Archery Season Opens October 6
Approximately 155,000 bowhunters are expected to participate in the statewide archery deer hunting season that opens October 6, according to wildlife experts with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
During last year's four-month archery season, bowhunters harvested a record 34,340 deer, up 17 percent from 1999?s total of 29,319. The previous record harvest occurred in 1994 with 29,390 deer being taken.
Crossbow hunters totaled 19,945 of last year's kill and longbow hunters took 14,395 deer. Overall, archers accounted for 22.8 percent of 150,432 deer taken during Ohio's combined 2000 archery, primitive, and gun seasons.
Licking County led the state for both crossbow and longbow harvests. For crossbows, Coshocton, Summit, Muskingum and Tuscarawas counties rounded out the top five counties. Rounding out the top five for longbow hunters were Hamilton, Muskingum, Coshocton, and Hocking counties.
"It is likely that these counties will again produce high deer harvests this year," said Mike Reynolds, deer management project leader for ODNR's Division of Wildlife. "We estimate Ohio's deer herd at about 500,000 this fall. That's up about 50,000 from last year, so we expect an excellent season for deer hunters."
This year's statewide archery season remains open from October 6 through January 31, 2002, including the week of deer-gun season which begins November 26. Archers may legally hunt one half-hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, except during the statewide gun and primitive seasons when they are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Archers hunting during the statewide gun or primitive seasons must meet the hunter orange requirements of those seasons.
To hunt deer in Ohio, hunters must possess a deer permit ($20) in addition to a valid hunting license ($15). 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.
Ohio is divided into three primary deer hunting zones. A limit of one deer may be taken in Zone A (11 counties) or Zone B (40 counties). Hunters may take a second deer in Zone C (a 37-county region of southern and eastern Ohio) by purchasing an additional deer permit.
Hunters may purchase up to four urban deer permits at a cost of $10 each to take antlerless deer only within the urban deer zones or during a special controlled hunt. Urban deer zones are located around Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Toledo, Dayton, and Cincinnati.
Archery deer hunters may also participate in the special early primitive deer season held October 22 through 27 on Salt Fork, Shawnee, and Wildcat Hollow public hunting areas, the statewide deer gun season November 26 through December 2, or the statewide primitive season December 27 through 30.
A detailed listing of deer hunting rules is contained in the 2001 -2002 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest that is available where licenses are sold, or may be viewed on-line at www.dnr.state.oh.us