The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted much of normal life. But Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Officer Tony Zerkle said it has actually helped with deer gun season as people want to get out of the house. “A lot more people are breaking out the bows out of the closet that have been there for years and getting out in the woods,” he said. “We noticed it all summer with all our public access areas with the number of fishermen, kayakers and wildlife-area users. It’s been very good.” The season starts Monday and runs through Sunday, followed by a shorter session on Dec. 19 and 20. While it is gun season, hunters can also hunt with bow and arrows. No doubt there will be some first-time hunters hitting woods this week. Zerkle said newcomers should be patient, be safe and find out who else will be hunting on the land. He also said hunters should make sure there equipment is in working order to make clean, ethical kills. “Safety is the biggest thing,” Zerkle said. “Be sure to wear your orange vest, jacket or coveralls. Also, brush up on your firearm regulations to see what guns are legal to use.” Legal guns include shotguns from .410 to 10 gauge with a single projectile, Zerkle said. The guns cannot be loaded with more than three rounds. Straight-wall cartridge rifles of .357 caliber or larger also allowed, as are muzzle loaders .38 caliber or larger.
There has been a severe ammunition shortage for most of the year. But Zerkle said that shouldn’t be much of an issue for the hunting season, partly because hunters should have bought it before now. [full article]