The Ohio Wildlife Council approved hunting and trapping regulations for the 2012-13 hunting seasons, during the council’s April 4 meeting, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
Seven west-central Ohio counties will move from deer Zone A to Zone B; those counties are Auglaize, Darke, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby. Madison County, currently in Zone B, will move to Zone A.
Antlerless deer permits will no longer be valid the first week of deer-gun season in Zone C. The antlerless permits will be valid until Nov. 25 in deer Zones A, B and C. This is a return to regulations adopted in 2007.
Deer hunters will have until noon the following day to complete the automated game check process. The only exception will be on the last day of any season when automated game check must be completed by 11:30 p.m.
A hunter may take only one buck in Ohio, regardless of zone, hunting method or season. Either a $15 antlerless deer permit or $24 either-sex deer permit and a valid hunting license are required to hunt deer in Ohio.
Seasons and Dates for 2012-13:
Archery season – Sept. 29 through Feb. 3, 2013
Special area muzzleloader hunts – Oct. 15-20
Youth deer-gun season – Nov. 17-18
Statewide deer-gun season – Nov. 26 through Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-16
Statewide muzzleloader season – Jan. 5-8, 2013
Bag Limits -
Deer bag limits are zone specific by permit type. A hunter may take one deer from Zone A, two deer from Zone B and three deer from Zone C during the entire 2012-2013 season using the either-sex deer permit. Only one antlered deer may be taken regardless of zone.
Additionally, a hunter may take one antlerless deer from Zone A, two antlerless deer from Zone B and three antlerless deer from Zone C during the archery season from Sept. 29 to Nov. 25 using the antlerless deer permit.
Those hunting in urban units and at Division of Wildlife-authorized controlled hunts may use the antlerless deer permits during all deer hunting seasons. Urban units and controlled hunts will again have a six-deer bag limit, and those deer will not count against the hunter's zone bag limit.
Zone A — The zone includes six counties: Erie, Fayette, Madison, Ottawa, Sandusky and Wood.
Zone B — The zone includes 44 counties: Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Auglaize, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Darke, Defiance, Fulton, Geauga, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Lake, Logan, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Paulding, Portage, Preble, Putnam, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Union, Van Wert, Warren, Wayne, Williams and Wyandot.
Zone C — The zone includes 38 counties: Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Gallia, Guernsey, Hamilton, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Richland, Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Washington.
Hunting seasons for rabbit, pheasant, quail, squirrel, crow and wild turkey were approved as proposed. In addition, trapping seasons for beaver, mink, muskrat, and river otter, along with the hunting and trapping seasons for fox, raccoon, skunk, and weasel, were also approved.
2012-13 Hunting and/or Trapping Seasons and Dates
Squirrel – Sept. 1 through Jan. 31, 2013
Ruffed grouse – Oct. 13 through Jan. 31, 2013
Fall Wild Turkey – Oct. 13 through Nov. 25, in specified counties
Youth Upland Season – Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 27-28
Cottontail rabbit – Nov. 2 through Feb. 28, 2013
Ring-necked Pheasant – Nov. 2 through Jan. 6, 2013
Bobwhite Quail – Nov. 2-25, in specified counties
Fox, raccoon, skunk, opossum, and weasel – Nov. 10 through Jan. 31, 2013
Mink and muskrat – Nov. 10 through Feb. 28, 2013
Mink, muskrat, raccoon, skunk, opossum and weasel (Lake Erie Marsh area) – Nov. 10 through March 15, 2013
Beaver – Dec. 26 through Feb. 28, 2013
River Otter – Dec. 26 through Feb. 28, 2013
Youth Spring Wild Turkey Season – April 20-21, 2013
Spring Wild Turkey – April 22 through May 19, 2013
Crow (Friday, Saturday and Sunday only) – June 1 through March 10, 2013, and June 7, 2013, through March 9, 2014
Coyote and woodchuck – No closed season
Rules and season dates for migratory birds including mourning dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen, snipe, woodcock and waterfowl hunting will be set in August, in compliance with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's 2012-13 framework.
All hunting and trapping season dates and rules can be found at wildohio.com.