Special Area Primitive Weapons Deer Season Opens Oct 20th

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The antlered-only special early primitive deer hunting season will open October 20 and run through October 25 at three public hunting areas in southern and southeastern Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

The areas include Salt Fork Wildlife Area located in Guernsey County, Shawnee State Forest in Adams and Scioto counties, and Wildcat Hollow in Perry and Morgan counties.

Last year, hunters took 220 antlered bucks during the early primitive season on these areas.

During the Special Area Primitive Season, hunters must wear a vest, coat, jacket or coveralls of hunter orange or camouflage hunter orange. This requirement applies during any of the deer-gun seasons, even if hunting with a bow.

Legal hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. Hunters may use crossbows, longbows, muzzleloading rifles of at least .38 caliber or larger and muzzleloading shotguns of 10, 12, 16, 20, 28 and .410 gauge, using one ball per barrel.

All deer killed during this special season must be taken to the designated primitive area check station for permanent tagging by 8 p.m. of the same day.

The check station for Salt Fork Wildlife Area will be the area's headquarters located off U.S. 22, one-tenth of a mile east of the Salt Fork State Park entrance. The Shawnee State Forest office near Friendship, off U.S. 52, will check deer taken in the forest, and Wolf Creek State Wildlife Area headquarters on State Route 78 will be the check station for Wildcat Hollow. Maps of all three areas are available by calling the ODNR Division of Wildlife at 740-589-9930. Urban deer permits are not valid for this bucks-only primitive season.

Hunting for wild turkey and all other wildlife species - except coyote, wild boar and waterfowl - is prohibited on these three public areas during the special primitive weapon deer hunting season.

Hunters at Shawnee State Forest might experience some difficulty getting around as some of the uprooted trees from last year's winter ice storm remain uncleared. Questions should be directed to the Shawnee State Forest web site or the forest office at 740-858-6685.