1501:31-15-11 Deer regulations.

(A) Season dates

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take deer at any time except in accordance with this rule or any other provisions of this rule:

(a) Deer archery season is open statewide from the last Saturday of September through the first Sunday of February.

(b) Antlerless deer muzzleloading season is open on the second consecutive Saturday and Sunday in October.

(c) Youth deer gun season is open November 23 and 24, 2013 for persons holding a valid youth hunting license and a valid deer permit. All deer gun season rules apply to these dates with the following exceptions:

(i) It shall be unlawful for any person holding a valid youth hunting license and a valid deer permit, regardless of age, who participates in the youth deer gun season to hunt if they are not accompanied by a non-hunting adult eighteen years of age or older.

(ii) It shall be unlawful for more than two persons holding a valid youth hunting license and a valid deer permit to be accompanied by one non-hunting adult eighteen years of age or older.

(iii) It shall be unlawful for any non-hunting adult eighteen years of age or older who is accompanying any person holding a valid youth hunting license and a valid deer permit to hunt or possess any hunting implements.

(iv) It shall be unlawful for the responsible, non-hunting adult, eighteen years of age or older, to allow a person holding a valid youth hunting license and a valid deer permit to hunt unaccompanied during the youth gun season.

(d) Deer gun season is open from the first Monday after Thanksgiving through the following Sunday.

(e) Deer muzzleloading season is open from the first Saturday after New Years Day through the following Tuesday.

(f) The chief of the division of wildlife may provide a permit which allows the taking of deer from division owned or administered lands to young or handicapped hunters prior to or after the opening of deer gun season. Provided further, all provisions of this rule or any other division of wildlife rule shall apply to all persons issued said permit.

(B) Bag limits

(1) It shall be unlawful to take more than nine deer per license year, regardless of method of take or location taken, except as provided in paragraph (B) (6) of this rule.

(2) It shall be unlawful to take more than one antlered deer per license year, regardless of method of take or location. For purposes of this rule an antlered deer shall be any deer with antlers three inches in height or greater. An antlerless deer shall be any deer with no antlers or antlers less than three inches in height.

It shall be unlawful for any person to take an antlered deer during the antlerless deer muzzleloading season, regardless of method of take.

(3) It shall be unlawful to hunt or take more than two deer per license year from the following counties: Darke, Erie, Fayette, Hancock, Madison, Ottawa, Sandusky or Wood counties, provided further,

(a) It shall be unlawful to hunt or take more than one deer per license year under the authority of a deer permit outside of a division of wildlife authorized controlled hunt, from the following counties: Darke, Erie, Fayette, Hancock, Madison, Ottawa, Sandusky or Wood counties, and

(b) It shall be unlawful to hunt or take more than one antlerless deer per license year under the authority of an antlerless deer permit outside of a division of wildlife authorized controlled hunt, from the following counties: Darke, Erie, Fayette, Hancock, Madison, Ottawa, Sandusky or Wood counties.

(4) It shall be unlawful to hunt or take more than three deer per license year from the following counties: Auglaize, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Gallia, Harrison, Henry, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Logan, Meigs, Mercer, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Preble, Ross, Shelby, VanWert, and Washington counties, provided further,

(a) It shall be unlawful to hunt or take more than two deer per license year under the authority of a deer permit, outside of a division of wildlife authorized controlled hunt, from the following counties: Auglaize, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Gallia, Harrison, Henry, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Logan, Meigs, Mercer, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Preble, Ross, Shelby, VanWert, and Washington counties, and

(b) It shall be unlawful to hunt or take more than one antlerless deer per year under the authority of an antlerless deer permit, outside of a division of wildlife authorized controlled hunt, from the following counties: Auglaize, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Gallia, Harrison, Henry, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Logan, Meigs, Mercer, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Preble, Ross, Shelby, VanWert, and Washington counties.

