Division of Wildlife Proposals Once Again Ignore Concealed Carry for Hunters

By Larry S. Moore

The Ohio Wildlife Council met on Wednesday February 8 to finalize the proposed changes to the hunting and trapping regulations. Most of the discussion centered on the 2005 – 2006 deer harvest and projections for 2007.

The Division received complaints that statewide muzzleloading season did not include a weekend date. The Division follows the statewide muzzleloading season dates as December 27 through 30 regardless of the day of the week. The major concern is the availability of deer check-in stations if the Christmas holiday or New Year’s is included. Following this pattern, there will be at least one weekend date for the muzzleloading season through 2009.

The major change proposed for deer hunting is the addition of a statewide weekend gun season proposed for December 16 and 17. The deer archery season is being proposed to extend through February 3, 2007. There are no changes being proposed in the deer zones for 1, 2 or 3 deer harvest counties. Additional changes will prohibit transporting deer into Ohio from areas known to have CWD. Currently no CWD has been detected in the Ohio deer herd.

The most important part of the proposals, at least in my opinion, is not what was proposed but what was once again ignored by the Division of Wildlife. Concealed carry for hunters is once again not included in the proposals.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.

I’ve quietly had talks and written letters to the Division regarding concealed carry. During the 2005 open houses the Division only received about 35 requests for concealed carry for hunters. I had hoped that my discussions might bring the Division into line with state law and allow concealed handgun license holders to carry while hunting. Unfortunately that is not the case.

The regulations regarding hunting are set by the Chief of the Division of Wildlife with the approval of the Ohio Wildlife Council. The regulations concerning concealed carry are quite confusing. Deer hunters can not carry a concealed weapon of any type while hunting. However, upland game (rabbit, pheasant, squirrel) hunters who have a CHL and hunt on private property can carry a concealed handgun. Upland game hunters on public land may or may not be able to carry a concealed handgun depending on the public land and the time of the year.

All these rules are confusing. Additionally the Ohio Hunter Education Course specifies that carrying a concealed weapon is not permitted. That is not entirely true however the variations are too complex to teach in the course. The CHL holder is not a threat to the Division of Wildlife officers. Division of Wildlife officers are law enforcement and must be informed if we are carrying. There is nothing about the carrying of a concealed handgun during the deer gun season that is suddenly going to turn the law abiding hunter into a poacher or a threat to the Wildlife Officers.

The only way the Division of Wildlife is going to change this position is to overwhelmingly hear from other hunters and CHL holders. I’ve tried for close to two years now without results. I was patient to give the Division time to see the law working. That time, in my opinion, is now passed.

If hunters want concealed carry for the licensed CHL holder, we must all speak out to the Division of Wildlife.

The Division of Wildlife holds a series of public meetings each year in March. This year the meetings are March 5, 2006 beginning at noon and until approximately 3:00 PM at the following district locations. All locations are handicap accessible. The district headquarters offices are state owned buildings and posted. The Greene County Fish and Game Association Clubhouse is not posted. There is no liquor license. The association donates the use of the clubhouse to the Division of Wildlife so concealed carry there is permitted.

    District 1 Headquarters
    1500 Dublin Road

    District 2 Headquarters
    952 Lima Avenue

    District 3 Headquarters
    912 Portage Lakes Drive

    District 4 Headquarters
    360 East State Street

    District 5 @ Greene County Fish and Game Association Clubhouse
    1538 Union Road

For more information on the Ohio Wildlife Council and the members go to:

For a complete list of proposed seasons and bag limits go to:

For the latest Division of Wildlife press release on the additional weekend for deer:

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