COLUMBUS Ohio's popular deer-gun season will again run an additional weekend, Dec. 15 and 16, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The extra days were added beginning in 2006 in response to comments received from hunters for more weekend time to hunt.
"These two additional weekend days were a great success last year and were helpful to us in meeting our deer management goals," said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife.
So far this season, hunters have taken 53,982 deer during the first six weeks of the statewide archery season, which began Sept. 30 and continues through Feb. 3. The special youth season, held Nov. 17 and 18, resulted in young hunters bagging a record 10,515 deer.
Hunters checked 103,195 deer during the statewide deer-gun season held Nov. 26 through Dec. 2. Another 273 deer were taken during the early muzzleloader deer season held in October on the Shawnee, Salt Fork and Wolf Creek wildlife areas.
The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Deer hunting contributes an estimated $266 million to the state's economy each year and helps to support thousands of jobs.
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). Hunters may purchase up to four antlerless deer permits that can now only be used to take antlerless deer within the designated urban deer zones located around Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Toledo, Dayton, and Cincinnati or at Division of Wildlife controlled hunts.
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. Hunter orange is required. Only deer, coyote and waterfowl can be hunted during the extra deer-gun weekend.
Additional hunting regulations and maps of the state's deer zones are contained in the 2007-2008 Ohio Hunting Regulations. This free publication is available wherever hunting licenses are sold, online at wildohio.com or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.
Ohio hunters and birdwatchers are reminded that they will need to be aware of one another as the pursue deer and birds on this shared weekend. Hunters need to remember that there may be other people in the woods hunters and non-hunters. Birders are also reminded that hunters are allowed to hunt wherever they have written permission to hunt. And, while hunters are required to wear hunter orange in the field, birders should also give consideration to wearing a hunter orange vest or hat during the deer-gun weekend.