COLUMBUS, Ohio (4-19-22) – The Ohio Wildlife Council approved an amended proposal for the upcoming 2022 fall wild turkey hunting season dates during its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, April 13, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The council also approved an amended white-tailed deer archery season opener in a three-county disease surveillance area in north-central Ohio.
This year’s fall wild turkey hunting will run from Saturday, Oct. 8 until Sunday, Nov. 13 for a 37-day season. Last year’s season was 52 days. The season limit is one wild turkey of either sex. These season dates were amended based on comments from fall turkey hunters. A 37-day season matches the length of Ohio’s spring turkey hunting season when the south and northeast zones are combined. Fall turkey hunting is open in 70 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
Deer hunting seasons
White-tailed deer are Ohio’s most popular game animal. The 2022-23 deer hunting dates are similar to last season. As in years past, only one antlered deer may be harvested, regardless of where or how it is taken, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. The deer hunting season dates for 2022-23 include:
- Deer archery: Sept. 24, 2022-Feb. 5, 2023.
- Youth deer gun: Nov. 19-20, 2022.
- Deer gun: Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2022; Dec. 17-18, 2022.\
- Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 7-10, 2023.
- Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
Bag limits will increase in 18 counties. Three counties will increase to two deer (from one deer): Clinton, Fayette, and Pickaway. Fifteen counties will increase to three deer (from two deer): Allen, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Mercer, Miami, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Preble, Putnam, Shelby, Van Wert, and Washington. Deer bag limit increases are designed to slow herd growth and provide additional hunting opportunities.
Disease surveillance area deer hunting seasons
A disease surveillance area was established following the 2020 discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in two deer in Wyandot County. Further testing revealed eight more CWD-positive deer in 2021. The Division of Wildlife has implemented additional measures to increase the deer harvest, decrease the possibility of disease transmission, and limit the spread of CWD in Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties. CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer and other similar species.
Deer archery hunting in the CWD surveillance area comprised of Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties will begin on Saturday, Sept. 10. The original proposed start date of Sept. 1 was amended following feedback from hunters and landowners.
Deer seasons in the disease surveillance area:
• Deer archery: Sept. 10, 2022-Feb. 5, 2023.
• Early deer gun: Oct. 8-10, 2022.
• Youth deer gun: Nov. 19-20, 2022.
• Deer gun: Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2022; Dec. 17-18, 2022.
• Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 7-10, 2023.
• Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
Further, public land deer hunting restrictions are removed at Big Island, Andreoff, and Wyandot wildlife areas. Public land restrictions were previously removed at Killdeer Plains and Lake La Su An wildlife areas.
Spring 2023 wild turkey hunting seasons
The spring 2023 turkey hunting dates:
- Youth season: April 15-16, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.
- South zone:
- April 22-April 30, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise to noon.
- May 1-21, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.
- Northeast zone:
- April 29-May 7, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise to noon.
- May 8-28, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.
General hunting regulations
The definition of a crossbow was updated to include new limb configurations and stock lengths. This will allow newer crossbow designs that are shorter and have differing limb configurations. A shoulder-mount stock is still required for a crossbow.
Restrictions were removed for carrying a concealed firearm while hunting. A person may carry and hunt with a legally concealed firearm, so long as the firearm meets existing regulations.
Endangered and threatened species listings
Every five years, the Division of Wildlife reviews and updates the species listed as endangered, threatened, extirpated, species of concern, and special interest. This year, 58 different species listings were changed, added, or removed from the endangered and threatened species list. A complete list of species is available at wildohio.gov.
Three fish species, the alligator gar, blacknose shiner, and longhead darter were downgraded to endangered from extirpated. Many species of dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies were updated following years of thorough citizen science reporting. Two crayfish species, the blue crayfish and the crawzilla crawdad, were added to the list after previously unknown populations of both species were discovered in Ohio.
Ohio Wildlife Council
The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. Council meetings are held virtually and open to the public. Individuals interested in providing comments are asked to call 614-265-6304 at least two days prior to the meeting to register. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.
The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.