The Ohio Wildlife Council hears 2021 deer and turkey proposals

white-tailed deer

COLUMBUS — Proposed hunting seasons that begin in the fall of 2021 for white-tailed deer, wild turkey and small game were presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council Feb. 10. Hunting season dates and limits are proposed by Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife biologists.


Only one deer may be antlered, regardless of where or how it is taken, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. All county bag limits are proposed to remain identical to last season.

The proposed deer hunting season dates for 2021-2022 include deer archery, Sept. 25 through Feb. 6, 2022; youth deer gun, Nov. 20-21; deer gun, Nov. 29 through Dec. 5 and Dec. 18-19; and deer muzzleloader, Jan. 8-11, 2022.

Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. A proposal will allow antlerless deer to be taken from all public hunting areas from Sept. 25 to Feb. 6, 2022, provided that a hunter takes only one antlerless deer from these lands per license year.

Another proposal suggested expanding deer management permits to all 88 Ohio counties from Sept. 25 to Nov. 28. Hunters can use the deer management permit up to the county bag limit. The proposal does not include public hunting areas, except Lake La Su An Wildlife Area, Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area, and during controlled hunts.

Only antlerless deer may be harvested with a deer management permit. An antlerless deer in Ohio is defined as any deer without antlers, or a deer with antlers less than 3 inches long.

This proposal also simplifies the use of these permits and allows for more targeted harvest in counties where necessary. A complete list of proposed rule changes and proposed hunting and trapping season dates for 2021-2022 are available at


The proposed dates for Ohio’s wild turkey hunting seasons maintain a 30-day spring turkey season in the south zone and northeast zone, with opening days on Saturdays.

The proposed spring turkey dates and hours for 2022 are youth season, April 9-10, 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset; south zone: April 23 through May 1, 30 minutes before sunrise to noon, and May 2-22, 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset; northeast zone: April 30 through May 8, 30 minutes before sunrise to noon, and May 9-29, 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.

A proposal calls for a limit of one bearded wild turkey during the spring season on public hunting lands. The statewide limit during the spring remains at two bearded birds.


A proposal for duck blind lotteries and other types of lotteries would allow the chief to choose how they are conducted. This proposal includes all Division of Wildlife drawings, including on Division of Parks and Watercraft properties.


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