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2011-2012 Ohio Hunting Seasons Approved

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COLUMBUS, OH – Hunting and trapping regulations for 2011-12 seasons were passed by the Ohio Wildlife Council at the April 6 meeting, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

The proposed change to move Fayette County from Deer Zone B to Zone A was approved.  A rule to eliminate the requirement for all packages of deer meat produced during the butchering process to be marked with the tag, seal or certificate number was also passed.  The tag, seal or certificate must be maintained until the entire deer has been consumed, but the package no longer needs to be marked.

Hunters can again buy antlerless deer permits at reduced prices for hunting in an urban zone, participating in a Division of Wildlife-authorized controlled hunt or hunting during the September 24 to November 27 portion of the deer season.  The sale of reduced priced antlerless permits will cease after November 27, so hunters need to commit early to buying and using the extra reduced-cost permits to take full advantage of this opportunity. The deadline for using the antlerless permit will be extended to December 4 for those hunting in Deer Zone C.  Cost of the antlerless deer permit remains $15.

Deer Limits

The maximum number of deer that a hunter may take in Deer Zone A is two.  Prior to November 28, hunters may take up to two deer in Zone A, one of which may be on a $15 antlerless deer permit.  Beginning November 28, hunters may take only one deer in Zone A and antlerless permits may not be used.

The maximum number of deer that a hunter may take in Deer Zone B is four.  Prior to November 28, hunters may take up to four deer in Zone B, two of which may be on $15 antlerless deer permits.  Beginning November 28, hunters may take only two deer in Zone B and antlerless permits may not be used.

The maximum number of deer that a hunter may take in Deer Zone C is six.  Prior to December 5, hunters may take up to six deer in Zone C, three of which may be on $15 antlerless deer permits.  Beginning December 5, hunters may take only three deer in Zone C and antlerless permits may not be used.

Those hunting in urban zones and at Division of Wildlife-authorized controlled hunts will again have a six-deer bag limit, and those deer will not count against the hunter’s zone bag limit.

Either a $15 antlerless deer permit and a valid hunting license or $24 deer permit and a valid hunting license are required to hunt deer in Ohio.  A hunter may take only one antlered deer in Ohio, regardless of zone, hunting method or season.

2011-12 White-tailed Deer Seasons and Dates

  • Archery season  September 24 through February 5, 2012
  • Special area muzzleloader hunts October 17-22
  • Youth deer-gun season  November 19-20
  • Statewide deer-gun season  November 28 through December 4 and December 17-18
  • Statewide muzzleloader season  January 7-10, 2012

During the 2010-2011 season hunters killed a total of 239,260 deer.  Approximately 475,000 people hunt white-tailed deer in Ohio.

Hunting seasons for rabbit, pheasant, quail, squirrel, crow, and wild turkey were approved as proposed.  So were trapping seasons for beaver, mink, muskrat, and river otter, along with the hunting and trapping seasons for beaver, fox, raccoon, skunk, and weasel.

2011-12 Hunting and/or Trapping Seasons and Dates

  • Squirrel  September 1 through January 31, 2012
  • Ruffed grouse – October 8 through January 31, 2012
  • Fall Wild Turkey – October 8 – November 27, in specified counties
  • Youth upland season – October 22-23 and October 29-30
  • Cottontail rabbit  November 4 through February 29, 2012
  • Ring-necked Pheasant November 4 through January 8, 2012
  • Bobwhite Quail – November 4-27, in specified counties
  • Fox, raccoon, skunk, opossum, and weasel – November 10 through January 31, 2012
  • Mink and muskrat  November 10 through February 29, 2012
  • Mink, muskrat, raccoon, skunk, opossum, and weasel (Lake Erie Marsh area)  November 10 through March 15, 2012
  • Beaver – December 26 through February 29, 2012
  • River Otter – December 26 through February 29, 2012
  • Youth Spring Wild Turkey Season – April 21 and 22, 2012
  • Spring Wild Turkey – April 23, 2012 through May 20, 2012
  • Crow (Fri, Sat, Sun only) – June 3, 2011 through March 12, 2012 and June 2, 2012 through March 11, 2013
  • Coyote and woodchuck – No closed season

Rules and season dates for migratory birds including mourning dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen, snipe, woodcock, and waterfowl hunting will be set in August, in compliance with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service‘s 2011-12 framework.

All hunting and trapping season dates and rules can be found at wildohio.com.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.  Visit the ODNR Web site atohiodnr.com.

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104,000 Pounds of Venison Donated to the Hungry

A white-tailed deer
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COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio deer hunters have donated more than 104,100 pounds of venison to local food banks so far this deer season, according to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

“I am happy to see this program continue to grow each year. Ohio hunters once again have shown their generosity so Ohio’s food pantries will receive the nutritious red meat they so desperately need,” said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife.

The 104,100 pounds equals approximately 416,400 meals for needy Ohioans. To date, 2,082 deer have been donated with plenty of deer hunting opportunity left in the 2010-11 season. Last year at this time, 1,910 deer had been donated representing 95,500 pounds of venison.

Last year FHFH collected 116,750 pounds of venison from 2,336 deer through the entire season, which ran from September 2009 to February 7, 2010. Ohio county chapters with the highest numbers of deer donations so far are: Licking-208; Muskingum, Morgan and Perry-189; Coshocton, Tuscarawas, and Knox-160; Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Meigs, Vinton and Washington-137; and Franklin-121.

“We are thrilled that the partnership between FHFH and ODNR has resulted in greater numbers of donated deer – and meals provided – across Ohio again this year. With high unemployment in many areas fueling an even greater need for nutritious food items at food banks and feeding ministries, this growth could not have come at a better time, ” according to Josh Wilson, FHFH national operations director.

Hunters still have a weekend of deer-gun hunting, December 18-19, and eight weeks of archery hunting in Ohio. Archery season remains open until February 6. The statewide muzzleloader deer-hunting season will be held, January 8 – 11, 2011.

The Division of Wildlife collaborated with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry in an effort to assist with the processing costs associated with donating venison to a food bank. So far, a $100,000 subsidy grant was provided in two $50,000 allotments that are to be matched with funds generated or collected by FHFH. The division subsidized this year’s FHFH operation as an additional deer management tool, helping wildlife managers encourage hunters to kill more does.

Venison that is donated to food banks must be processed by a federal, state or locally inspected and insured meat processor that is participating with FHFH. Hunters wishing to donate their deer to a food bank are not required to pay for the processing of the venison as long as the program has funds available to cover the cost. There are currently 71 participating meat processors across the state. A list is provided atwww.fhfh.org.

Currently there are 31 local chapters across the state with a need for more. Anyone interested in becoming a local program coordinator or a participating meat processor should visit the “Local FHFH” page atwww.fhfh.org. The Web page includes a current list of coordinators, program names and the counties they serve.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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