Wildlife council approves Ohio’s 2020-2021 hunting seasons

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COLUMBUS — Hunting dates and bag limits for seasons that begin in September 2020 were approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council May 13, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

Deer seasons

  • Ohio’s white-tailed deer hunting seasons for 2020-2021 are:
  • Deer archery: Sept. 26, 2020-Feb. 7, 2021;
  • Youth deer gun: Nov. 21-22, 2020;
  • Deer gun: Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2020; Dec. 19-20, 2020;
  • Deer muzzleloader: Jan 2-5, 2021.

Some 2020-2021 county bag limits have changed in response to deer hunter and farmer surveys. The statewide deer bag limit remains at six deer, only one of which may be antlered, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. Small game and furbearer hunting is now open during the seven-day deer gun season, Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2020.

All hunters (except waterfowl hunters) are required to wear hunter orange clothing during these seven days. Keeping small game and furbearer seasons open provides consistency and more hunting opportunities.

Also, Lake La Su An Wildlife Area in Williams County is now exempt from the antlerless deer restrictions enacted on public lands following the week-long gun season. This is because of the proximity of Lake La Su An to the Chronic Wasting Disease-positive area in Michigan.

New rules

The Ohio Wildlife Council approved some new regulations for the upcoming hunting seasons.

The 2021 spring turkey season begins on Saturday rather than Monday in both the south zone and northeast zone. This provides two extra weekend dates to hunt.

The south zone opens April 24, 2021, and the northeast zone opens May 1, 2021.

The 2021 youth wild turkey season dates are April 17-18, 2021, statewide.

Quail hunting is closed on all state-owned and controlled public hunting areas, with the exception of Tri-Valley Wildlife Area and controlled hunts on Crown City Wildlife Area.

The bag limit for quail hunting is reduced to two birds in 16 southern Ohio counties.

Ruffed grouse hunting season is from Oct. 10 to Nov. 29, 2020, on state-owned and controlled public hunting areas, and from Oct. 10, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2021, on private land. The ruffed grouse bag limit has been reduced to one bird statewide.

Members of the U.S. armed forces and veterans are permitted to hunt waterfowl for two days, Oct. 3-4, 2020, corresponding with the dates for the 2020 youth waterfowl season. The same bag limits during the regular season apply.

Waterfowl season in the north zone begins one week later, on Oct. 24, 2020, to allow for more November hunting days in that zone. The bag limit for scaup has been reduced to one bird during the first 15 days of the season in each zone, and two birds during the last 45 days of the season in each zone.

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