MIKE BRAUN A rise in deer limits?
The Ohio Wildlife Council heard proposals last week for Ohio deer hunting for 2002 that could give hunters in some counties a crack at more than one deer.
Under the proposal presented by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, those hunting in Zone B would be allowed to take up to two deer while those hunting in Zone C could conceivable take up to three deer. Zone A and a new Zone R would be one-deer zones.
In a news release, Mike Budzik, chief of the Division of Wildlife, said: "We try to keep deer populations from going above established target levels. Ohio's geography is so widely diverse that you can't manage a northwestern county the same as you'd manage a southeastern county. The addition of a new zone, and increasing the deer limit from two to three in Zone C will help us manage on a more localized level."
Zones: According to the proposals the new zones would be:
UZone R (new zone): Hunters could take only one deer during 2002-03 deer seasons, which could be of either sex during archery or primitive seasons, or during the first two days of the statewide gun season or a buck-only in the last five days of the gun season.
UZone A: Hunters could take only one deer of either sex during the 2002-03 seasons.
UZone B: Hunters could take no more than two deer during the 2002-03 seasons, of which only one could be antlered.
UZone C: Hunters could take no more than three deer during the 2002-03 seasons, of which only one could be antlered.
Required permits would still be needed for hunters to take deer and, according to the proposal, only one deer in any of the multiple deer schemes can be antlered.
More changes: Other aspects of 2002-03 seasons proposed include:
UArchery season Oct. 5, 2002- Jan. 31, 2003, and statewide gun season Dec. 2-8, 2002.
UA special deer permit to cost $20 and used to tag either an antlered or antlerless deer during any season or at a controlled hunt anywhere in the state. Urban deer permits will cost $10 and be used to tag only antlerless deer taken in urban units or at special controlled hunts. Hunters must buy a special deer permit before they can purchase and use an urban deer permit. Urban deer units will remain the same, and the bag limit of four additional deer will be unchanged.
UThe statewide primitive weapon season running Dec. 27-30 for deer of either sex.
UA special area primitive hunt held Oct. 21-26 at Salt Fork, Shawnee and Wildcat Hollow state wildlife areas for antlered deer only.
Hunters would be prohibited from hunting coyotes and wild boar between sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise during deer gun season and the statewide primitive season. All daylight hunting except for deer, coyote, wild boar and waterfowl would be prohibited during deer gun season and on the special areas during the early primitive hunts. One exception: deer hunting on private lands within Wildcat Hollow Primitive Weapons Area in Perry and Morgan counties during the Special Area Primitive Weapon Season would be discontinued to allow for fall turkey hunting at these sites.
Changes will be open for public discussion at regional open houses March 3. A statewide fish and game hearing will be March 14 in Columbus and the Ohio Wildlife Council will then vote on all proposals and regulations April 10.