Proposed Whitetail Deer Hunting Dates Presented to Ohio Wildlife Council

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Proposed white-tailed deer hunting season dates and bag limits for the fall of 2020 were presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday, Feb. 19, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Hunting season dates and bag limits are proposed by Division of Wildlife biologists.

“Ohio is a national leader in deer hunting and deer population management,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “Deer season dates and bag limits reflect feedback from annual deer hunter surveys. We greatly appreciate all the survey participants who responded, ensuring Ohio maintains a healthy deer herd and remains a top deer hunting destination.”

The proposed deer season dates for 2020-2021:
• Deer archery: Sept. 26, 2020-Feb. 7, 2021
• Youth deer gun: Nov. 21-22, 2020
• Deer gun: Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2020; Dec. 19-20, 2020

• Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 2-5, 2021

Several county bag limits were proposed to change for the upcoming season in response to deer hunter and production landowner surveys. A map of the proposed county bag limits can be found at The statewide deer bag limit was proposed to remain at six deer, only one of which may be antlered, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit.

It was also proposed to open small game and furbearer hunting during the seven-day deer gun season, Nov. 30-Dec. 6. This proposal is designed to allow more hunting opportunities for small game hunters and to better align regulations with other hunting seasons. If approved, all hunters (except waterfowl hunters) would be required to wear hunter orange during this season. Another proposal would exempt Lake La Su An Wildlife Area in Williams County from the antlerless deer restrictions on public lands following the weeklong gun season. This includes a limit of one antlerless deer on public land, and antlered deer only after Dec. 6.

A complete list of proposals being considered for 2020-2021 are available at Proposals concerning small game and migratory bird seasons were proposed to the council at the January meeting.

Ohioans are encouraged to provide comments on the proposed rule changes and may do so in person or online. In-person comments can be submitted during the weeklong open house period from March 2-6, at any Division of Wildlife district office. Online submissions can be made at beginning Friday, Feb. 21.

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals interested in providing comments are asked to call 614-265-6304 at least two days prior to the meeting to register. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.

A statewide hearing on all proposed rules will be held at the Division of Wildlife’s District One office on Wed., March 25, 2020 at 9 a.m. The office is located at 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus 43215.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit to find out more.