Ohio Hunters Get Extra Weekend for Deer Firearm Season

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Ohio's popular deer-gun season will run an additional weekend this year, Saturday and Sunday, December 16-17, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

The days were added in response to the comments received from hunters for more weekend time to hunt. They also represent another opportunity for new hunters taking advantage of Ohio's apprentice license program.

Apprentice hunting licenses allow new hunters, both adults and youth, to sample the experience of hunting under the mentorship of a licensed adult, prior to completing a hunter education course. The apprentice hunting license was developed as part of a nationwide effort called "Families Afield," designed to remove barriers that prevent hunters from passing along the hunting heritage.

"These two additional weekend days will allow people more time to enjoy hunting with the added benefit of harvesting more deer," said Steven A. Gray, chief of the Division of Wildlife. "The archery season for deer is also longer this year, due to days being added to the traditional beginning and ending dates of the season."

So far this season, archery hunters have taken 45,733 deer during the first six weeks of the statewide archery season, which began September 30 and continues through February 4. The special youth season, held November 18-19, resulted in young hunters bagging 8,811 deer. Hunters checked 111,672 deer during the statewide weeklong deer-gun season held November 27 through December 3. Another 318 deer were taken during the early muzzleloader deer season held in October on the Shawnee, Salt Fork, and Wolf Creek wildlife areas.

The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Deer hunting contributes an estimated $266 million to the state's economy each year and helps to support thousands of jobs.

Venison is delicious and nutritious meat, low in fat and cholesterol. 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). Hunters may purchase up to four urban deer permits to take antlerless deer within the designated urban deer zones located around Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Toledo, Dayton, and Cincinnati.

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 this weekend.

Additional hunting regulations and maps of the state's deer zones are contained in the 2006-2007 Ohio Hunting Regulations. This free publication is available wherever hunting licenses are sold, online at ohiodnr.com/wildlife or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.