Changes to Ohio’s antlerless deer permits


The Ohio antlerless deer permits may not be the bargain they have been in recent years. In fact, they are completely worthless in more than a few counties.

Because deer herd quota’s (make that reductions) sought by the state’s wildlife officials for certain counties have been reached, or in the opinion of many hunters, exceeded, the cheap seats in certain counties are no longer available.

Never the less, multiple deer limits are still intact and valid in those designated counties but each deer must be tagged with a more expensive “either-or” permit.

There are instructions from the Division of Wildlife (DOW) concerning the new rule. First, they ask that hunters carefully read the regulations to determine which counties are involved before purchasing permits. Deer hunters who haven’t read the regulations may find a plea of ignorance an ineffective defense.

If you’ve already purchased antlerless permits intending to use them in counties where they are not permitted you are probably out of luck since the state does not offer a refund, with very few exceptions.

Seeking refunds

If an antlerless permit is purchased by mistake a quick request for a refund might be honored. Exceptions may be questioned by calling 1-800-wildlife. The regulations in hard copy are available in hard copy at most licensing vendors, big box stores, etc.

They are also available to read online at If a deer killed in one of the named counties and checked in under an antlerless permit, the DOW instructs that hunters not attempt to re-check it under an “either-or” permit because the confirmation number already given is valid and should be attached to the animal.

Following that, it is requested by the DOW that a call to the county wildlife officer be made immediately. County wildlife officers have contact numbers listed in the back of the printed regulation booklets and also available online at the above web address.

Cannot be used

Counties where antlerless permit are not usable are Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Defiance, Fairfield, Fulton, Gallia, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hardin, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Meigs, Miami, Monroe, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Richland, Van Wert, Washington, and Williams.

These counties are all three-deer counties but each deer must be checked on a “either- or” tag.

All of this year’s deer hunting regulations are built around a new county-by-county management strategy. It is important to note that in all other counties, antlerless permits are usable but limited to one.

Antlerless permits will not be sold or usable after Nov. 30.

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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.


  1. Just another way to get rid of hunters – or limit it to the elite that can afford the ridiculous licensing fees.


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