COLUMBUS – Hunters will have their first opportunity to pursue white-tailed deer when archery season opens on Sept. 29, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Ohio’s 2018-19 deer seasons include:
• Archery: Sept. 29, 2018-Feb. 3, 2019
• Youth gun: Nov. 17-18, 2018
• Gun: Nov. 26-Dec. 2, 2018, and Dec. 15-16, 2018
• Muzzleloader: Jan. 5-8, 2019
New for the 2018-19 season, only one antlerless deer may be taken from Ohio’s public hunting areas per license year. In addition, from Dec. 3, 2018, through Feb. 3, 2019, no antlerless deer may be taken from public hunting areas in Ohio, excluding controlled hunts. A list of public hunting areas can be found at wildohio.gov.
In addition, new carcass rules apply to all carcasses brought into Ohio from a Chronic Wasting Disease-susceptible species (white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, caribou or moose.) No person is permitted to bring high-risk carcass parts of CWD-susceptible species into Ohio from any state, Mexican state or Canadian province, regardless of the CWD status of the exporting jurisdiction. High-risk carcass parts may be transported through Ohio if they are not unloaded within the state.
Those who hunt outside Ohio must bone out the meat before returning to the state with an elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, caribou or moose. Only the following parts may be brought into Ohio:
• Meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached;
• Meat that is boned out, securely and completely wrapped either commercially or privately;
• Cleaned hides with no heads attached;
• Skull plates that have been cleaned of all meat and brain tissue;
• Antlers with no meat or tissue attached;
• Cleaned upper canine teeth;
• Hides and capes without any part of the head or lymph nodes attached; or
• Finished taxidermy mounts.
As a reminder, portions of Holmes and Tuscarawas counties have been declared a Disease Surveillance Area as part of the state’s ongoing efforts to monitor CWD. Specific regulations that apply to hunters who harvest a deer within the DSA can be found at wildohio.gov.
The statewide bag limit is six deer, and only one deer may be antlered regardless of location or method of take. Deer bag limits are determined by county, and hunters cannot exceed a county bag limit. Deer hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes past sunset for all deer seasons. Additional details and requirements for deer hunting are contained in the 2018-19 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet, available where licenses are sold or at wildohio.gov.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations through a combination of regulatory and programmatic changes. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population which maximizes recreational opportunities while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.