Ohio Wildlife Council Approves 2022-23 Hunting Seasons

Columbus, Ohio- The Ohio Wildlife Council approved an amended proposal for upcoming dates for the 2022 fall wild turkey hunting season at its regular meeting on Wednesday, April 13, according to the Department of Wildlife’s Division of Wildlife. Ohio Natural Resources (ODNR). The board also approved a change to the opening of white-tailed deer archery season in a three-county disease surveillance area in north-central Ohio.

This year, the fall wild turkey hunt will take place from Saturday, October 8 to Sunday, November 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 have been changed based on feedback from fall turkey hunters. A 37-day season is the length of Ohio’s spring turkey hunting season when the southern and northeast zones are combined. The fall turkey hunt 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 the past, a single deer with antlers can be harvested, no matter where or how it is taken, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. Deer hunting season dates for 2022-23 include:

  • Deer archery: Sept. 24, 2022-Feb. 5, 2023.
  • Young Deer Gun: Nov. 19-20, 2022.
  • Deer Rifle: Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2022; December 17-18, 2022.
  • Muzzle-loading deer: January 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 move to two stags (from one stag): Clinton, Fayette and Pickaway. Fifteen counties will move to three stags (from two stags): 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 zone deer hunting seasons
A disease surveillance area was established following the 2020 discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in two Wyandot County deer. Additional testing revealed eight more deer positive for CWD in 2021. The Wildlife Division has implemented additional measures to increase deer harvest, reduce the possibility of disease transmission, and limit the spread of CWD in the 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 watch area comprising Hardin, Marion and Wyandot counties will begin Saturday, September 10. The originally proposed start date of September 1 has been changed following feedback from hunters and landowners.

Deer seasons in the disease surveillance zone:

  • Deer archery: Sept. 10, 2022-Feb. 5, 2023.
  • Early Deer Pistol: October 8-10, 2022.
  • Young Deer Gun: Nov. 19-20, 2022.
  • Deer Rifle: Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2022; December 17-18, 2022.
  • Muzzle-loading deer: January 7-10, 2023.
  • Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

Additionally, deer hunting restrictions on public lands are being lifted in the Big Island, Andreoff and Wyandot Wildlife Areas. Restrictions on public lands have been removed in the Killdeer Plains and Lake La Su An wildlife areas.

2023 Spring Wild Turkey Seasons
Spring 2023 turkey hunting dates:

  • Youth season: April 15-16, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.
  • South area:
    • From April 22 to April 30, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise until noon.
    • May 1-21, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.
  • North-East area:
    • From April 29 to May 7, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise until noon.
    • From May 8 to 28, 2023, 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.

General hunting regulations
The definition of a crossbow has been updated to include new limb configurations and stock lengths. This will allow for new crossbow designs that are shorter and have different limb configurations. A shoulder stock is always necessary for a crossbow.

Restrictions have been removed for carrying a concealed firearm while hunting. A person may carry and hunt with a legally concealed firearm, provided the firearm complies with applicable regulations.

Lists of endangered and threatened species
Every five years, the Wildlife Division reviews and updates species listed as endangered, threatened, extirpated, special concern, and special interest. This year, 58 different species lists have been changed, added to, or removed from the endangered and threatened species list. A complete species list is available at wildohio.gov.

Three species of fish, alligator gar, black shiner and longhead darter were downgraded to endangered. Many species of dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies have been uncovered after years of extensive citizen science reporting. Two species of crayfish, 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 council that approves all rules and regulations proposed by the Division of Wildlife. Board meetings are held virtually and are open to the public. Those interested in providing feedback are asked to call 614-265-6304 at least two days prior to the meeting to register. All comments should be three minutes or less.

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