ODNR Division of Wildlife announces pistol caliber rifles for deer hunting

The ODNR Division of Wildlife made the 2014 deer season regulation presentation to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Feb. 5. Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) is extremely pleased to announce that the proposals include allowing pistol caliber rifles (PCR) for Ohio deer gun seasons in the 2014 regulations. PCR has been an important initiative for BFA leadership and volunteers.

The Association volunteers have worked on this proposal for quite some time. We have attended numerous outreach meetings with the Division of Wildlife, sportsmen groups and farm organizations. The Division of Wildlife ran a survey at the 2013 annual open houses regarding the sportsmen attitude towards PCR. The response to the survey was overwhelmingly in support of allowing PCR.

The Ohio deer herd is healthy and the ODNR Division of Wildlife sees no adverse effects to the deer management program by allowing the use of PCR. Cooperation between Division of Wildlife managers, sportsmen and landowners is critical for the success of wildlife management and especially managing the Ohio deer population. With this in mind BFA specifically sought the support of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). We realized that an educational process and partnership with the OFBF is very important. A policy resolution was submitted to the OFBF at the local county level. With the adoption of the local policy it was presented to the OFBF state delegates. They adopted a state policy at their 2013 convention to encourage the Division of Wildlife to allow PCR.

The PCR proposal will allow:

  • Straight-walled cartridges which are currently legal in handguns. Ohio deer hunters have used handguns with these cartridges for decades without incident. These are the only cartridges which will become legal in rifles. The ODNR Division of Wildlife maintains a more complete list.
  • The 3-shot plugging rule is required for the pistol caliber rifles (PCR) the same as for shotguns.
  • The PCR will only be allowed during any deer season which currently allows the use of shotguns and handguns. Basically these seasons are the early youth deer gun season and the traditional deer gun week which opens on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
  • This type of firearm is lighter than shotguns and muzzleloaders, making it ideal for youth, the physically impaired, or any hunter who wishes to carry less weight.
  • The pistol cartridges are actually less powerful than the newer shotguns with rifled barrels, inline muzzleloaders, and sabot bullet technology. There is less recoil than with 12-gauge shotguns again making them ideal for smaller hunters.
  • Because it is a rifle with a shoulder stock, it is easier to shoot more accurately than handguns.
  • All states adjacent to Ohio allow PCR hunting for deer. Indiana moved to allow PCR for deer several years ago with no reported problems.

Buckeye Firearms Association applauds the Ohio Division of Wildlife for making the proposal so Ohio deer hunters will have another tool available as they enjoy deer hunting starting in 2014. We thank the OFBF for their support of PCR. We hope the Ohio Wildlife Council will adopt the proposed policy.

Outdoor writer and hunter education instructor Larry S. Moore is a long-time volunteer leader for Buckeye Firearms Foundation and winner of the 2005 USSA Patriot Award, the 2007 League of Ohio Sportsmen/Ohio Wildlife Federation Hunter Educator of the Year and the 2010 National Wild Turkey Federation/ Women in the Outdoors Hunter Education Instructor of the Year.

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