Ohio Wildlife Council receives 2016-2017 deer hunting proposals

COLUMBUS – Proposals for Ohio’s 2016-2017 deer season dates and bag limits to remain mostly unchanged were presented at Wednesday’s Ohio Wildlife Council meeting, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Among the noteworthy proposals was to move the two-day deer-gun season to Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 28-29.

Overview of proposed deer hunting seasons for 2016-2017:

  • Deer archery: Sept. 24, 2016-Feb. 5, 2017
  • Youth deer gun: Nov. 19-20, 2016
  • Deer gun: Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2016; Dec. 28-29, 2016
  • Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 14-17, 2017

The county bag limits were proposed to remain the same. The statewide bag limit was proposed to remain at six deer, only one deer may be antlered and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit.

In other proposals, the ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed to move the line which separates the north and south waterfowl hunting zones farther north. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows states to change their waterfowl zones once every five years. After public input from open houses, the waterfowl summit and waterfowl surveys, it was proposed to move the boundary line between the north and south waterfowl zones along a route similar to 2006-2010. The Lake Erie Marsh Zone is proposed to remain unchanged.

The Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on all proposals after receiving public input. Open houses to receive public comments about hunting, trapping and fishing regulations and wildlife issues will be held on Saturday, March 5. Open houses will be held at the ODNR Division of Wildlife District One, District Two, District Three and District Four offices and the Greene County Fish and Game Association clubhouse in Xenia. Directions to the open houses can be found at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).

Open houses give the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed fishing, hunting and trapping regulations with the ODNR Division of Wildlife officials. For Ohioans who are unable to attend an open house, comments will be accepted online at wildohio.gov. The online form will be available until Sunday, March 6.

A statewide hearing on all of the proposed rules will be held at the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District One office on Thursday, March 17, at 9 a.m. The office is located at 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all of the ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. The council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its meeting on Wednesday, April 13, after considering public input. Small game, migratory bird and wild turkey hunting season dates were proposed at the January council meeting and will also be voted on by the council on April 13.

Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments on a topic that is currently being considered by council are asked to register at least two days before the meeting by calling 614-265-6304. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.