
The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves 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.
A statewide hearing on all proposed rules will be held at the Division of Wildlife’s District One office on Wed., March 25, 2020 at 9 a.m. The office is located at 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus 43215.
• In my last article I shared with you that the ODNR was proposing changing some of the rules of the coyote hunting and trapping regulations. aligning them more with the fur bearer regulations. It was announced last week by the Ohio Farm Bureau that the Division of Wildlife is no longer currently considering those proposed changes. For now, hunting and trapping coyotes will be allowed year round and a fur bearers permit is still not required.
• The ODNR Division of Wildlife is inviting Ohioans interested in wildlife conservation to attend an open house to meet staff and discuss hunting and fishing regulation proposals. Biologists and law enforcement officers will be available to answer questions and receive comments from Monday through Friday, March 2-6, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and until 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4 at all Division of Wildlife district offices. Those unable to attend an open house can provide comments online at wildohio.gov beginning Friday, Feb. 21.
The two nearest Open house locations include: Central Ohio: Wildlife District One office, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus 43215; 614-644-3925. Northwest Ohio: Wildlife District Two office, 952 Lima Avenue, Findlay 45840; 419-424-5000. Directions to the open houses can be found at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). Public input gathered at these open houses and online is critical and will be considered during the formation of future hunting and fishing regulations.
A complete list of proposed hunting season dates for 2020-2021 is available at wildohio.gov. A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at the Division of Wildlife’s District One office on Thursday, March 21, at 9 a.m.
Until next time, Good Fishing and Good Hunting!
Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.