REVISIONS TO OHIO DEER & TURKEY HUNTING REGULATIONS
Process for changing Ohio
Deer & Turkey Hunting Laws
Rules that control deer
and turkey hunting in Ohio
are determined by the Ohio Wildlife Council. They face a delicate task of balancing hunter desires with the
management of wildlife. Annual changes
to the Ohio
hunting regulations are based on state wildlife management assessments and the
interest of the public. The public is afforded an opportunity each year to
comment on proposed rule changes before the new year’s hunting regulations are
January, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife
presents its proposed regulations for the next year to the Ohio Wildlife
Council which may get revised slightly after reviewing data at the end of the
deer season. The ODNR Division of
Wildlife releases the change proposals to the public by publishing them on
their website. Around the first week of
March, an open house meeting is held in each of the state’s five wildlife
districts to allow the public a chance to comment on the proposed hunting
regulations. If you want to show support
for or against these changes, you may want to mark your calendar and attend
this meeting which is open to the public. About three weeks later, a state wide hearing is held at the wildlife
district One Office in Columbus. The Ohio Wildlife Council considers the
public’s input and determines the new rules.
Changes to Regulations for 2014-2015
On Wednesday, 9 April 2014,
the Ohio Wildlife Council approved changes to the Ohio hunting regulations for the 2014-2015
hunting seasons. There are several
changes to the deer hunting regulations including reduced use of antlerless
permits, an adjustment to the deer-muzzleloader season, the use of straight-walled
cartridge rifles and reduced bag limits.
There don’t seem
to be any major rule changes made that will impact turkey hunting except youth hunters will be allowed to harvest up to two wild
turkeys during the 2015 two-day youth season. The fall turkey
season will start on 13 October and end on 30 November 2014. The youth spring turkey hunt will be April 18-19
followed by the regular spring turkey season running April 20 through May 17,
2015. The ODNR Division of Wildlife
released the proposed 2015 turkey hunting season dates to the public on 9
January in a Wildlife News Release on their website at http://ohiodnr.com.
Some major changes
impacting deer hunting were made for the 2014-2015 hunting season. They include a reduction in the use of antlerless permits for many
ODNR has concluded that the deer herd in many counties have been reduced to the
desired level and use of antlerless permits in those counties are no
longer needed. They eliminated antlerless
permits for 27 counties and reduced the number for several other counties.
A second major
change is an adjustment to the
deer-muzzleloader season. It will start on a Friday and end on the next
Monday as compared to last year when the season began on a Saturday and ended
on a Tuesday.
A third major change made to the deer hunting regulations
allows the use of some center-fire rifles chambered for pistol-cartridge ammunition. These rifles use straight-walled cartridges and are not considered high-powered rifles. Hunter will be limited to three shells in the magazine and chamber
The types of rifles allowed are .357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, .38 Special,
.375 Super Magnum, .375 Winchester, .38-55, .41 Long Colt, .41 Magnum, .44
Special, .44 Magnum, .444 Marlin, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .45 Long Colt, .45
Winchester Magnum, .45 Smith & Wesson, .454 Casull, .460 Smith &
Wesson, .45-70, .45-90, .45-110, .475 Linebaugh, .50-70, .50-90, .50-100,
.50-110 and .500 Smith & Wesson.
Bag limits are also being adjusted to reflect the
reduction in the deer population in many counties. A reduction is being made
for 44 counties and an increase in 5 counties. The other 39 counties will remain the same. There is a statewide
limit of 9 deer that can be obtained by hunting various counties but only one
can be an antlered deer.
The deer hunting seasons are as follows:
Deer hunting seasons
Deer archery: Sept. 27, 2014 - Feb. 1, 2015.
Antlerless deer muzzleloader: Oct. 11-12, 2014.
Youth deer gun: Nov. 22-23, 2014.
Deer gun: Dec. 1-7, 2014.
Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 2-5, 2015.
Division of Wildlife released the approved deer hunting changes to the public
on 10 April in a news release article on their website at http://ohiodnr.com.
The new official hunting regulations, when finalized and published, will
be available where licenses are sold and online from the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources at their Wild Ohio Customer Center. Be sure to review or obtain a copy of them
prior to your hunting trip to ensure you are aware of any changes. If you want to learn more about hunting white
tail deer and wild turkey in southeastern Ohio visit http://hunt-ohio-deer-and-turkey-on-public-land.com.