COLUMBUS, OH -- Approximately 200,000 bowhunters are expected to
participate in the statewide archery deer hunting season, which
opens on October 4, according to the Ohio Department of Natural
Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
During last year's four-month archery season, bowhunters took a
record 48,904 deer, up 18 percent from the previous season's
record harvest of 41,526.
Both longbow and crossbow kill totals set records last year.
Crossbow hunters totaled 28,352 deer, and longbow hunters took
20,552 deer. Overall, archers accounted for 24 percent of the
204,652 deer taken during Ohio's combined 2002 archery, primitive
and gun seasons.
Licking County led the state in crossbow and longbow harvest.
Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Holmes and Guernsey counties rounded out
the top five counties in crossbow kills. Completing the top five
list for deer taken by a longbow were Knox, Coshocton, Holmes and
"Archers should expect another fantastic season in terms of
deer numbers and opportunities to harvest one of Ohio's Buckeye
Big Bucks," said Mike Tonkovich, wildlife biologist for ODNR's
Division of Wildlife. "We're expecting a statewide archery harvest
similar to last year."
This year's statewide archery season is open from October 4
through January 31, 2004 including the week of deer-gun season,
which is December 1 through December 7. Wildlife biologists
estimate Ohio's deer herd at 681,000 prior to the start of hunting
Archery hunters may hunt one half-hour before sunrise to
one-half hour after sunset, except during the statewide gun and
primitive seasons when they are one-half hour before sunrise to
During the statewide gun and primitive seasons, archery hunters
are reminded that they must meet the hunter orange requirements of
To hunt deer in Ohio, hunters must possess a deer permit ($20)
in addition to a valid hunting license ($15). State law allows
hunters to take only one antlered buck per year, regardless of the
type of deer season, deer permit or implement used for deer
Ohio is divided into three deer hunting zones. Zone A consists
of 29 northern and western counties, which have a one-deer limit.
The 54 counties in Zone B, mostly in southern and eastern Ohio,
have a two-deer limit. And a restricted zone, Zone R, encompasses
five northwest Ohio counties with a one-deer limit with special
restrictions during the gun season.
Hunters may purchase up to four urban deer permits at a cost of
$10 each to take antlerless deer only within the urban deer zones
or during a special controlled hunt. Urban deer zones are located
around Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Toledo, Dayton and
In addition to the statewide deer gun season, archers may also
participate in the special area primitive season held October 20
through 25 on Salt Fork, Shawnee and Wildcat Hollow public hunting
areas as well as the statewide primitive season December 27
A detailed listing of deer hunting rules is contained in the
2003-2004 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest that is
available where licenses are sold, or may be viewed on-line at