Ohio’s young hunters checked 7,223 white-tailed deer during the two-day youth gun season, Nov. 21-22, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
“The weather this year provided our youth hunters with a great opportunity to enjoy their time in the field,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “Providing exclusive youth hunting seasons is a great way to provide our kids with a mentored and educational environment to learn and succeed in the field.”
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 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. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 6, and Dec. 28-29. Deer-muzzleloader season is Saturday, Jan. 9, through Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Deer-archery season is open now through Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. Find complete details in the 2015-2016 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.
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. In most counties, deer populations are at or near target levels. Therefore, to help stabilize deer populations, bag limits were reduced, and antlerless permit use has been eliminated in most counties for the 2015-2016 season. In general, deer hunters will likely find deer populations similar to last year. However, because of the regulation changes (smaller bag limits and limited availability of antlerless permits), fewer antlerless deer will be harvested, and the overall deer harvest will likely be down 4-8 percent.
For summaries of past deer seasons, visitwildohio.gov/deerharvest.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website atohiodnr.gov.