(5) It shall be unlawful to hunt or take more than four deer per license year from the following counties: Adams, Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Defiance, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Fulton, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hardin, Highland, Holmes, Huron, Knox, Lake, Licking, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Paulding, Pickaway, Pike, Portage, Putnam, Richland, Scioto, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Union, Vinton, Warren, Wayne, Williams and Wyandot counties, provided further,

(a) It shall be unlawful to hunt or take more than three deer per license year under the authority of a deer permit, outside of a division of wildlife authorized controlled hunt, from the following counties: Adams, Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Defiance, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Fulton, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hardin, Highland, Holmes, Huron, Knox, Lake, Licking, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Paulding, Pickaway, Pike, Portage, Putnam, Richland, Scioto, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Union, Vinton, Warren, Wayne, Williams and Wyandot counties, and

(b) It shall be unlawful to hunt or take more than one antlerless deer per year under the authority of an antlerless deer permit, outside of a division of wildlife authorized controlled hunt, from the following counties: Adams, Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Defiance, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Fulton, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hardin, Highland, Holmes, Huron, Knox, Lake, Licking, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Paulding, Pickaway, Pike, Portage, Putnam, Richland, Scioto, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Union, Vinton, Warren, Wayne, Williams and Wyandot counties.

(6) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take more than six deer per license year from any division of wildlife administered or authorized controlled hunt .

(C) Hunting implements

(1) Archery

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt deer with any archery equipment except;

(i) A longbow and arrow

(ii) Crossbow and arrow having a working safety and a stock twenty-five inches or longer. Cocking levers and other cocking devices may be used on crossbows.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take deer while being in possession of, or take a deer with, explosive or poisoned arrows.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take deer with a longbow having a draw weight less than forty pounds, or with a crossbow having a draw weight less than seventy-five pounds.

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take a deer with a broadhead having less than two cutting edges measuring less than three quarters inch wide.

(e) It shall be unlawful for any person hunting deer with a longbow or crossbow to possess any firearm. Persons possessing a valid Ohio concealed carry license issued pursuant to sections 2923.125 and 2923.123 of the Revised Code or a valid conceal carry license from a state with a reciprocity agreement with Ohio to carry concealed handguns, or who comply with federal legislation HR218, "The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004" are exempted.

(f) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take a deer during the deer archery season with any hunting implement other than the archery equipment described in paragraph (C)(1) of this rule.

(2) Firearms;

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take deer with any firearm except:

(i) A shotgun no larger than 10-gauge or smaller than .410 caliber firing a single projectile per barrel.

It shall be unlawful for any person hunting deer to use any shell casing which is necked down or made totally of metal for any of the shotguns listed

(ii) A muzzleloading rifle or muzzleloading shotgun, .38 caliber or larger using a single projectile per barrel.

(iii) A handgun with the following criteria:

(a) Chambered for .357 caliber magnum or larger.

(b) Using a straight walled cartridge.

(c) Single barrel not less than five inches in length, as measured from the front of the cylinder or chamber to the end of the barrel.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person hunting deer during any deer gun season, to possess any shotgun originally capable of holding more than three shells, unless the magazine has been cut off, altered, or plugged with a one piece filler incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so as to reduce the capacity of said gun to not more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take deer during the deer gun season with any hunting implement other than described in paragraph (C) of this rule.

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess or carry a rifle, pistol, revolver or any other type of firearm while hunting deer or when assisting or accompanying a person that is hunting deer, during the archery season, outside of the antlerless deer muzzleloading season , youth deer gun season, deer gun season and deer muzzleloading season

(e) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess rifle cartridges while hunting during the antlerless deer muzzleloading season , deer gun season or the deer muzzleloading season.

(f) It shall be unlawful to possess shotgun shells, containing shot, while hunting during the antlerless deer muzzleloading season , youth deer gun season, deer gun season and deer muzzleloading season except:

(i) Persons hunting waterfowl may possess shotgun shells containing non-toxic shot.

(ii) Persons hunting other legal game may possess shotgun shells containing shot not larger than number four.

(iii) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take a coyotes and wild boar during the youth deer gun season or the deer gun season without using a hunting implement described in paragraph (C) of this rule.

(g) It shall be unlawful for any person hunting during antlerless deer muzzleloading season or deer muzzleloading season to possess shotgun slugs.

(h) It shall be unlawful for any person to be in possession of shotgun slugs while hunting during the youth deer gun season, except youth hunters hunting deer.

(i) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take deer during the antlerless deer muzzleloading season or the deer muzzleloading season with any hunting implement other than the archery equipment described in paragraph (C)(1) of this rule or a muzzleloader as described in paragraph (C)(2)(a)(ii) of this rule.

(3) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess more than one firearm, longbow or crossbow while hunting deer. Persons carrying a concealed firearm under the authority of and possessing a valid Ohio concealed carry license issued pursuant to sections 2923.125 and 2923.123 of the Revised Code or a valid conceal carry license from a state with a reciprocity agreement with Ohio to carry concealed handguns, or who comply with federal legislation HR218, "The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004" are exempted.

