Ohio Deer Firearms Season Returns This Weekend

Ohio’s deer-gun season returns Dec. 15-16, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife.

Hunters can use a legal shotgun, muzzleloader or handgun to pursue white-tailed deer Dec. 15-16 from a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. The extra weekend days were added in 2006 in response to hunters’ requests for extended weekend hunting hours.

Deer hunters are required to wear a hunter orange vest, coat, jacket or coveralls in the field. Bird watchers should consider wearing a hunter orange vest or hat during the deer-gun weekend for safety.

Hunters may take only one antlered deer, regardless of zone, hunting method or season. A deer permit is required in addition to a valid Ohio hunting license. Hunters must purchase an additional permit to hunt more than one deer. Hunters killed 86,964 deer during the traditional deer-gun season, Nov. 26-Dec. 2.

Ohio is divided into three deer hunting zones. One deer may be killed in Zone A (six counties) and two deer in Zone B (44 counties). Three deer may be killed in Zone C (38 counties).

Those hunting in urban units and at Division of Wildlife-authorized controlled hunts will have a six-deer bag limit, and those deer do not count against the hunter’s zone bag limit.

The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio ranks eighth nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has an $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.

More information about Ohio deer hunting can be found in the 2012-2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.com.

Hunters must still report their deer but are no longer required to take their deer to a check station for physical inspection. Hunters have three options to complete the automated game check:

Online at wildohio.com.
By telephone at 877-TAG-ITOH (824-4864). This option is only available to people required to have a deer permit to hunt deer.
At all license agents. A list of these agents can be found at wildohio.com or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).