Ohio Wildlife Council approves 2019-20 hunting regulations


COLUMBUS – The Ohio Wildlife Council approved Ohio’s 2019-20 hunting season dates and bag limits at Wednesday’s meeting, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

In addition, the council approved to increase the bag limit for walleye in Lake Erie and the Maumee River in March 2020.

Overview of white-tailed deer hunting seasons for 2019-20:

  • Deer archery: Sept. 28, 2019-Feb. 2, 2020
  • Youth deer gun: Nov. 23-24, 2019
  • Deer gun: Dec. 2-8, 2019; Dec. 21-22, 2019
  • Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 4-7, 2020

Deer bag limits remain the same for all counties. The statewide bag limit remains at six deer, only one of which may be antlered, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit.

Additional changes approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday include:

  • Hunters can transport a white-tailed deer or wild turkey to a residence or temporary lodging without a tag being attached to the animal, if the permit is properly filled out and the hunter remains with the animal.
  • The name of the antlerless deer permit was changed to deer management permit.
  • Hunters who harvest a deer within a disease surveillance area are required to deliver the head to an inspection station only during the seven-day gun season, rather than all firearm seasons.
  • Brant and pintail daily bag limits were reduced to one.
  • The annual shooting range permit fee is reduced when purchased at the same time as an annual resident hunting license.
  • Youth hunting seasons are open to hunters age 17 or younger. This provides for more uniform and consistent regulations for all youth hunting seasons.
  • The walleye bag limit will increase from four fish to six fish daily from March 1 to April 30 in Lake Erie, excluding the Sandusky River, when Ohio’s total allowable catch exceeds 3 million fish. In the Sandusky River, the four fish daily bag limit remains in place.
  • Nonresident anglers under the age of 16 are exempted from obtaining a nonresident Lake Erie fishing permit.

For a complete list of all proposed changes, visit the Proposed Rule Summary at wildohio.gov.

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all the Division of Wildlife rule and regulation changes. The Ohio Wildlife Council voted on the proposed rules and season dates after considering public input.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.

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.