By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman
This autumn’s hunting and trapping seasons were among the regulations approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council at its twice-delayed meeting in May. Deer hunting changes include modifications to antlerless harvest on public land following the weeklong deer gun season, after which only antlered deer may be taken from public hunting areas and no more than one antlerless deer may be taken from public hunting areas per license year, except from an ODNR Division of Wildlife authorized control hunt.
A reduction in the bag limit, from three deer to two deer was approved for Jefferson County, a change designed to encourage herd growth there. All other county bag limits remain the same and the statewide bag limit remains at six deer. As usual, only one deer harvested by any means anywhere in Ohio may be antlered, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit.
Of interest to waterfowl hunters, the hen mallard bag limit increased to two per day, as did the pintail and black duck bag limits. The waterfowl bag limit for ducks and geese is consistent statewide and doesn’t change by zone. Fall turkey hunting expanded to three additional counties: Erie, Hancock and Lucas. Harvest records and research indicates wild turkey populations have increased in these areas to a point where a fall harvest will not impact the overall numbers. Fall wild turkey hunting is Oct. 13–Nov. 25 in 70 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
Here are the deer hunting season dates for 2018-2019:
Deer archery: Sept. 29, 2018-Feb. 3, 2019
Youth deer gun: Nov. 17-18, 2018
Deer gun: Nov. 26-Dec. 2, 2018; Dec. 15-16, 2018
Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 5-8, 2019
Speaking of deer hunting…
Deer hunting applications accepted
Applications are accepted beginning June 1 through the end of July for permit drawings to participate in controlled deer hunts on select Ohio public areas during the 2018-2019 season. Applicants must possess a 2018-2019 Ohio hunting license and meet the age requirements in order to apply, and can do so online using the Wild Ohio Customer Center at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) and requesting a mail-in application. There is a non-refundable application fee of $3 per hunt. Successful applicants will be notified and provided additional hunt information by mail and email. Visit wildohio.gov for more information.