Ohio’s Popular Deer-Gun Season Is Open Statewide From December 1 Through December 7
Additional weekend of gun hunting for white-tailed deer on December 20-21
COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio’s popular deer-gun season opens statewide on Monday, December 1, offering hunters a full week to harvest a whitetail. The upcoming season will again include an extra weekend of gun hunting on December 20-21, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Deer can be legally hunted with a gun from one half-hour before sunrise to sunset through December 7 and during the extra designated weekend. With a pre-hunting season population estimate of 700,000 white-tailed deer, the Division of Wildlife anticipates 115,000 to 125,000 deer will be killed during the nine-day season. Approximately 400,000 hunters are expected to participate in this year’s season, including many out-of-state hunters.
The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio ranks 6th nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 4th in the number of jobs associated with the hunting-related industry. Each year, hunting has a $1.5 billion economic impact in Ohio. Hunting related retail sales in Ohio total more than $700 million.
Venison is delicious and nutritious meat, low in fat and cholesterol. It is the number one wild game served by hunters in Ohio. Deer hunters also contribute thousands of pounds of venison to organizations that help feed less-fortunate Ohioans through special programs.
Ohio is divided into three deer hunting zones. A limit of one deer may be taken in Zone A (20 counties). Hunters may take a second deer in Zone B (30 counties). A total of three deer may be harvested in eastern and southeastern Ohio’s Zone C (38 counties). Any time a hunter is allowed to take more than one deer, they must purchase an additional permit. The antlerless deer permit will be valid for deer-gun week only in Zone C. Hunters may purchase up to four antlerless deer permits to take antlerless deer within the designated urban deer zones located around Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Toledo, Dayton, and Cincinnati. Antlerless deer permits must be purchased by November 30.
Hunters may take only one antlered deer, regardless of zone, hunting method or season. Hunters can harvest no more than seven deer total during the 2008-09 season. A deer permit is required in addition to a valid Ohio hunting license.
Hunters are encouraged to kill more does this season using the reduced-priced antlerless deer permit and donate any extra venison to organizations assisting Ohioans in need. The Division is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who give their deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer are taken to a participating processor and funding for the effort lasts. Counties being served by this program can be found online at www.fhfh.org
Additional hunting regulations and maps of the state’s deer zones are contained in the 2008-2009 Ohio Hunting & Trapping Regulations. This free publication is available wherever hunting licenses are sold, online at wildohio.com or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. For more information, visit the ODNR web site at ohiodnr.gov.