Ohio hunters will see extended hours and new limits on the number of deer they can kill statewide during the upcoming hunting season under rules approved Wednesday by a state legislative panel.
The regulations, approved by the state’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, reduce the statewide bag limit on deer from 12 to nine. They also set per-county limits instead of dividing the state into zones with different limits.
Hunting hours have been extended 30 minutes past sunset for all deer firearms seasons, making the hours the same as archery season. The rules cleared the committee with no opposition.
The president of the League of Ohio Sportsmen, Larry Mitchell, said the new county limits will help maintained a more balanced deer herd across the state.
“Honestly, I think it’s the best thing that probably happened in years for the deer population,” Mitchell said. “This will be better for the sport and better for the deer.”
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has said the average hunter shoots fewer than two deer annually.
Following Wednesday’s hearing, the agency announced that Ohio’s deer archery season will begin Sept. 28. Deer permits will go on sale July 1.