Deer hunting is an extremely popular activity for sportsmen and women statewide, and Ohio’s white-tailed deer continue to provide hunters across the state with excellent opportunities for success as they head out into the field. Hunting remains the most effective management tool for maintaining Ohio’s healthy deer population, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Hunters can contact the ODNR Division of Wildlife toll-free at 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) with questions about hunting.
Special call center hours for the deer-gun seasons include:
10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17, for youth deer-gun season;
12-5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 25, before the start of deer gun season;
7 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 26, to Friday, Nov. 30, and
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, and 12-5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2, for deer-gun season.
Ohio’s annual youth white-tailed deer hunting season gives young hunters an early opportunity to pursue the state’s most popular big-game animal on Nov. 17-18, and it is open to hunters with a valid youth hunting license and a deer permit.
The deer-gun seasons run from Monday, Nov. 26, to Sunday, Dec. 2, and Dec. 15-16. Details about deer hunting rules are available in the 2018-2019 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations, where licenses are sold or at wildohio.gov. Only either-sex permits may be used after Sunday, Nov. 25, unless hunting in an ODNR Division of Wildlife authorized controlled hunt.
A new regulation for the 2018-2019 hunting season limits hunters to harvesting one antlerless white-tailed deer from public land per license year. In addition, antlerless deer may not be taken from public hunting areas from Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, through Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019. Authorized ODNR Division of Wildlife controlled hunts and controlled hunts occurring at specific Ohio State Parks properties are exempt from this regulation.
Deer bag limits are determined by county, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. The statewide bag limit is six deer. Hunters may harvest only one buck in Ohio, regardless of method of take or location. Hunting hours for all deer seasons are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.