Hunting

Hunting season proposals presented to the ODNR | Local News

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Wildlife Council received proposals Wednesday for the 2022-23 white-tailed deer hunting season from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. If approved, deer hunting bag limits will increase in 18 counties in September 2022.

As in the past, a single deer with antlers can be harvested, no matter where or how it is taken, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. Proposed dates for the deer hunting season for 2022-23 include:

• Deer archery: Sept. 24, 2022-Feb. 5, 2023.

• Young deer firearm: Nov. 19-20, 2022.

• Deer gun: Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2022; December 17-18, 2022.

• Muzzle-loading deer: January 7 to 10, 2023.

Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

Deer bag limit increases are designed to slow herd growth and provide additional hunting opportunities and have been proposed to be increased in 18 counties. Three counties are proposed to move to two stags (from one stag): Clinton, Fayette and Pickaway. It is proposed to increase the remaining counties to three stags (from two stags): Allen, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Mercer, Miami, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Preble, Putnam, Shelby, Van Wert and Washington.

Wednesday’s proposals also included separate deer hunting regulations in an expanded chronic wasting disease (CWD) surveillance area in Hardin, Marion and Wyandot counties.

A disease surveillance zone was established following the discovery in 2020 of two CWD-positive deer in Wyandot County. Additional testing revealed eight more deer positive for CWD in 2021. The Wildlife Division has proposed additional measures to increase deer harvest, reduce the possibility of disease transmission, and limit the spread of CWD in the counties of Hardin, Marion and Wyandot. CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer and other similar species.

Proposed seasons for deer in the disease watch zone include a longer archery season that opens September 1 and an early gun season.

• Deer archery: Sept. 1, 2022-Feb. 5, 2023.

• Early Deer Gun: October 8-10, 2022.

• Young deer firearm: Nov. 19-20, 2022.

• Deer gun: Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2022; December 17-18, 2022.

• Muzzle-loading deer: January 7 to 10, 2023.

Again, hunting hours remain 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

In addition, it is proposed to remove deer hunting restrictions on public lands in the Big Island, Andreoff and Wyandot Wildlife Areas. Public land restrictions have been removed in the Killdeer Plains and La Su An Lake wildlife areas.

Regarding Ohio’s wild turkey seasons for 2023, there were also proposals. These proposed dates maintain a 30-day spring turkey season in the South Zone and Northeast Zone. The proposed dates for the 2023 spring turkey:

• Youth season: April 15-16, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.

• From April 22 to 30, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise until noon.

• From May 1 to 21, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.

• From April 29 to May 7, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise until noon.

• From May 8 to 28, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.

It was proposed to shorten the 2022 fall wild turkey season by three weeks at the January board meeting. The proposed dates are from October 15 to November 15. 13, 2022.

The Wildlife Division also reviewed and updated species listed as Endangered, Threatened, Extirpated, Special Concern, and Special Interest. This year, 58 different species lists have been proposed to be changed, added or removed from the endangered and threatened species list.

Three species of fish, the alligator gar, black shiner, and longhead darter have been proposed to be downlisted to endangered from extinct. Many updates to dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies have come about after years of extensive citizen science reporting. Two species of crayfish, the blue crayfish and the crawzilla crawdad, were added to the list after previously unknown populations of both species were discovered in Ohio.

It was proposed to remove the requirement that a crossbow must have cross limbs and a stock that is at least 25 inches long. A shoulder stock will still be required as part of this proposal. This will update the definition of a crossbow to allow for new designs that are shorter and have different limb configurations.

It has also been proposed to remove restrictions on carrying a concealed firearm while hunting. Under this proposal, a person can carry and hunt with a lawfully concealed firearm.

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member council that approves all rules and regulations proposed by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Board meetings are held virtually and are open to the public. Those interested in providing feedback are asked to call 614-265-6304 at least two days prior to the meeting to register. All comments should be three minutes or less. For more information, visit wildohio.gov.