hunters

Whitetail deer hunting season opens on Monday. In Defiance County, there is a three deer limit. In the state, the limit is six.

Deer hunting season with a gun begins Monday in Ohio and this year not much has changed for Defiance County.

Recently Austin Dickinson, the wildlife officer of Defiance County outlined the bag limits, rules and regulations for the 2021-22 hunting season for the County.

“In Defiance County, the limit for each hunter is three deer for the year. The license is for one antlered deer and two antlerless deer,” said Dickinson. The statewide limit is six, so hunters may harvest three deer in Defiance County and hunt in other counties, “As long as the hunter follows the county limits and gets permits for those counties and only one antlered deer can be taken in the state,” reiterated Dickinson.

In Ohio, a 10 gauge or smaller shotgun using one ball or one rifled slug per barrel is permitted.

A deer hunting license for one year for an Ohio resident is $19 and $180.96 for a non-resident. For youth and senior citizens, the price for a one-year resident license is $10. Non-resident youth pay the same price for one year of hunting deer in Ohio.

Recently Ohio hosted the youth weekend and saw 98 deer harvested in Defiance County — up from 84 in 2020. Statewide for the youth weekend 7,634 deer were harvested.

The 2021 bow season in Defiance, already underway since Sept. 25, has already seen 499 deer taken. For those hunting with a bow, season ends Feb. 6, 2022.

When Dickinson was asked about predators like mountain lions or wolves, he said that there are no confirmed sightings of either, but that coyotes and bobcats are common in Defiance County and can pose a challenge. “They won’t take on an adult deer but bobcats or coyotes can take a fawn — especially in the spring.”

Earlier in the year, epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) in the whitetail population was a challenge in surrounding counties. According to Dickinson, “Usually after the first or second frost, the disease goes away.” Sarah Zaleski, wildlife research technician for Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Wildlife Division, was contacted about the results of research in Defiance concerning EHD and she said, “We did find some positive cases of EHD in Defiance County earlier in the year. At least four positive cases were sent to the lab and multiple dead deer were reported around water and in wooded areas.”

When asked about the continued presence of EHD in Defiance Zaleski was positive, “We have experienced enough frost that the midges that carry the disease have died off. EHD is not a factor for hunters even before frost because the deer either get better or die within two days after infection.”

The current hunting season promises to be a good one according to Dickinson: “The deer population is doing well in Defiance and surrounding counties, so there are lots of deer out there.”

Dickinson reiterated that safety requirements for hunting season should always be in mind: “An orange vest is required for anyone hunting or assisting a hunter in the woods. The only exception is for waterfowl. Be as safe as possible and always be aware of your surroundings.”

For more information about hunting regulations or licenses, contact wildlife.gov or call 1-800-945-3543.

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