COLUMBUS — The Ohio Wildlife Council heard proposals for Ohio’s 2019-2020 white-tailed deer hunting season dates and bag limits recently, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The proposed season dates are nearly identical to previous seasons.

Overview of proposed deer hunting seasons for 2019-2020:

Deer archery: Sept. 28, 2019-Feb. 2, 2020

Youth deer gun: Nov. 23-24, 2019

Deer gun: Dec. 2-8, 2019; Dec. 21-22, 2019

Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 4-7, 2020

Deer bag limits were proposed to remain the same for all counties. The statewide bag limit was proposed to remain at six deer, only one of which may be antlered, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit.

As the first step toward electronic permitting in the future, it was proposed that hunters be allowed to carry either a printed or electronic version of their valid deer or turkey permits. Hunters are currently required to invalidate printed deer and turkey permits by filling them out. It was also proposed to allow hunters to transport their deer or turkey to their residence or temporary lodging without a game tag being attached to the animal, as long as their permit is properly filled out and the hunter remains with the animal.

It was also proposed to change the name of the antlerless deer permit to deer management permit. Another proposal is to require hunters who harvest a deer within a disease surveillance area (DSA) to deliver the head to an inspection station only during the seven-day gun season rather than all firearm seasons.

Other proposals being considered were presented to the council at the January meeting. A complete list of the proposed rule changes can be found at wildohio.gov.

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all of the ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. The Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates after considering public input.

Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments on a topic that is currently being considered by council are asked to register at least two days before the meeting by calling 614-265-6304. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.

Open houses to receive public comments about hunting, trapping, and fishing regulations and other wildlife issues will be held on Saturday, March 2. Open houses will be held at the ODNR Division of Wildlife District One, District Two, District Three and District Four offices, as well as the Greene County Fish and Game Association clubhouse in Xenia.

Open houses give the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed fishing, hunting and trapping regulations with ODNR Division of Wildlife officials. For Ohioans who are unable to attend an open house, comments will be accepted online at wildohio.gov beginning on Thursday, Feb. 14, and will remain open until Monday, March 4. Directions to the open houses can be found at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).

A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District One office on March 21, at 9 a.m. The office is located at 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus 43215.

The council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its meeting on Wednesday, April 10, after considering public input. Small game, migratory bird and wild turkey hunting season dates were proposed at the January council meeting and will also be voted on by the council on April 10.

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