Deer Managers, Hunters Hope Mother Nature Plays Supporting Role

A year after making changes in bag limits due in part to outcry from hunters complaining about seeing fewer deer, Ohio DNR officials opted to not make significant changes for the 2016-17 season.

A host of factors resulted in a 2015-16 season that didn’t meet expectations, as reported here by veteran outdoors writer D’Arcy Egan. Ohio officials have not proposed major changes for the upcoming season in regard to bag limits. Season dates also were announced.

Sabrina Simon of TenPoint with a great Ohio buck!

Sabrina Simon of TenPoint with a great Ohio buck!

From his report:

The biggest change was a 16 percent increase in the number of antlered deer harvested.

“The year’s harvest was artificially inflated because of the weather and the mast crop failure,” said deer biologist Clint McCoy. “We had predicted a nominal increase of 5 percent to 7 percent. Going forward for next year, we are probably going to see a similar buck harvest, or down just a smidgen.

“Because of the buck restrictions we put in place two years ago, which were more restrictive this past year and into next year, we expect the herd to respond and grow some.”

The proposed deer seasons presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council this week were:

  • Deer archery season: Sept. 24 through Feb. 5
  • Youth deer gun: Nov. 19-20
  • Deer gun: Nov. 28-Dec. 4 and Dec. 28-29
  • Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 14-17

“We see no need to make any changes (in the upcoming deer seasons)” said Dave Kohler, head of game management. “We’re still comfortable with the bag limits and use of antlerless permits. There is nothing screaming at us to make changes.”

Open house meetings will be held March 5 for officials to hear from the public, and on March 17 in Columbus. Comments also can be submitted online to through March 6. There will also be a statewide hearing on March 17 at the ODOW District One office in Columbus. The Ohio Wildlife Council meets April 13 in Columbus and is expected to vote on the proposals.


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