(D) Hunting methods and hours

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take deer at any time except from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

(2) During the deer gun season, it shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take wild animals from one-half hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset, except deer, waterfowl, wild boar, and coyotes. Waterfowl may only be hunted during the hours specified in rule 1501:31-7-06 of the Administrative Code .

(3) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take wild boar or coyotes at any time other than from one-half hour before sunrise to one half- hour after sunset during antlerless deer muzzleloading season , youth deer gun season, deer gun season and deer muzzleloading season.

(4) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take coyotes and wild boar from one-half hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset during the antlerless deer muzzleloading season , youth deer gun season, deer gun season and the deer muzzleloading season without possessing both a valid hunting license and valid deer permit or antlerless deer permit.

(5) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take coyotes and wild boar during the antlerless deer muzzleloader season , or the deer muzzleloading season without using a muzzleloader as described in paragraph (C)(2)(a)(ii) of this rule or any archery equipment described in paragraph (C)(1) of this rule.

(6) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess a loaded hunting implement while going to or coming from hunting deer, wild boar or coyote at any time except between one-half hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset during the antlerless deer muzzleloading season , youth deer gun season, deer gun season or the deer muzzleloading season.

(7) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take any wild animal except waterfowl, from one-half hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset, during the antlerless deer muzzleloading season , youth deer gun season, deer gun season or the deer muzzleloading season, unless such person is visibly wearing a vest, jacket or coveralls colored solid hunter orange, or camouflage hunter orange.

(8) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take deer by the aid of dog, except wounded deer may be tracked using a dog that is leashed.

(9) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take coyotes by the aid of a dog during the deer gun season from one- half hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset.

(10) It shall be unlawful to use any device capable of transmitting or receiving a person's voice to aid in the hunting or taking of deer.

(11) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take a deer that is in the water.

(12) It shall be unlawful for any person to construct, place, or use permanent-type tree stands, or place spikes, nails, wires, or other metal objects to hold tree stands or as steps to tree stands on any property except with the landowner's permission.

(E) Permits

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take a deer without possessing a valid deer permit or antlerless deer permit during any of the open deer seasons.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt with or carry a deer permit or antlerless deer permit of another.

(3) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take deer or aid another person in the hunting of deer, while having in their possession a hunting implement, while being solely in possession of a deer permit or antlerless deer permit for which a game check confirmation number has been issued or the associated game tag has been validated.

(4) The fee for antlerless deer permits shall be fourteen dollars plus a one dollar writing fee.

(5) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take a deer with an antlerless deer permit, except from the last Saturday in September through the Sunday following Thanksgiving day. Antlerless deer permits may be used at any time in division of wildlife administered or authorized controlled hunts.

(F) Tagging and game checking:

(1) It shall be unlawful to hunt or take a subsequent deer before a game tag has been attached to the previous deer taken that day and the date, time and county of kill are written in the spaces provided on the corresponding deer permit or antlerless permit for the deer that was taken.

(2) It shall be unlawful to attach a game tag to a deer taken by another person.

(3) It shall be unlawful to attach an antlerless game check confirmation number to an antlered deer.

(4) It shall be unlawful to attach or otherwise use a deer permit or antlerless deer permit on or for any deer that was taken before the permit was purchased or otherwise obtained.

(5) It shall be unlawful to manufacture, counterfeit, sell, trade, distribute, forge and/or falsify a deer permit, antlerless deer permit, or forge or falsify any game tag.

(6) It shall be unlawful to possess, attach, affix or otherwise use a counterfeit or falsified deer permit, antlerless deer permit or any game tag on or for any deer.

(7) It shall be unlawful to possess any deer, or part thereof, which has attached or affixed a counterfeit or otherwise falsified game tag.

(8) It shall be unlawful for any person required to have a deer permit under section 1533.11 of the Revised Code, after having killed a deer, to fail to immediately attach a validated game tag to the dead deer at the place where the deer fell. Persons covered by this section shall provide their own game tag. A game tag is considered validated when the hunter has written on the tag, legibly in the English language, their name, the date, time and county of kill and also written in the spaces provided on the corresponding deer permit or antlerless deer permit the date, time and county of kill.

