Proposed changes to deer hunting regulations, Farm Bureau support and concerns

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife recently proposed changes to deer hunting regulations. Ohio Farm Bureau submitted comments on the proposal with support for some of the changes and concerns with others.

Ohio Farm Bureau members across the state have developed substantial policies on wildlife issues, which provided the basis for the organization’s comments.

Here are highlights of Ohio Farm Bureau’s comments:

– Farm Bureau supports an amendment to allow the use of certain caliber rifles, including traditional black powder cartridge or pistol cartridge rifles, during the deer gun season.

– Farm Bureau policy promotes increased bag limits in counties with higher deer populations and more deer damage. There are concerns with the proposed regulations to decrease bag limits in 44 counties while only increasing bag limits in five counties.

Limits placed on antlerless deer permits under the proposed regulations are a concern.

– The proposed elimination of the ability to use antlerless deer permits in certain counties is of particular concern to Farm Bureau.

– Farm Bureau policy directly supports the portion of the new proposal addressing the need to continue to reduce the deer herd in urbanized areas by providing controlled hunts on public lands in various areas around the state and by providing for the highest bag limits in counties that have urbanized areas.

The Ohio Wildlife Council, an eight-member board that approves all of the Division of Wildlife’s proposed rules and regulations will now consider the proposal. The council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its meeting April 9. Individuals who want to provide comments on a topic being considered by council must pre-register at least two days prior to the meeting by calling 614-265-6304.

Once approved by the Wildlife Council, the proposal will go before the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR). JCARR is a legislative oversight committee which consists of five state representatives and five state senators. JCARR’s primary function is to review rules from state agencies to ensure they do not exceed their rule-making authority.

Read OFBF’s full comments.

Read the full proposal.

Learn more about the Wildlife Council.