In early February, the Ohio Division Of Natural Resources (ODNR) and Ohio Wildlife Council released the proposed changes for the 2013-2014 Ohio Deer Hunting Regulations. The proposals include some major changes that have been met with a lot of controversy on just about every Ohio based chat forum I frequent. A full, detailed outline of the proposals and explanation for the changes can be found at this link: ODNR Proposed Changes but as quick overview, some of the major changes that have been proposed are:
1) A change in deer hunting hours for all Ohio gun seasons (30 minutes after sunset).
2)Changes in bag limits and harvest zones
3) A proposed state wide, mid-October muzzleloader, antlerless only season
The proposals, if accepted in April, will go into effect for the 2013-20014 deer season. However, it is very important to note that these are only proposals; The changes have not been have not adopted yet!
The ODNR is holding state wide open houses on March 2nd for public input and feedback. It is very important, no matter where you stand on the issues above, that you give feedback to the ODNR. If you can not make the open houses, a online survey can be filled out at this link: Proposed Rule Change Comment Survey.
If you care about the Ohio Deer hunting, please take the time to fill out the survey. I understand how hard it must be to manage a deer herd on a statewide level and think overall, the ODNR has done a great job. I personally feel that the change in shooting hour and new county harvest limits/zones will be a great improvement. However, I have mixed emotions on the early muzzleloader season. I voiced my opinion in a lengthy email along with the survey. Please take the time to do so or attend the open houses. The Ohio deer herd is OUR (the sportsman’s) resource and OUR voice must be heard.