COLUMBUS — The 2018-19 hunting and trapping seasons were among the regulations approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council at its scheduled meeting on Thursday, May 17, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
White-tailed deer hunting changes include changes to antlerless harvest on public land following the week long deer gun season.
Deer archery will run Sept. 29, 2018 through Feb. 3, 2019. Youth deer gun will be Nov. 17-18, 2018. Deer gun season will run Nov. 26 through Dec. 2, 2018 and Dec. 15-16, 2018. Deer muzzleloader season is Jan. 5-8, 2019.
A reduction in the bag limit, from three deer per county to two deer per county, was approved for Jefferson County. This change is designed to encourage herd growth in Jefferson County. All other county bag limits remain the same. The statewide bag limit remains at six deer. Only one deer may be antlered, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit.
In other rule changes, only antlered deer may be taken from public hunting areas following the week long deer gun season, beginning December 3, 2018. In addition, no more than one antlerless deer may be taken from public hunting areas per license year, except from an ODNR Division of Wildlife authorized control hunt.
Waterfowl Hunting has several changes as well. The hen mallard bag limit increased to two per day. The pintail and black duck bag limits also increased to two per day. The waterfowl bag limit for ducks and geese is consistent statewide and does not change by zone. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) oversees all migratory bird regulations, including Ohio’s hunting seasons.
Wild Turkey Hunting increased in several areas as well. Fall turkey hunting expanded to three additional counties: Erie, Hancock and Lucas. Harvest records and research indicates wild turkey populations have increased in these areas to a point where a fall harvest will not impact the overall numbers. Fall wild turkey hunting is Oct. 13 through Nov. 25, 2018. The fall season is open in 70 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all of the ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. The council votes on the proposed rules and season dates after considering public input.
Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments on a topic that is currently being considered by council are asked to register at least two days before the meeting by calling 614-265-6304.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.