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Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season

Clay Allen Phillips, 10, bagged this burly nine-point buck while youth hunting during the ODNR’s Youth Gun Hunting Season that ran Nov. 19-20. This was his first year of hunting during the annual Youth Gun Season.
Clay Allen Phillips, 10, bagged this burly nine-point buck while youth hunting during the ODNR’s Youth Gun Hunting Season that ran Nov. 19-20. This was his first year of hunting during the annual Youth Gun Season.

Ohio’s young hunters braved less than ideal weather conditions over the weekend and checked 5,930 white-tailed deer during the two-day youth gun season, Nov. 19-20, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. During last year’s youth gun season, 7,223 white-tailed deer were checked.
Youth hunters could pursue deer with a legal shotgun, muzzleloader, handgun or specific straight-walled cartridge rifle and were required to be accompanied by a non-hunting adult during the two-day season. The youth deer-gun season is one of four special youth-only hunting seasons designed to offer a dedicated hunting experience for young hunters. Youth hunting seasons are also available for small game, wild turkey and waterfowl.
Ohio offers many more opportunities for hunters of all ages to pursue deer. The deer-gun season is Monday, Nov. 28, through Sunday, Dec. 4, and Dec. 17-18. Deer-muzzleloader season is Saturday, Jan. 7, through Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Deer-archery season is open now through Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Find complete details in the 2016-2017 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations at wildohio.gov.
Youth hunters can commemorate their hunt with a First Harvest certificate, available at wildohio.gov. Participants can upload a photo and type in their information to personalize the certificate. Hunters can also share photos by clicking on the Photo Gallery tab online.
For summaries of past deer seasons, visit wildohio.gov/deerharvest.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.
Ohio’s tradition deer-gun season kicks off Monday. Hunting remains the most effective management tool for maintaining Ohio’s healthy deer population, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Wildlife Hotline
Hunters and others who have questions about hunting can contact the ODNR Division of Wildlife toll-free at 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). The white-tailed deer-gun hunting seasons occur at a time when Ohio hunters may have last-minute questions, and the ODNR Division of Wildlife will be available to assist. Special call center hours include:
• 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18-19, for youth deer-gun season.
• 12-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 26-27.
• 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 28, to Friday, Dec. 2, and 12-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, for deer-gun season.
The hotline will be closed Thanksgiving Day.

Hunting Season Details, Dates, Hours and Bag Limits
During the deer-gun seasons, deer can be hunted with a shotgun, a muzzleloader .38 caliber or larger, a handgun .357 caliber or larger, specific pistol-cartridge rifles or bows from Monday, Nov. 28, to Sunday, Dec. 4, and Dec. 17-18. Details about deer hunting rules are contained in the 2016-2017 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations, available where licenses are sold or at wildohio.gov. Only either-sex permits may be used after Sunday, Nov. 27, unless hunting in an ODNR Division of Wildlife authorized controlled hunt. Deer bag limits are determined by county, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. The statewide bag limit is six deer. Hunters may harvest only one buck in Ohio, regardless of method of take or location. Hunting hours for all deer seasons are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

Poacher Hotline
Ohioans are encouraged to help enforce state wildlife laws by reporting violations to the division’s Turn-In-a-Poacher (TIP) hotline by calling 800-POACHER (762-2437). Established in 1982, the TIP program allows individuals to anonymously call toll-free to report wildlife violations. The 800-POACHER hotline is open for calls 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Tips concerning wildlife violations can also be submitted at wildohio.gov. Tipsters may be eligible to receive a cash award.

Chronic Wasting Disease Monitoring and Deer Carcass Transport
Hunters are reminded that portions of Holmes and Wayne counties retain their designation as Disease Surveillance Area (DSA) 2015-01 again this year as part of the state’s ongoing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance efforts. Additional rules apply to the harvest of deer from this area. A map of the area is available at any ODNR Division of Wildlife office and is posted on the division’s website at wildohio.gov.
Hunters harvesting deer within DSA 2015-01 are required to bring their deer to a carcass inspection station for disease testing. Two locations have been designated as Carcass Inspection Stations for the seven-day gun, two-day gun and muzzleloader seasons. Both locations will be open and staffed from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The dates for these seasons are: Nov. 28-Dec. 4, Dec. 17-18 and Jan. 7-10.
Ohio Department of Transportation garage, 1800 South Washington Street, Millersburg, 44654
Industrial Park, 8254 County Road 245, Holmesville, 44633
For more information about rules regarding hunting in the Disease Surveillance Area, CWD or statewide hunting regulations, visit wildohio.gov.
Be aware that other states may have regulations or restrictions on the importation of deer carcasses from Ohio.

Hunting Popularity
Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.

Deer Management Goals
The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.

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

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