Ohio fields and trees were once again dotted with bright orange at dawn on Monday, the first day of Ohio's shotgun deer hunting season.
"(Shotgun) is certainly a popular season, but we have found here recently over the last couple of years that our bow season seems, since it’s a longer season, there’s a lot of participation in our bow season as well,” says Jordan Phillips, an outdoor skill specialist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
After the initial week-long hunt, shotgun hunting returns for two days on December 16 and 17.
“What the season does is help us control the deer herd," Phillips says. "And it’s always traditionally been a week-long season. In years past we’ve opened up for an extended season, the two-day extended late season is an example of that. Where we give hunters more opportunity to harvest deer and still control the deer herd.”
In Ohio, hunters are allowed to use different weapons during different seasons. Bow season started September 30 and runs through February 4. Muzzleloading season is a four-day hunt in February.
The youth shotgun hunt, where hunters under the age of 18 are accompanied by a non-hunting adult, was November 18 and 19.
For the shotgun hunt, 21 southeast Ohio counties upped bag limits from two deer to three. Phillips says a few counties reduced their bag limits.
By the end of opening week, the department of natural resources expects to harvest 75,000 to 85,000 deer for the original deer season.