COLUMBUS – Hunters will have their first opportunity to pursue white-tailed deer when archery season opens on Saturday, Sept. 24, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Ohio’s 2016-2017 deer seasons include:
- Archery: Sept. 24-Feb. 5, 2017
- Youth gun: Nov. 19-20
- Gun: Nov. 28-Dec. 4 and Dec. 17-18
- Muzzleloader: Jan. 7-10, 2017
Deer hunters will find the hunting regulations similar to last year, and county bag limits and antlerless permit use remain unchanged from last year. The dates of the two-day gun season were moved to Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17-18, and the muzzleloader season was moved to Jan. 7-10, 2017. Overall, deer populations are slightly higher than last year, and the statewide deer harvest could increase 5 to 10 percent.
The statewide bag limit is six deer. Deer bag limits are determined by county (see bag limit map), and hunters cannot exceed a county bag limit. No more than six deer may be taken from all counties when combined. Additional ODNR Division of Wildlife authorized controlled hunting opportunities do not count against statewide or county bag limits. Hunters may harvest only one buck in Ohio, regardless of method of take or location.
Shotguns and straight-walled cartridge rifles may have no more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined while deer hunting.
Deer hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes past sunset for all deer seasons. This includes gun and muzzleloader seasons. Additional details about deer hunting rules are contained in the 2016-2017 Ohio Hunting Regulations, available where licenses are sold or at wildohio.gov.
Licenses and permits can be purchased online at wildohio.gov and at hundreds of participating agents throughout the state.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations through a combination of regulatory and programmatic changes. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population which maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.
Hunting is the best and most effective management tool for maintaining Ohio’s healthy deer population. 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.