Hunt legally with these considerations


For the most part, outdoor enthusiasts police themselves. Think about it; there is one DNR law enforcement officer per county or group of counties charged with keeping hundreds, perhaps thousands of hunters, trappers, fishers, and others on the right side of the law.

But there are relatively very few times when a law or regulation is intentionally broken. The key word here is “intentionally.”

Indeed, hunters, trappers and anglers try very hard to do the right thing and stay within the rules.

So here’s today’s hunting quiz. If you pass, you can proceed directly to the woods.

You may pass Go but won’t collect any prize money. You can puff your chest out and you have permission to pepper your hunting buddies with similar questions.

After hours

It’s a clear evening, not a cloud in the sky and your perch is high and well hidden in the branches of a fence row walnut tree. The breeze is perfect and you have no worries about an approaching deer scenting you.

You sit quietly and still, scanning the cornfield on one side and the woodlot on the other. Sunset has passed nearly an hour ago but there is still plenty of shooting light.

And there he is, a shooter buck emerging to feed.

You’ve done it. The right place, the right time, and the right shot.

The question is, do you shoot or not? Legal shooting time extends just 30 minutes past published sunset time.

Enjoy the sight but don’t take the shot.

Antlerless permits

You have an antlerless permit and intend to use it in an effort to fill your freezer.

You are hunting with written permission in a three-deer Ohio county in which antlerless permit is allowed this year. The date is Nov. 26, a chilly Sunday morning and you are finally able to get back to the woods after entertaining relatives who overstayed their welcome following the Thanksgiving holiday.

Your crossbow is cocked, the bolt, or arrow, is ready to fly. You have your face hidden under a layer of camo paint, just like the TV hunters do.

You’ve also sprayed some nasty fox urine on the brush around you to hide your scent. You’ve also had your coveralls washed and stored in a plastic bag along with walnuts and dirt. You’ve covered all the bases.

And just like it is supposed to happen, a mid-size deer steps into your shooting lane. Aha!

You can see that it is indeed a doe or maybe not. You see bumps on its head. Looking further as the animal moves its ears, you see more — protruding white bone. Tiny antlers for sure.

You know now that it is a young buck, an early fawn that has been well fed for sure.

Length of antlers

You judge the tiny antlers to be to be at the most, two inches long. When it comes to great venison, this deer is perfect.

Or is it? Go ahead and shoot if this deer is what you are looking for. If both of its antlers measure less than three inches in length, it is considered by regulation to be an antlerless deer.

If it does turn out that either of its antlers measures over the three-inch mark, you must use your coveted either sex tag and consider yourself tagged for this year out as far as buck hunting goes.

You know how careless your hunting buddy is and so does he. He asks you to carry his license, deer permit, and his temporary tag so that he doesn’t lose them. You agree.

Bad move

It’s illegal to carry another person’s deer permit.

You are into making your own arrows and are planning to hunt with a long-bow that you have carefully and skillfully fashioned from local wood. You’ve decided that your most accurate arrow tips have been adapted to a three-blade broadhead, which can effectively open an inch wound.

You know that because you’ve actually measured the tip. You also know that after hundreds of practice shots and although your set up is instinctively aimed, you are dead-on up to 30 yards. You’ve also determined that the draw weight of the bow is a husky 60 pounds with no let-up like compound bows feature.

Are you legal? You figure it out.

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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.



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