COLUMBUS -- Regulations and season dates have been set by the Ohio Wildlife Council for the 2005-06 hunting season. Ohio hunters will have expanded deer-hunting opportunities this fall.
A three-deer limit in Zone C will be expanded this year to cover 38 eastern and southern Ohio counties, 12 more than last year. The 30 counties of Zone B will have a two-deer limit. Zone A consists of 20 northwestern Ohio counties and will have a one-deer limit.
"Last season, Ohio hunters had a record kill of 216,443 deer," said Steven A. Gray, chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. "With even more liberal regulations in the coming season, Ohio hunters can look forward to another great deer season this fall."
The extremely popular youth deer-gun season is scheduled for Nov. 19-20. The regular deer-gun season will begin on Nov. 28 and run through Dec. 4. The archery season will run from Oct. 1 through Jan. 31, 2006. The statewide muzzleloader season will open Dec. 27 and run through Dec. 30.
New this year, the early muzzleloader deer hunt at Salt Fork, Shawnee and Wildcat Hollow will be by permit only. Hunters interested in participating will need to submit a controlled hunt application during the application period, which is June 1 through July 31.
A specific number permits will be issued. The permit issued will designate whether the hunter can kill an antlered or antlerless deer. This hunt previously was for bucks only.
The early muzzleloader deer hunt is Oct. 24-29. Hunters may take only one buck in Ohio, regardless of zone, hunting method or season.
Additional hunting regulations and season dates were approved by the wildlife council, including Morrow County being added to the counties open for fall turkey hunting and a season on river otter trapping in which trappers will be able to take a limited number of otters within a very conservative framework in 43 counties.
Sept. 1 will again mark the kickoff date for the state's fall hunting seasons for squirrel, dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen and snipe hunting.
Migratory waterfowl hunting rules and season dates will be set in August within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2005-06 framework, which will be supplied later this summer.