(9) It shall be unlawful for any person exempt from having a deer permit under section 1533.11 of the Revised Code, to fail to immediately attach a valid game tag to the dead deer at the place where the deer fell. Persons covered by this section shall provide their own game tag. A game tag is considered valid when the hunter has written on the tag, legibly in the English language their full name, the date, time and county of kill.

(10) It shall be unlawful to attach an invalid game tag to any deer.

(11) It shall be unlawful to use or attempt to use an invalid or voided deer permit to obtain a game check confirmation number through the game check process.

(12) It shall be unlawful to remove a game tag from any deer until the deer has been game checked and a valid game check confirmation number has been affixed to the deer.

(13) It shall be unlawful to skin or remove the head of a deer until the deer has been game checked and tagged with a valid game check confirmation number . It shall be lawful to eviscerate or field dress the deer prior to game checking and affixing a game check confirmation number.

(14) It shall be unlawful to fail to game check and affix a game check confirmation number to a deer, taken during any open deer season, by noon of the day following the date the deer was killed. Provided further, it shall be unlawful to fail to game check and affix a game check confirmation number to a deer taken by eleven-thirty p.m. on the final day of the archery season, antlerless deer muzzleloading season, youth deer gun season, deer gun season and deer muzzleloading season.

(15) It shall be unlawful to provide false information or data when game checking any deer.

(16) It shall be unlawful to game check a deer that has been killed within a wild animal hunting preserve as described in section 1533.731 of the Revised Code.

(17) It shall be unlawful for any person to fail to immediately and permanently attach their valid game check confirmation number to the deer after it has been game checked. A game check confirmation number is valid when the owner has attached their assigned division of wildlife game check confirmation number to the deer. Writing the game check confirmation number on the existing game tag and deer permit or antlerless deer permit will validate the check process.

(18) It shall be unlawful to attach an invalid or falsified game check number to any deer.

(19) It shall be unlawful to attach a game check confirmation number to a deer or parts thereof taken by another person.

(20) It shall be unlawful to manufacture, counterfeit, sell, trade, distribute, forge and/or falsify a game check confirmation number.

(21) It shall be unlawful to possess, attach, affix or otherwise use a counterfeit or falsified game check confirmation number on or for any deer.

(22) It shall be unlawful to possess any deer, or part thereof, which has attached or affixed a counterfeit or otherwise falsified game check confirmation number.

(23) It shall be unlawful to attach, affix or otherwise use a game check confirmation number for a deer, or parts thereof, other than for the deer the game check confirmation number was issued to at the time of game checking.

(24) It shall be unlawful for any person to leave the state of Ohio with a deer that was taken by hunting that has not been game checked and the game check confirmation number permanently attached.

(25) With the exception of naturally shed antlers, it shall be unlawful to possess a dead deer, or any part thereof, unless such deer, or parts thereof, are accompanied by an attached valid tag, seal, certificate of legal ownership, statement or receipt. For the purposes of this section a valid tag, seal, certificate for legal ownership, statement or receipt for any deer, or part thereof is any one or more of the following:

(a) A valid Ohio division of wildlife game tag, permanent deer tag or permanent deer tag number or game check confirmation number.

(b) An Ohio division of wildlife deer damage control permit temporary tag or a receipt for deer carcass-deer damage control tag or the tag number.

(c) An Ohio division of wildlife approved tag or seal under the authority of section 1533.74 of the Revised Code if the deer or parts thereof were sold for food.

(d) A signed statement or receipt, legible in the English language, which states the previous owners name, address and phone number and the valid commercial propagation permit number if the deer or parts thereof were sold or given away under the authority of section 1533.71 of the Revised Code.

(e) A certificate for legal ownership issued under the authority of section 1533.121 of the Revised Code.

(f) A tag as described in division (G) of section 1533.731 of the Revised Code.

(g) A signed statement or receipt, legible in the English language, which lists the owner or previous owners name, address and phone number, the state and county of kill, the date of kill and the assigned permanent deer tag number or game check confirmation number, if applicable.

(h) An official tag or seal, and an accompanying valid hunting license issued by another state or province if the deer was killed outside of Ohio.

(i) A valid Ohio division of wildlife food pantry stamp or seal on each package of meat distributed by a bona fide food pantry or charitable organization.

(j) A certificate for legal ownership issued by a law enforcement officer within their jurisdiction.

