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State offering new ways to tag deer this season

Hunters will take to the woods for the first day of deer-gun season Monday and this year, hunters will have an easier way to tag their deer with a new automated game-check.

The automated game-check and permanent tagging process no longer requires hunters to transport their deer to an official game-check station for permanent tagging.

License agents will process game-check transactions, but will not visually inspect or permanently tag deer on behalf of hunters.

“This is the first year you’ll actually able to call your deer in instead of having to take it to a check in station,” said Tim Cochran Jr., owner of C&S Guns in Ironton. “A lot of people are pretty worried about the call in procedure where they’ve never done it before.”

But Cochran said the new process is nothing to worry about.

“I think if (hunters) just take their time, it will go a lot smoother,” he said. “When you first harvest a deer you’re supposed to fill out a temporary field permit. Once that permit is filled out, that’s a temporary tag for you to transport it from the woods to your vehicle or wherever you’re taking it. Once you are where you need to take it, you can call it in and they will give you a confirmation number, the permanent number for the deer.”

The number to call is 1-877-TAGITOH.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife is also offering online tagging.

The website is wildohio.com and hunters can click on “Wild Ohio Customer Center” and then click on “Game Check: Report a Deer or Turkey Harvest.” To game-check a harvest online, make sure to use a computer hooked to a printer.

A game-check receipt will be issued and it is recommended to be printed. When using a smartphone for game check, you must access your customer account at wildohio.com when you are at a computer, click on the Game Check button, and print your game check receipt.

Regardless of the game-check method, the hunter must provide the 10-digit permit number, which is printed in large numbers on every permit.

Authorized check-stations like C&S will still be available to check game.

The shop also offers licenses and deer permits. Cochran said standard adult deer permits are $24. Doe tags are also available for $15.

Deer-gun season lasts from Monday to Dec. 4, with an additional weekend of hunting Dec. 17-18.

In Lawrence County, a total of six deer may be harvested, with only one an antlered deer. Deer can be hunted with a legal muzzleloader, handgun or shotgun from one half-hour before sunrise to sunset

According to the ODNR, hunters are encouraged to kill more does this season using the reduced-priced antlerless deer permit where valid.

With a pre-hunting season population estimate of 750,000 white-tailed deer, the ODNR anticipates 115,000 to 125,000 deer will be killed during the nine-day season.

Approximately 420,000 hunters are expected to participate in this year’s season, including many out-of-state hunters.