Deer archery season is here and according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, approximately 375,000 people hunt deer in Ohio, making it the most sought-after animal in the state.
This year’s Ohio 2020-2021 deer seasons include: Archery: Sept. 26 – Feb. 7, 2021, Youth gun: Nov. 21-22, Gun: Nov. 30 – Dec. 6 and Dec. 19-20 and Muzzleloader: Jan. 2-5, 2021.
Archery hunting continues to be a popular activity for Ohio’s hunters. Last season, 48% of the total deer harvest (88,106) resulted from archery hunts. For the seventh year in a row, more deer were harvested during the archery season than the weeklong gun season. By comparison, just 15 years ago the archery season accounted for less than 30% of the annual harvest.
During the 2019-2020 deer season, 184,468 deer were reported harvested by hunters, including 80,138 bucks. Landowners reported harvesting 51,924 deer, about 28% of the total harvest. The proportion of the landowner harvest has increased substantially from 1995, when it was 19%, and has remained between 26-28% of the total harvest since 2005.
In Ohio, hunters may take only one antlered deer regardless of location or method of take. Deer limits are determined by county, and hunters cannot exceed a county limit. Deer hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes past sunset for all deer seasons. Additional details and requirements for deer hunting are contained in the 2020-2021 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet, available where licenses are sold or at wildohio.gov.
Hunters are reminded that only one antlerless deer may be taken from Ohio’s public hunting areas per license year. In addition, from Dec. 7 through Feb. 7, 2021, no antlerless deer may be taken from public hunting areas in Ohio, excluding controlled hunts. A list of public hunting areas can be found at wildohio.gov.
The Division of Wildlife remains committed to carefully managing Ohio’s deer population 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.
• The application period for controlled beaver and river otter trapping opportunities on Ohio’s public lands during the 2020-2021 season is now open and will remain open until Thursday, Oct. 15.
Special permits are awarded for select areas to provide opportunities for Ohio’s trappers. Interested individuals may apply for these trapping permits using Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System at wildohio.gov. See the complete list of beaver and river otter trapping opportunities in the 2020-2021 Controlled Hunting Opportunities booklet. A nonrefundable fee of $3 applies per entry. Because of social distancing requirements, controlled trapping applications will only be accepted online or by phone for the 2020-2021 season. No in-person drawings will be available this year.
All applicants are required to possess a valid Ohio hunting license and fur taker permit. Customers without internet access may call 1-866-703-1928 and apply by phone. There is an additional $5.50 service fee to apply for the phone option.
Beaver and river otter trapping lotteries are grouped by region; trappers may only apply in only one region. Find more information at wildohio.gov on the Controlled Hunting and Trapping page.
Trappers will be randomly drawn from submitted applications. Selected applicants will be notified by email by Monday, Oct. 19. The application status is also available on the customer’s account through Ohio’s Wildlife Licensing System.
• A new public archery range, located at Mohican State Park, opened on Sept. 24 according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. It is located across Ohio State Route 3 from the state park campground. Open daily from dawn to dusk, the range features targets at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards offering archery practice opportunities for all levels of experience.
Visitors may use the range at their own risk and are asked to follow all posted safety precautions. The archery range is located at 3116 SR OH-3 in Loudonville.
Parking is available at the Visitor’s Information Center which is located adjacent to the range. Currently, archers will need to bring their own equipment, however, equipment may be offered for loan by the park in the future.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!
Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.