Medina County’s seasonal four-deer limit per hunter could be dropped to three according to a proposal from Ohio wildlife officials that would reduce the bag limit in half of the state’s counties.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife has proposed reducing the limit in 44 counties, keeping it the same in 39 and increasing it in five, according to department spokespeople. The proposals reflect the reduced deer population in many counties.
The bag limits allow a hunter to kill between two and four deer in a particular county over a single hunting season.
Members of the public can comment on the Division of Wildlife proposals at public meetings March 1 and online at wildohio.com through March 2.
A statewide hearing on all of the proposed rules will be held at the Division of Wildlife’s District One office in Columbus on March 6.
The Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed policies in April after considering public input.
The proposals come a week after the end of the 2013-14 hunting season, during which Ohio hunters checked 191,459 white-tailed deer — down from 218,910 last year.
Medina County hunters bagged 1,937 deer this year — 41 fewer than last year.
The decline is good news, Wildlife Division Chief Scott Zody said, because the numbers show a decrease in deer populations.
Larger numbers of deer killed by hunters in recent years have brought populations down.
“This year’s white-tailed deer harvest indicates we are on target to maintain a high-quality deer herd,” Zody said. “Ohio remains one of the best deer hunting states in the nation.”
Below are the proposed county deer bag:
• Two deer (no more than one antlerless permit) — Auglaize, Darke, Fayette, Hancock and Madison counties.
• Three (no more than one antlerless permit) — Adams, Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Columbiana, Crawford, Erie, Hardin, Henry, Highland, Huron, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Marion, Medina, Morgan, Ottawa, Paulding, Pickaway, Pike, Preble, Putnam, Ross, Sandusky, Scioto, Seneca, Shelby, Tuscarawas, Union, Vinton, Wayne, Wood and Wyandot counties.
• Three deer (antlerless permits are not valid) — Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Defiance, Fairfield, Fulton, Gallia, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Meigs, Mercer, Miami, Monroe, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Richland, Van Wert, Washington and Williams counties.
• Four deer (no more than one antlerless permit) — Brown, Clermont, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Franklin, Hamilton, Lake, Lucas, Mahoning, Montgomery, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Warren counties.