With school back in session and summer ending, the next milestone in the calendar for many Ohioans is the start of white-tailed deer archery hunting season. Ohio’s popular deer archery season opens statewide Saturday, Sept. 24, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
The 2021-22 deer season saw a record 95,303 deer taken with a bow, or 48% of the total harvest. Archery hunting continues to grow in popularity, partially driven by the accessibility of crossbow hunting. Approximately 71% of Ohio’s bow harvest was with a crossbow, although compound, recurve, and longbows remain in favor of many archers.
October and November are the most popular months for bow hunters because of increased deer activity during the breeding season. For more tips, visit the Wild Ohio Harvest Community’s Getting Started: Deer Hunting page at wildohio.gov.
Archery season continues until Feb. 5. Ohio offers additional seasons for hunters to pursue deer. Youth-only firearms hunting is open for hunters under the age of 18 the weekend of Nov. 19-20. The seven-day deer gun season is Monday, Nov. 28 to Sunday, Dec. 4, with a bonus weekend Dec. 17-18. Deer muzzleloader season is Saturday, Jan. 7 until Tuesday, Jan. 10.
Archery season opens in the Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance area of Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties on Sept. 10, with an early gun season in those counties from Oct. 8-10. Find complete 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 refine 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.
Bowhunters can find hunting opportunities near them on both public and private land. The Ohio Landowner-Hunter Access Partnership incentivizes landowners to allow hunters access to their property. Hunters can obtain a free daily permit to gain hunting access on private lands via the HuntFish OH mobile app or at wildohio.gov. To date, 18,400 acres of private land are accessible through the OLHAP program.
Deer hunters can download the free HuntFish OH mobile app to buy licenses and permits, view maps of public hunting areas, see the current hunting regulations, or check game even without a cellular connection. The app is available for Android and iOS users in the app store.
A deer management permit costs $15 and may be used to harvest antlerless deer. Deer management permits are used to improve the overall health of Ohio’s deer population and create better hunting opportunities. Deer management permits are valid on private land and select public hunting areas until November 27, 2022, and during authorized controlled hunts.
• Eastern monarch butterflies are now flying through Ohio on their way from summer breeding areas to overwintering sites in Mexico, according to the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Monarchs may travel 50 to 100 miles per day, making this one of the most impressive migrations in the animal kingdom. The journey may take them thousands of miles before they reach their destination.
Migrating monarchs rely on adequate food resources along their journey. Native flowers provide monarchs with the fuel needed to reach overwintering areas. Look for monarchs in the coming weeks in forests, fields, gardens, and waterways as they migrate through Ohio. Migrants may travel individually or in groups.
Monarch butterflies are in decline across their range, as are many other pollinating insects, due primarily to the loss of prairie and grassland habitat. One of the most important ways to help declining butterflies and other pollinating insects is by conserving tracts of unmown grasslands. The Division of Wildlife manages habitat on many of Ohio’s state 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 sole host plant for monarchs and is beneficial at every stage of the insect’s life cycle. Early fall is a great time to gather milkweed pods from the landscape and plant the seeds to add valuable habitat for monarchs. The Monarch Joint Venture, an organization dedicated to conserving monarchs, provides guidelines for collecting and planting milkweed pods.
Planting pollinator gardens is a gratifying way to help wildlife, and impacts are easily enjoyed by seeing butterflies and other pollinators move from plant to plant. Browse the free Backyards for Butterflies or Milkweeds and Monarchs publications for help choosing what to plant. Publications such as these and the free field guide series are made possible in part by funds generated through donations as well as license and permit sales.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!
Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.