Deer hunting helps control the population

COLUMBUS — In an ongoing effort to control deer populations, especially those affecting native plant communities, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is coordinating special deer hunts at 14 state nature preserves.

Ohio’s nature preserve system protects some of the rarest and highest quality ecologies in the state. By browsing native vegetation and introducing non-native plants, deer have negatively impacted many sensitive habitats in several state nature preserves.

Terms. Reserve managers will process hunting requests at the local level. Hunters should attend individual meetings if they are interested in particular hunts. At these events, hunters can enter the draw by purchasing a single ticket for $5.

Other requirements include the following:

Hunters must have a valid 2022-2023 hunting license to purchase tickets.

Names will be drawn and those selected will be given a specific time to hunt. For bow hunts, an orientation will be carried out immediately after the draw.

Hunters will be allowed to hunt with a partner; however, the partner is not required to attend the drawing or orientation.

Hunters interested in both Lake Katharine rifle and archery hunts will need to purchase separate lottery tickets for each event.

Some of this year’s hunts will only be for antlerless deer, while others will allow antlered deer to be taken, but only after first harvesting an antlerless deer. Harvesting deer helps manage the deer population.

Other specific regulations will be discussed during the orientation meetings following the draws. Hunters can apply for hunts at multiple sites, but must attend the meeting for each hunt in order to enter the draw. Do not mail registration forms.

Meeting dates. Hunting locations and meeting dates are as follows:

Lake Katharine (Jackson County), Chaparral Prairie, Davis Memorial, Shoemaker, Johnson Ridge; Whipple (Adams County); Miller Nature Sanctuary (Highland County) – Aug. 20, 10 a.m., Lake Katharine State Nature Reserve Office, 1703 Lake Katharine Road, Jackson, Ohio; contact Josh Deemer at 740-285-5971 or [email protected]

Caesar Creek (Warren County) – Sept. 10 at 1 p.m., Caesar Creek State Nature Preserve parking lot, 4080 Corwin Road, Oregonia, Ohio; contact Eric Sagasser at 937-418-8710 or [email protected]

Goll Woods (Fulton County) — Aug. 20 at 9 a.m., Goll Woods State Nature Preserve Office, 26093 County Road F, Archbold, Ohio; contact Ryan Schroeder at 419-445-1775 or [email protected]

Lawrence Woods (Hardin County) – Aug. 20 at 2 p.m., Lawrence Woods State Nature Preserve parking lot, 13278 County Road 190, Kenton, Ohio; contact: Ryan Schroeder at 419-445-1775 or [email protected]

Gallagher Fen (Clark County) – Sept. 10 at 9 a.m., Gallagher Fen SNP parking lot, 4709 Old Columbus Road, Springfield, Ohio; contact Michelle Comer at 937-537-6173 or [email protected]

Hueston Woods (Butler and Preble County) – Sept. 18 at 1 p.m., Hueston Woods State Park Conference Center, 6301 Park Office Road, College Corner, Ohio; contact Eric Sagasser at 937-418-8710 or [email protected]

Eagle Creek (Portage County) – Aug. 20 at 9 a.m., Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve Office, 11027 Hopkins Road, Garrettsville, Ohio; contact Adam Wohlever at 330-527-5118 [email protected] or Emily Pellegrini at 330-527-0937 or [email protected]

Blackhand Gorge (Licking County) – Sept. 10 at 11 a.m., Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve Toboso Parking Lot Cabin, 2200 Gratiot Road SE, Newark, Ohio; contact Charlotte Trolio at 330-607-3566 or [email protected]

Rifle hunting will be offered this year at Caesar Creek State Nature Preserve and Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve will once again offer archery and rifle hunting opportunities. The remaining hunts will be archery only. As in past years, an additional muzzleloader hunt will be offered on the first two days of muzzleloader season at Lake Katharine.

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