SPECIAL AREA EARLY MUZZLELOADER DEER SEASON OPENS OCTOBER 22
ATHENS, OH - The early muzzleloader deer hunting season will open October 22 and run through October 27 at three designated areas in southeastern Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The three areas open during the early muzzleloader season include Salt Fork Wildlife Area located in Guernsey County, Shawnee State Forest in Scioto and Adams counties, and Wildcat Hollow in Athens, Perry, and Morgan counties.
During this special season, hunters are required to have a controlled hunt permit to participate. The controlled hunt permit designates whether the hunter can take an antlered or antlerless deer. Only one antlered deer may be harvested in Ohio during the hunting year, regardless of hunting season or method.
Last year, hunters took 336 deer during the early muzzleloader season on these designated areas.
This will be the third year for the early muzzleloader hunt on these areas to be a controlled, permit only hunt. This permit system has helped biologists track hunter participation, harvest, and interest in this early muzzleloader hunt. Controlled hunt permits have also helped biologists manage for a healthy deer population in the areas involved, by providing an opportunity to kill both antlered and antlerless deer.
In addition to the early muzzleloader controlled hunt permit, hunters must have a valid Ohio hunting license and special deer permit. Urban deer permits and antlerless permits areNOT valid for the early muzzleloader season.
Hunters must wear a vest, coat, jacket, or coveralls of solid hunter orange or camouflage hunter orange during the early muzzleloader deer hunt.
Legal hunting hours are one half-hour before sunrise to sunset. Hunters may use crossbows, longbows, muzzleloading rifles of at least .38 caliber or larger, or muzzleloading shotguns of 10, 12, 16, 20, 28, or .410 gauge, using one ball per barrel.
All deer harvested during this special season must be taken to the designated area check station for permanent tagging by 8:00 p.m. of the same day. Designated check stations are as follows:
· SALT FORK WILDLIFE AREA – Salt Fork Wildlife Area Headquarters, located one-tenth of a mile east of the Salt Fork State Park entrance
· SHAWNEESTATEFOREST – Bodie’s Kwik Stop, located at 13352 State Route 52 in Friendship
· WILDCAT HOLLOW – Wolf Creek Wildlife Area Headquarters, located on State Route 78 near Malta
Hunting for wild turkey and all other wildlife species, except coyote, wild boar, and waterfowl, is prohibited on these three public hunting areas during the special muzzleloader deer hunting season.
Maps of all three areas are available by calling the ODNR Division of Wildlife at (740) 589-9930.