FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2009
Deer-Archery Season Opens Statewide September 26
COLUMBUS, OH - Approximately 300,000 bowhunters, representing more than half of all Ohioans who hunt deer, are expected to participate in the statewide archery deer hunting season that opens September 26, according to experts with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
During last year's four-month archery season, bowhunters killed 85,856 deer, an increase of nine percent from the previous year. Crossbow hunters took a record 46,480 of that number and longbow hunters took a record 39,376 deer. Overall, archers accounted for nearly 34 percent of 252,017 deer taken during Ohio's combined 2008-09 archery, muzzleloader and gun seasons.
Licking County led the state in both the vertical bow and crossbow harvest. Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Ashtabula and Holmes rounded out the top five counties in crossbow harvest, while Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Knox and Holmes completed the list of top five counties in vertical bow harvest.
Again this year, hunters who purchase an Ohio hunting license and $24 deer permit will be eligible to buy the $15 antlerless deer permit, which is valid September 26 through November 29. The $15 antlerless deer permit will be valid through December 6 in Zone C only. However, the $15 antlerless permit may be purchased only until November 29, 2009.
"There is no doubt that progress towards reducing the statewide deer herd is being made. Bowhunters participating in our annual statewide survey have reported seeing fewer total deer from their stands for the past two years,” said Mike Tonkovich, deer biologist for the ODNR Division of Wildlife. “Work remains, but there is certainly good reason to thank Ohio’s hunters for their hard work and continued support of our deer program."
Ohio hunters are encouraged to kill more does again this season using the reduced-priced Antlerless Deer Permit and donate any extra venison to the needy. The Division of Wildlife is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who donate their deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as funding for the effort lasts. More information about this program can be found online at www.fhfh.org
After November 29, archery hunters must use a deer permit for antlerless deer. Using the $15 antlerless deer permit, hunters can take one additional antlerless deer in Zone A, up to two additional in Zone B, and up to three additional in Zone C. The antlerless deer permits will also be valid for Division of Wildlife controlled deer hunts and for hunting deer in urban units.
This year's statewide archery season remains open from September 26 through February 7, 2010, including the week of deer-gun season November 30 through December 6. Deer-gun hunters will also be able to enjoy an additional weekend of hunting December 19 and 20. Archers may hunt one half-hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, except during the statewide gun, youth and muzzleloader seasons when they are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Archers hunting during the statewide gun, youth or muzzleloader seasons must meet the hunter orange requirements of those seasons.
To hunt deer in Ohio, hunters must possess a deer permit in addition to a valid hunting license. State law allows hunters to take only one antlered buck per year, regardless the type of deer season, deer permit or weapon used for deer hunting.
The 2009-2010 hunting licenses will not be printed on weatherproof paper. Sportsmen and women should protect their licenses and permits from the elements by carrying them in a protective pouch or wallet.
A detailed listing of deer hunting rules is contained in the 2009-2010 Ohio Hunting Regulations that is available where licenses are sold, or may be viewed online at wildohio.com.