PCR - Division of Wildlife Open House Critical Step

The ODNR Division of Wildlife has proposed a Buckeye Firearms Association supported regulation to add Pistol Caliber Rifles (PCR) to the Ohio deer gun season. The upcoming Open Houses on March 1 are a critical last hurdle for PCR in Ohio.

The PCR proposal has enjoyed strong support from sportsmen across Ohio and the response to the Division of Wildlife PCR survey in 2013 as overwhelming. Buckeye Firearms Association volunteers have led an educational effort regarding PCR. That effort resulted in the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation adopting a policy in support of PCR at their 2013 state convention.

While support has been strong, sportsmen cannot assume that the PCR is quite yet a reality. The Division of Wildlife Open Houses is for the public to provide input regarding all proposed hunting regulations. This year a tweaking of the deer regulations and PCR proposal dominate the discussion. A strong positive turnout is still required. The Division of Wildlife will present the comments and a summary to the Ohio Wildlife Council for their approval. Any significant negative public response could still result in the PCR proposal not moving forward.

We realize the proposal may fall short in some areas. We have heard feedback that some desirable cartridges, or a pet cartridge, were not included on the list. I urge everyone to understand that the proposal represents at least four years of effort. As with any effort, and especially a gun related effort, there are compromises along the way. The Division of Wildlife is in support of allowing a conservative set of cartridges for PCR. We need to understand that as a state agency they have certain restraints, guidelines and responsibilities. Some feedback may indicate that a few people are looking at the glass as half empty. I prefer to think of the glass as half full. Actually I think the glass is way more than half full.

Throughout this effort Buckeye Firearms Association volunteers have forged solid working relationships with the Division of Wildlife, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and sportsmen clubs across Ohio. These relationships will continue to develop and likely pay dividends in other ways at some point in the future. And together, we have an opportunity to have PCR become legal in Ohio during the seasons that allow shotgun hunting for deer. This is a tremendous step forward to allow Ohioans the use of a rifle.

I am excited about the possibility of PCR deer hunting. I am excited that perhaps next year as some of my granddaughters start to deer hunt they may do it with a tool that is lighter to carry and has less recoil than some other choices. In doing so, this would start an entirely new deer hunting tradition for our family, and no doubt many other sportsmen across Ohio.

I hope you will take the time to attend an Open House and leave a positive comment about PCR. If you can’t make an open house, then take a few minutes and respond to the proposal via the online address.

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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