COLUMBUS - In an effort to control deer populations affecting native plant communities, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is planning special gun and archery deer hunts at five state nature preserves.
High-quality habitats at several state nature preserves have been negatively impacted by over-browsing deer. For example, large flowered trillium - Ohio's state wildflower and once commonly seen - has nearly disappeared from many sites because of foraging deer.
Applications for hunts are to be handled locally by individual preserve managers. Hunters must attend individual meetings. At that time, hunters can enter the drawing by purchasing a single ticket for $20.
Hunters must possess a valid 2013-14 hunting license in order to purchase tickets. Each special archery hunt permit holder may take another hunter with him or her during the two-week period, although only one of the two hunters must attend the drawing and orientation.
Names will be randomly drawn, and two hunters at a time will be assigned a two-week block of time to hunt. Orientation for hunters is to be conducted immediately following the drawing.
These hunts are "doe-first" hunts, meaning a buck can be taken only after an antlerless deer is harvested, which helps ensure the deer population is reduced. Special regulations will be addressed at the orientation meetings following the drawings. All ODNR Division of Wildlife rules and regulations will be followed, including bag limits and tagging procedures.
All areas are to be open to archery only except Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve, which is to provide archery and gun hunting opportunities.
The Lake Katharine gun hunt drawing will be conducted at the same time and in the same manner as the archery hunts. Gun hunters will be drawn for one of two possible two-day hunts (Dec. 2-3 or Dec. 5-6) during the weeklong statewide gun season. Orientations for the gun hunt will occur on the first morning of the hunt period.
Hunters may apply for hunts at multiple sites, but they must be present at the meeting for each hunt in order to enter the drawing. Do not mail entry forms.
At Gott Fen State Nature Preserve (Portage County), an archery hunt drawing is to take place at Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve office, 11027 Hopkins Road, Garrettsville, at 9 a.m. Sept. 7. Contact Adam Wohlever at (330) 527-5118 or email@example.com with questions.
At Lawrence Woods (Hardin County), an archery hunt drawing is to take place preserve parking area, 13278 CR 190, Kenton, at 1 p.m. Sept. 8. Contact Ryan Schroeder at (419) 445-1775 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
At Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve (Jackson County), drawings are to take place at the preserve office, 1703 Katharine Road, Jackson, at 9 a.m. Sept. 14. Contact Jeff Johnson at (740) 380-8919 or email@example.com with questions.
At Seymour Woods State Nature Preserve (Delaware County), an archery hunt drawing is to take place at Alum Creek State Park office, 3615 South Old State Road, Delaware, at 1 p.m. Sept. 15. Contact Loren Hart at (740) 548-4631 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
At Goll Woods (Fulton County), an archery hunt drawing is to take place at the preserve office, 26093 County Road F., Archbold, at 9 a.m. Oct. 5. Contact Ryan Schroeder at (419) 445-1775 or email@example.com with questions.