COLUMBUS — Ohio’s white-tailed deer muzzleloader hunting season will open statewide Jan. 5-8, 2013, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Ohio hunters have harvested 188,853 deer this season. During the 2012 four-day muzzleloader season, 19,459 deer were harvested.
Ohio deer hunters must possess the proper permits. Regardless of zone, method of taking or season, hunters may take only one antlered deer during the 2012-2013 deer hunting season.
Legal hunting hours for the muzzleloader season are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. Deer must be checked in by noon the day after the harvest, except on the last day of muzzleloader season when a deer must be checked in by 11:30 p.m. that day.
Ohio’s small game, furbearer and waterfowl seasons are also open during the muzzleloader season. All hunters (except waterfowl hunters) must wear a visible solid hunter orange or camouflage hunter orange coat, jacket, vest or coveralls during the muzzleloader season.
Deer-archery season remains open through Feb. 3, 2013.
Hunters must still report their deer harvest, but they are no longer required to take their deer to a check station for physical inspection. Hunters have three options to complete the automated game check: online at wildohio.com; by telephone at 877-TAG-ITOH (824-4864). This option is only available to people required to have a deer permit to hunt deer; at all license agents. A list of these agents can be found at wildohio.com or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).
Hunters are encouraged to donate any extra venison to organizations assisting Ohioans in need. ODNR Division of Wildlife is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who donate deer are not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer are taken to a participating processor. To see which counties are involved in this program, go to fhfh.org.
The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio ranks eighth nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has an $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.
More information about Ohio deer hunting can be found in the 2012-2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.com. Hunters can also share photos by clicking on the Photo Gallery tab online.