Hunters are now in hot pursuit of white-tailed deer during the 2020-21 archery season, which opened Saturday, Sept. 26, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The agency estimated that approximately 375,000 people hunt deer in Ohio, making it the most sought-after animal in the state.
Division of Wildlife Director Kendra Wecker said that hunters in the Buckeye State can expect another great year of deer hunting.
“We have some additional public land hunting opportunities and welcome all hunters,” she said. “In addition, the new HuntFish OH mobile app provides hunters more flexibility to report their harvest, and offers additional resources while people are in the field. We are looking forward to another safe and successful season.”
Dr. Dan Lamb, pastor of the Hillsboro Bible Baptist Church, could be called an avid sportsman, judging by the number of deer mounts in his office alcove.
“I have a great love and a great passion for the outdoors, and outdoors people are great people and we enjoy them,” he said. “Those represent a lot of years of hunting, and some of them probably heard city church music since they were pretty close to Hillsboro when we took them.”
His church is known throughout the state, and particularly among outdoorsmen, for its annual Sportsman’s Night, now scheduled for Jan. 20, 2021.
The dates for Ohio’s deer seasons are:
• Archery: Sept. 26, 2020 through Feb. 7, 2021
• Youth gun: Nov. 21-22, 2020
• Gun: Nov. 30 through Dec. 6, 2020, and Dec. 19-20, 2020
• Muzzleloader: Jan. 2-5, 2021
The ODNR said that archery hunting continues to be a popular activity for Ohio’s hunters, with 48 percent of the total deer harvest last year resulting from archery hunts.
For the seventh year in a row, the agency said that more deer were harvested during archery season than the weeklong gun season, whereas archery season accounted for less than 30 percent of the annual harvest just 15 years ago.
During last years’ deer season, the ODNR reported that 184,468 deer were harvested by hunters, including 80,138 bucks, with landowners harvesting nearly 52,000 deer, or about 28 percent of the total harvest.
According to ODNR guidelines, hunters may take only one antlered deer regardless of location or method of take, and only one antlerless deer may be taken from Ohio’s public hunting areas per license year.
Additionally, from Dec. 7, 2020 through Feb. 7, 2021, no antlerless deer may be taken from public hunting areas in Ohio, excluding controlled hunts.
Deer limits are determined by county, and hunters cannot exceed a county limit, with deer hunting hours being 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes past sunset for all deer seasons.
For more information about hunting in Ohio, ODNR recommends downloading the “HuntFish OH” mobile app, or go online to www.wildohio.gov.
Additional details and requirements for deer hunting are contained in the 2020-21 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet, available where licenses are sold or at www.wildohio.gov.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.