DNR Plans Deer Hunts At Nature Preserves

In an effort to control deer populations impacting native plant communities, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, in conjunction with the ODNR Division of Parks, will again coordinate special gun and archery deer hunts at seven state nature preserves across the state.

High quality habitats at several state nature preserves including Goll Woods, Lawrence Woods, Christmas Rocks and Lake Katharine have been negatively impacted by over-browsing deer. For example, large flowered trillium-Ohio’s state wildflower and once commonly seen-have nearly disappeared from many sites because of foraging deer.

“Special management hunts are an excellent tool we can utilize to protect native plant communities in Ohio’s best natural areas,” said Ryan Schroeder, preserve manager at Goll Woods State Nature Preserve. “These hunts allow Ohio’s hunters to assist us with our land management activities while giving them a chance to see and appreciate some of Ohio’s highest quality natural areas they may never see otherwise.”

Application for the hunts this year will be handled at the local level by individual preserve managers. Hunters must attend individual meetings if they are interested in particular hunts. At that time, hunters can enter the drawing (up to five entries per hunter will be allowed with a $5 fee for each entry). Hunters must possess a valid 2012-13 hunting license in order to purchase tickets. Names will be randomly drawn, and hunting pairs will be assigned a two week block of time to hunt. The orientation for the hunters will be conducted immediately following the drawing. Each special archery hunt permit will be good for two hunters for the two week period, although only one of the two hunters must attend the drawing and orientation.

These hunts are “doe first” hunts, meaning a buck can be taken only after an antlerless deer is harvested. This helps ensure that the deer herd is impacted. Special regulations will be addressed at the orientation meetings following the drawings. All ODNR Division of Wildlife rules and regulations will be followed, including bag limits and tagging procedures.

The Lake Katharine Gun hunt drawing will be conducted in the same manner as the archery hunts, except that the orientation will not be held the same day as the drawing. Pairs of hunters will be drawn for one of two possible two-day hunts during the weeklong statewide gun season. Orientations for the gun hunt will occur on the first morning of the hunt period.

Hunters may apply for hunts at multiple sites, but they must attend the meeting for each hunt in order to enter the drawing. Do not mail entry forms.

Hunt locations and meeting dates are as follows:

The gun hunt drawing for Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve Office (Jackson County) will be held at 1703 Katharine Road, Jackson, Ohio 45640 on Sept. 8 at 10 a.m. Contact Jeff Johnson at 740-380-8919 or jeff.johnson@dnr.state.oh.us with questions.

An archery hunt drawing for Christmas Rocks (Fairfield County) will be held at the Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve, located at 7211 Bremen Road, Logan, Ohio 43138 on Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. Contact Jeff Johnson with questions.

An archery hunt drawing for Shallenberger (Fairfield County) will be held at the Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve on Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. Contact Jeff Johnson with questions.

The archery hunt drawing for Goll Woods (Fulton County) will be held at Goll Woods State Nature Preserve Office, located at 26093 County Road F., Archbold, Ohio 43502 on Sept. 1 at 9 a.m. Contact Ryan Schroeder at 419-445-1775 or ryan.schroeder@dnr.state.oh.us with questions.

The archery hunt drawing for Lawrence Woods (Hardin County) will be held at the Lawrence Woods State Nature Preserve parking area, located at 13278 County Road 190, Kenton, Ohio 43226 on Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. Contact Ryan Schroeder with questions.

For information on the archery hunt drawing for Gahanna Woods (Franklin County), contact Chief Dennis Murphy at 614-342-4240 or at dennis.murphy@gahanna.gov.

The archery hunt drawing for Blackhand Gorge (Licking County) will be held at the Blackhand Gorge Maintenance Center, located at 5213 Rock Haven Road, Newark, Ohio 43056 on Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. Contact Jody Holland at 740-285-0130 or jody.holland@dnr.state.oh.us with questions.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at www.ohiodnr.com.