Ohio deer archery season begins

With school back in session and summer winding down, next on the calendar for many Ohioans is the start of whitetail deer archery hunting season. Ohio’s popular deer archery season opens Saturday, Sept. 24, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

The 2021-22 deer season was a record 95,303 deer, or 48% of the total. Archery hunting continues to grow in popularity, driven in part by the availability of crossbow hunting. About 71% of the bow harvest in Ohio was by crossbow, although compound, recurve, and longbows remain favored by many archers.

October and November are the most popular months for summer hunters due to increased deer activity during the breeding season. For more tips, visit Wild Ohio Harvest Community’s Getting Started: Deer Hunting page at wildohio.gov.

The archery season lasts until February 5. Ohio offers hunters additional seasons to pursue deer. The youth-only firearms hunt is open to hunters 18 and under the weekend of November 19-20. Seven-day deer gun season from November 28 through Sunday, December 4, with a bonus weekend of December 17-18. Deer muzzleloading season is from Saturday January 7th to Tuesday January 10th.

Archery season opens Sept. 10 in the Chronic Wasting Disease Control Zone of Hardin, Marion and Wyandot counties, with an early gun season Oct. 8-10 in those counties. Find full details in the 2022-23 Hunting and Trapping Regulations.

Deer hunting presents a unique challenge, especially with archery equipment. Practicing with your equipment before a hunt can help you develop the patience and skill needed for a clean, ethical shot. Find a public shooting range near you to find a safe, accessible place to practice.

Hunters can find hunting opportunities nearby on both public and private lands. The Ohio Landowner-Hunter Access Partnership encourages landowners to allow hunters access to their property. Hunters can purchase a free daily permit to access private lands through the HuntFish OH mobile app or at wildohio.gov. To date, 18,400 hectares of private land has been accessed through the OLHAP program.

Deer hunters can download the free HuntFish OH mobile app to purchase licenses and permits, view maps of public hunting areas, view current hunting regulations or check game without a mobile connection. The app is available on the app store for Android and iOS users.

A deer management permit costs $15 and can be used to harvest antlerless deer. Deer management permits are used to improve the overall health of Ohio’s deer population and provide better hunting opportunities. Deer management permits are valid through November 27, 2022 and during authorized controlled hunts on private lands and selected public hunting areas.

• According to the ODNR Department of Wildlife, Eastern monarch butterflies fly from Ohio to wintering grounds in Mexico from their summer breeding grounds. Monarchs can travel 50 to 100 miles per day, making it one of the most impressive migrations in the animal kingdom. A journey can take thousands of miles to reach its destination.

Migrating monarchs rely on adequate food supplies throughout their journey. Native flowers provide monarchs with the fuel they need to reach their wintering grounds. Look for monarchs in forests, fields, gardens and waterways as they migrate through Ohio in the coming weeks. Migrants can travel individually or in groups.

Monarch butterflies, like many other pollinators, are declining in range, primarily due to the loss of prairie and grassland habitats. One of the most important ways to help reduce the number of butterflies and other pollinating insects is to maintain unmowed lawn areas. The Division of Wildlife manages habitat in many of Ohio’s wildlife areas to provide these grasslands that provide nectar-producing plants.

You can play a role in supporting monarchs by planting milkweed. Milkweed is the only host plant for monarchs and is beneficial at every stage of the insect’s life cycle. Early fall is a great time to collect milkweed pods from the landscape and plant seeds to add valuable habitat for monarchs. The Monarch Collaborative, an organization dedicated to protecting monarchs, provides instructions for collecting and planting milkweed pods.

Planting pollinator gardens is a gratifying way to help wildlife, and the effects are easily enjoyed by watching butterflies and other pollinators move from plant to plant. For help choosing what to plant, check out the free publications for Butterflies or Milkweeds and Monarchs. Publications like this and the free field guide series are made possible in part by donations, as well as proceeds from license and permit sales.

Until next time, Happy Hunting and Happy Fishing!

Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher at Northmore High School.

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