Proposals for Ohio hunting seasons announced


Ohio’s Wildlife Council, a group representing multiple stake holders regarding hunting and fishing regulations, seasons, and laws, is considering changes for 2012-2013 as proposed by the Division of Wildlife.

It appears that for the most part, game management officials have a pretty good handle on game and fish harvest goals and success at achieving them.

The need to tweak regulations is a constant, thus the proposed changes. DOW proposes to move seven west-central counties from Zone A to Zone B and to move one Zone B county to Zone A. Zone A hunters are limited to two deer and Zone B hunters can harvest four deer.

If these zone changes are approved by the council, as they surely will, only six Ohio counties will fall in Zone A with a two deer limit. Zone B includes 44 counties while Zone B encompasses 38 counties.

Another deer hunting regulation change, if approved, will eliminate the use of antlerless permits during gun season in Zone C, which covers all of southeast and south central Ohio.

The less expensive antlerless permits will still be used during the early archery season until November 25, 2012. The change will discourage some hunters from traveling to Zone C with a pocket full of cheap permits. That’s a good thing according to hunters who claim the liberal deer harvest in Zone C has greatly reduced the herd and in fact, deer sightings this year as well as in 2010 were down considerably.

The seasons

Deer seasons being proposed will be as follows: archery — Sept. 29 through Feb. 3, 2013; special area muzzle loader season — Oct. 15-20, 2012; youth deer gun season — Nov. 17-18, 2012; statewide deer gun season — Nov. 26 through Dec. 2 with the bonus weekend Dec. 15-16, 2012. Statewide muzzleloader season — Jan. 5-8, 2013.

Fishing regulations

Proposed fishing regulations are not published yet but may include a drop in the daily limit for Lake Erie walleyes. Currently, the daily bag limit for Lake Erie walleyes is six.

It wouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with the lake to see that number dropped to four fish per day because of the drastic drop in catch rates along with a failure of recent spawning success. Officials have indicated that the last significant spawn was in 2003.

Lake Erie walleyes reproduce naturally with weather and water conditions and quality affecting success. Recent increases of algae friendly pollutants seem to be a major player in the shrinking walleye population as to other unwelcome factors.

Interested sportsmen can voice their concerns and suggestions at Division of Wildlife open houses to be held Saturday, March 3. All proposed changes will be available for viewing and discussion.

The Ohio Wildlife Council will meet April 4 to vote on the changes. Interested individuals can go on-line to the ODNR website to locate a hearing site which will held in each of the five DOW districts at that district’s office.

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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. As a landowner in the Licking/Muskingum area the nuisance deer permits has hurt the deer heard greatly. A few years ago it was normal to see 8, 10 ,as many as 20 in a day a few years ago. But here we see the” That’s a good thing according to hunters who claim the liberal deer harvest in Zone C has greatly reduced the herd and in fact, deer sightings this year as well as in 2010 were down considerably.” The legal hunting season was not the cause of the decrease it was the nuisance permits and around here high powered rifles were used upon does allowing fawns to starve.
    We know the insurance companies backed the kill and I will say greedy farmers as well. I personally do not believe that deer eat anymore than pheasants used to before the clean as a carpet farming became a norm where not even a mouse could hide on 200 acres let alone a pheasant.
    Even if I put in game plots what good are they if farmers are killing the deer?

    • Us “greedy farmers” are entitled to use of OUR land…We do NOT raise deer, but raise crops for OUR livestock or to sell for an honest income. I have had deer COMPLETELY destroy newly planted alfalfa stands-that I had spent THOUSANDS of dollars seeding. I have also had deer eat EVERY SINGLE soybean plant seeded in a field one year…every single soybean plant. As far as deer not eating much, several deer shot under a nusiance permit were COMPLETELY full of my alfalfa-multiply that by the number of deer present, and I could have EASILY fed SEVERAL more head of cattle. We dont want all these deer on us-there is so little profit in farming that every dollar counts, and there is no money in wild deer. If a large deer herd is important to you, fence your own property in and raise deer or find a way without spending taxpayer money to keep deer off of property where they are not welcome. With land being consumed for urban development, you can relocate deer there to mow their lawns in these areas. And, by the way, I have hunted for years and have nothing against deer-but I have a right to make a living also.

  2. Well you know I should not have generalized so much, my apologies. But your area maybe overly saturated with deer but why kill them to let them go to waste? Perhaps a better solution may be to try a limited deer season on private land and allow the use of rifles? At a private hunting preserve that borders Interstate 70 near Columbus you can kill a deer with a high powered rifle. So much for the theory rifles could not be used on deer safely.
    There is money in deer buy the way! At that preserve you kill a 200point buck they charge you $18,000 for it! You can also lease your land for hunting also, a money maker. How many head of cattle is equal to one $18,000 deer?
    When I hunted as a kid in the mid 60s corn was still standing with snow on the ground. You walked through the corn rows and fox tail entangled you legs. Now you just lay on the ground in standing corn a act like a sniper as the ground was no cover between the corn stalks. Standing corn is hard to find beyond October now, and in a lot of cases the ground has already been plowed.
    In the older days even farmers would leave a bit of cover for wildlife. I gave a suggestion upon a idea to control deer in a humane way and save the deer for food and profit. How about some ideas from yourself.

  3. We were told that you can not use a high powered rifel durring deer season. The deer here in belmont county are just takeing over, they need to be thined out much as possible,they destroy the fenceing,hay and grain crops we use to feed and cantain our livestock.They spread dieases to our livestock, goats mainly.

  4. You guys make me laugh when you say thousands of dollars. I’m a farmer my self. I did use the tags 1 year and never do it again. it’s much cheaper to put a fence. a normal cattle fence did the trick, I just raised it about 12″ off the ground and I never had single deer jump it. However, you guys don’t want that!, you want the fun of shooting deer all year long. That is going to be a problem with PETA finds out what is going on. keep it up and that well be the end of hunting as we know it…. :(


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