Ohio Opens 16 State Nature Preserves to Archers

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An increasing deer population, resulting in negative impacts to native plant communities, has led the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Natural Areas and Preserves to coordinate special archery deer hunts at 16 state nature preserves across the state.

High quality habitats at these state nature preserves including Blackhand Gorge, Fowler Woods, Goll Woods and Lawrence Woods, have been negatively impacted by over-browsing deer. For example, large flowered trillium-Ohio's state wildflower-has nearly disappeared from several sites because of foraging deer.

"Conducting special management hunts enables the division to protect native plant communities in Ohio's best natural areas," said Gary Obermiller, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves' program administrator. "An added benefit is that Ohio's hunters are given an opportunity to explore high-quality areas and assist ODNR with critical land management activities."

There will be four (4) two-week archery hunt sessions and one (1) week-long archery hunt session beginning September 25 through November 27, 2009. Each special archery hunt permit will be good for two hunters for two weeks, with the exception of the last one week session. Hunters will be required to harvest an antlerless deer first.

Participating hunters in Zone A will be allowed to harvest two deer under state hunting rules-one on a $15 antlerless tag and one on a $24 either-sex tag. The Zone B limit is two on the antlerless tag and two on the either-sex tag. Similarly, the Zone C limit is six, three on antlerless tag and three on either-sex tag.

To apply for the special archery hunt lotteries, applicants must send in a 3x5 card with their name, address, daytime phone number and the hunt name (such as Goll Woods Archery Hunt), along with a $5 processing fee for each entry. You may apply for multiple sites, however, you will only be drawn once per site.

Please mark each entry card with the appropriate hunt location. Do not send multiple payments-one check equaling $5 per card is sufficient. Do not send cash-checks and money orders must be made out to Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. Processing fees are non-refundable. Mail entries to the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, 2045 Morse Road, Bldg. C-2, Columbus, OH 43229. Lottery entries must be received by August 15, 2010.

The archery drawing will be held on August 16 at 10 a.m. at the ODNR Fountain Square Complex located at 2045 Morse Road, Building E-1 West, Columbus, Ohio 43229. Applicants do not need to be present at the drawing to be awarded a permit.

Successful archery hunt applicants will be notified by phone, and are required to attend one of two orientation meetings set for September 11 and 12 at various locations. Visit ohiodnr.com/dnap for a full listing of lottery rules and special hunt details.

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.