• 59°

Deer season officially kicked off

Runs until Dec. 2

Deer gun season in Ohio has begun and runs until Dec. 2.

Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.

In a rule change this year, only antlered deer may be taken from public hunting areas following the weeklong deer gun season that begins Dec. 3. In addition, no more than one antlerless deer may be taken from public hunting areas per license year, except from an Ohio  Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Wildlife authorized control hunt.

Lawrence County is a three deer county, meaning that hunters can kill no more than three deer, of either sex, during the 2018-2019 season. Also, antlerless permits are not valid.

Antlerless deer are defined as deer with no antlers or antlers less than three inches in length.

The nearest counties that permit antlerless deer hunting are Franklin, Delaware and Hamilton counties.

Deer bag limits are determined by county, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. The statewide bag limit is six deer. Hunters may harvest only one buck in Ohio, regardless of method of take or location.

Other game that can be hunted during deer season are coyote, waterfowl or feral swine.

However, you cannot hunt coyote or feral swine (wild boar) between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise during any of the deer gun and deer muzzleloader seasons.

Hunters can contact the ODNR Division of Wildlife toll-free at 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) with questions about hunting.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of the state’s natural resources for the benefit of all.