(k) A valid tag, seal, certificate for legal ownership, statement or receipt or game check confirmation number for the purposes of this rule is considered attached if it is physically affixed to the deer, or parts thereof, in the following manner:

(i) In the case of antlers:

(a) The valid tag, permanent tag number, seal, certificate for legal ownership, statement or receipt or game check confirmation number must remain attached to the antlers until the deer has been processed into a taxidermy product. At this time the valid tag, seal, certificate for legal ownership, statement or receipt or game check confirmation number may be removed from the antlers and placed in another location on the taxidermy product which allows for visual inspection.

(b) If antlers are removed from the deer, but not processed into a taxidermy product, the permanent tag or game check confirmation number may be removed from the antlers provided the permanent deer tag number or game check confirmation number is legibly written in permanent ink or inscribed on the antlers in a location which allows for visual inspection. However, the valid tag, seal, certificate of legal ownership, statement or receipt shall be maintained by the owner and available for inspection.

(ii) When through the butchering process, multiple packages of meat are produced, the valid tag, permanent tag number, seal, certificate for legal ownership, statement or receipt or game check confirmation number shall be maintained and available for inspection until the entire deer has been consumed.

(iii) If through the taxidermy process multiple taxidermy products are produced the permanent deer tag or permanent tag number or game check confirmation number must remain attached to the taxidermy product to which the antlers are connected. Any other products from the same deer must have the permanent deer tag number or game check confirmation number written legibly in permanent ink or inscribed on the item in a location which allows for visual inspection.

(26) It shall be unlawful for any person to place or leave a deer, or any part thereof, in the custody of another person for the purpose of skinning, processing, taxidermy, transportation, shipping, storage, including temporary storage, or any other reason, unless such deer or parts thereof are accompanied by an attached valid tag, seal, certificate for legal ownership, statement or receipt or game check confirmation number.

(27) It shall be unlawful to possess a deer, or parts thereof, that were taken in violation of any division rule or the Ohio Revised Code.

(G) Sales

(1) It shall be unlawful to buy, sell or offer for sale any deer, or part thereof, taken from the wild, except:

Legally acquired and possessed deer hides, feet, and antlers may be bought or sold at any time. At the time of the purchase or sale these deer parts must be accompanied by a signed statement or receipt, legible in the English language, which lists the previous owner's name, address and phone number, the state of kill(s) and the assigned game check confirmation number or tag, seal, certificate for legal ownership or permit number(s), if applicable, and the number of deer, from which the said deer parts originated, that were sold during the transaction. This information must remain with these parts until said deer parts are manufactured into a wildlife ornamental product.

(H) Special areas

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess or transport a deer off the Plum Brook station, Ottawa national wildlife refuge, or Ravenna training and logistics site unless the deer has affixed a game check confirmation number. This provision does not apply to deer legally possessed because of being killed by a vehicle on any of these areas.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt on Plum Brook station at any time other than from eight a.m. to five p.m.

(3) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt on Plum Brook station, Ravenna training and logistics site or Ottawa national wildlife refuge without an area permit. Such area permit shall specify the specific area assigned to the hunter on the day they are authorized to hunt and the type of deer permitted to be taken. It shall be unlawful to take or attempt to take a deer other than the type specified on the area permit. If the area permit does not specify otherwise, either antlered or antlerless deer may be taken.

(I) All definitions set forth in rule 1501:31-1-02 of the Administrative Code shall apply to this rule.

Effective: 07/11/2013
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/04/2013 and 07/11/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 1531.06 , 1531.08 , 1531.10 , 1533.113
Rule Amplifies: 1531.06 , 1531.08 , 1531.10 , 1533.113
Prior Effective Dates: 6 /1/76, 6/1/77, 6/1/78, 6/1/79, 6/1/80, 6/1/81, 10/16/81, 6/1/82, 5/31/83, 5/31/84, 6/1/85, 6/1/86, 11/21/86 (Emer.), 4/20/87, 9/12/87, 6/1/88, 7/1/89, 7/31/90, 8/11/91, 7/31/92, 10/31/92, 6/7/93, 6/30/94, 8/15/95, 10/10/96, 8/10/97, 8/13/99, 11/12/99, 8/1/00, 7/22/01, 7/19/02, 6/4/03, 6/30/04, 5/27/05, 7/1/06, 7/1/07, 7/1/08, 7/1/09, 7/1/10, 7/1/11, 7/1/12, 1/1/13