Deer-gun Hunting Continues December 17-18

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio's popular deer-gun season will run an additional weekend, Saturday and Sunday, December 17-18, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

The extra weekend days were added in 2006 in response to requests from hunters for more weekend time to hunt. Hunters can use a legal muzzleloader, handgun or shotgun from one half-hour before sunrise until sunset on December 17-18. Ohio’s pre-hunting season population was estimated to be 750,000 white-tailed deer.

The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio ranks 8th nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with the hunting-related industry. Each year, hunting has an $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.

Ohio is divided into three deer hunting zones. After November 27, a limit of one deer may be taken in Zone A (12 counties) and two deer in Zone B (38 counties). Beginning December 5, the bag limit is three deer in Zone C and antlerless deer permits are no longer valid. Anytime a hunter takes more than one deer, an additional permit must be purchased.

Those hunting in urban units and at Division of Wildlife-authorized controlled hunts will have a six-deer bag limit, those deer will not count against the hunter's zone bag limit. Antlerless deer permits may be used for the entire season in urban deer units or Division of Wildlife-authorized controlled hunts. Antlerless deer permits must have been purchased prior to November 27 and are no longer available. Antlerless tags are not valid in Zones A and B after November 27.

Hunters may take only one antlered deer, regardless of zone, hunting method or season. A deer permit is required in addition to a valid Ohio hunting license and hunter orange is required to be worn except for waterfowl hunters.

Donations of extra deer will be accepted through the entire deer season which ends on February 5, 2012. Hunters who give their deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer are taken to a participating processor and funding for the effort lasts. Counties being served by this program can be found online at

Additional hunting regulations and maps of the state's deer zones are listed in the 2011-2012 Ohio Hunting Regulations. This free publication is available wherever hunting licenses are sold, online at or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

Ohio hunters and birdwatchers are reminded that they should be aware of one another as they pursue deer and birds on this shared weekend. Hunters need to remember that there may be other people—both hunters and non-hunters— in the woods. Birders are also reminded that hunters are allowed to hunt wherever they have written permission. While hunters are required to wear hunter orange in the field, birders should consider wearing a hunter orange vest or hat during the deer-gun weekend.

The 2011-2012 licenses will not be printed on weatherproof paper. Sportsmen and women should protect their licenses and permits from the elements by carrying them in a protective pouch or wallet.

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