FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2008
Deer Hunters Have an Extra Weekend to Hunt with Gun
COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio's popular deer-gun season will run an additional weekend, Saturday and Sunday, December 20-21, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The extra days were added beginning in 2006 in response to comments received from hunters for more weekend time to hunt.
"These two additional weekend days give deer hunters another chance at filling their deer tag while helping us in meeting our deer management goals," said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife.
So far this season, hunters have taken 51,620 deer during the first six weeks of the statewide archery season, which began September 27 and continues through February 1. The special youth season, held November 22-23, resulted in young hunters bagging 9,852 deer. Hunters checked 33,034 deer during the opening day of the statewide deer-gun season, December 1. Another 568 deer were taken during the early muzzleloader deer season held in October on the Shawnee, Salt Fork and WolfCreek state wildlife areas.
The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio ranks 6th nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 4th in the number of jobs associated with the hunting-related industry. Each year, hunting has a $1.5 billion economic impact in Ohio. Hunting related retail sales in Ohio total more than $700 million.
Venison is delicious and nutritious meat, lower in fat and cholesterol than most meats. It is the number one wild game served by hunters in Ohio. Deer hunters also contribute thousands of pounds of venison to organizations that help feed less-fortunate Ohioans through special programs.
Ohio is divided into three deer hunting zones. A limit of one deer may be taken in Zone A (20 counties). Hunters may take a second deer in Zone B (30 counties). A total of three deer may be harvested in eastern and southeastern Ohio's Zone C (38 counties). Antlerless deer permits are not valid for this extra weekend of the deer-gun season except within the designated urban deer zones located around Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Toledo, Dayton, and Cincinnati or at Division of Wildlife controlled hunts.
Hunters may take only one antlered deer, regardless of zone, hunting method or season. A deer permit is required in addition to a valid Ohio hunting license. Hunter orange is required. Only deer, coyote and waterfowl can be hunted during the extra deer-gun weekend.
Hunters are encouraged to kill more does this season and donate any extra venison to organizations assisting Ohioans in need. The Division is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who give their deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer are taken to a participating processor and funding for the effort lasts. Counties being served by this program can be found online at www.fhfh.org.
Additional hunting regulations and maps of the state's deer zones are contained in the 2008-2009Ohio Hunting Regulations. This free publication is available wherever hunting licenses are sold, online at wildohio.com or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.
Ohio hunters and birdwatchers are reminded that they will need to be aware of one another as the pursue deer and birds on this shared weekend. Hunters need to remember that there may be other people in the woods-hunters and non-hunters. Birders are also reminded that hunters are allowed to hunt wherever they have written permission to hunt. And, while hunters are required to wear hunter orange in the field, birders should also give consideration to wearing a hunter orange vest or hat during the deer-gun weekend.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.