The 2013-2014 Ohio hunting and trapping season dates have been released by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The seasons include changes to address deer management on a county level, and increase hunting opportunities through extended hours and a new early muzzleloader season.
The Ohio legislature approved the hunting regulations that cut the number of animals that hunters could kill statewide. The rules reduce the statewide bag limit on deer from 12 to nine. They also set county limits instead of dividing the state into zones with limits. Hunting hours would be extended 30 minutes past sunset for all deer firearms seasons, making the hours the same as archery season.
The regulations are set to take effect during the 2013-2014 hunting seasons.
Deer bag limits are now determined by county. ODNR notes that the average hunter harvests fewer than two deer. Deer bag limits, by county:
*One either-sex permit, one antlerless permit (eight counties): Darke, Erie, Fayette, Hancock, Madison, Ottawa, Sandusky and Wood.
*Two either-sex permits, one antlerless permit (23 counties): Auglaize, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Gallia, Harrison, Henry, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Logan, Meigs, Mercer, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Preble, Ross, Shelby, Van Wert and Washington.
*Three either-sex permits, one antlerless permit (57 counties): Adams, Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Defiance, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Fulton, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hardin, Highland, Holmes, Huron, Knox, Lake, Licking, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Paulding, Pickaway, Pike, Portage, Putnam, Richland, Scioto, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Union, Vinton, Warren, Wayne, Williams and Wyandot.
Deer hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes past sunset for all deer seasons. Antlerless permits will be valid until Dec. 1, the Sunday before the deer-gun season.
Hunters may harvest only one buck in Ohio, regardless of method of take or location. The statewide bag limit is nine deer, but a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. Additional controlled hunting opportunities do not count against the statewide bag limit.
The antlerless deer muzzleloader season was added in October. The December bonus gun weekend, the early muzzleloader season at three public hunting areas (Salt Fork Wildlife Area, Shawnee State Forest and Wildcat Hollow), and urban hunting zones are discontinued.
The fall wild turkey season begins on Oct. 14, the Monday following the antlerless deer muzzleloader season. Butler, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Hamilton, Huron, Seneca and Warren counties are added to the list of counties open for fall turkey hunting.
Deer and fall turkey permits will go on sale July 1.
Cottontail rabbit hunting restrictions are removed in the snowshoe hare protected area in Geauga and Ashtabula counties. Remaining snowshoe hares are still protected as a state-endangered species, and it remains illegal to kill them in Ohio.
Season dates and bag limits for migratory birds, including mourning dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen, snipe, woodcock and waterfowl will be set in August in compliance with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2013-2014 framework.
2013-2014 hunting and trapping seasons:
Deer archery: Sept. 28 - Feb. 2, 2014
Antlerless deer muzzleloader: Oct. 12-13
Youth deer: Nov. 23-24
Deer gun: Dec. 2-8
Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 4-7, 2014
Squirrel (gray, red and fox): Sept. 1 - Jan. 31, 2014
Ruffed grouse: Oct. 12 - Jan. 31, 2014
Fall wild turkey: Oct. 14 - Dec. 1
Youth upland game: Oct. 19-20, Oct. 26-27
Cottontail rabbit: Nov. 1 -Feb. 28, 2014
Ring-necked pheasant: Nov. 1 - Jan. 5, 2014
Bobwhite quail: Nov. 1 - Dec. 1
Fox, raccoon, opossum, skunk and weasel: Nov. 10 - Jan. 31, 2014
Mink and muskrat: Nov. 10 - Feb. 28, 2014
Mink, muskrat, raccoon, opossum, skunk and weasel (Erie, Ottawa and Sandusky counties, and Lucas County east of the Maumee River):Nov. 10 - March 15, 2014
Beaver: Dec. 26 - Feb. 28, 2014
River otter: Dec. 26 - Feb. 28, 2014
Crow: June 7 - March 8, 2014; June 6, 2014 - March 7, 2015 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday only)
Youth spring wild turkey: April 19-20, 2014
Spring wild turkey: April 21, 2014 - May 18, 2014
Coyote and feral swine (wild boar): No closed season
Groundhog: Closed only during deer gun season