OHIO ARCHERY HUNTERS- GET YOUR BOW READY Season open October 2- January 31, 2005 AKRON- Archery deer hunters have a great season ahead of them since deer harvest numbers are expected to rise this year according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Approximately 250,000 hunters statewide are expected to participate this year. During last year's four-month archery season, bowhunters harvested a record 50,564 deer, up 3.4% from the previous year. Crossbow hunters totaled 29,397 of last year's kill and longbow hunters took 21,167 deer. Overall, archers accounted for 25.6 percent of 197,790 deer taken during Ohio's combined 2003 archery, muzzleloader, and gun seasons. Licking County led the state in crossbow harvest followed by Trumbull, Coshocton, Ashtabula, and Tuscarawas counties. Licking County also had the highest longbow harvest with Know, Coshocton, Muskingum, and Clermont rounding out the top five counties. "Liberal regulations and good numbers of deer across the state will likely mean another record archery harvest for Ohio this year," said Mike Tonkovich, forest wildlife biologist for ODNR's Division of Wildlife. This year's statewide archery season remains open from October 2 through January 31, including the week of deer-gun season November 29 through December 5. Archers may hunt one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset, except during the statewide gun, youth, and muzzleloader seasons when they may hunt one half-hour before sunrise to sunset. Archers hunting during the statewide gun, statewide youth, or muzzleloader seasons must meet the hunter orange requirements of those seasons. To hunt deer in Ohio, hunters must possess a deer permit in addition to a valid hunting license. State law allows hunters to take only one antlered buck per year, regardless the type of season, deer permit or weapon used for deer hunting. Hunters may purchase up to four urban deer permits at a cost of $15 each to take antlerless deer within the urban deer zones or during a special controlled hunt. In northeastern Ohio, urban deer zones are located around Cleveland, Akron, and Youngstown, but in other areas of the state, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo have urban zones as well. On the flip side, rural area need focus too, according to Dan Kramer, wildlife management supervisor for northeast Ohio. "Opportunities to gain access on private land can be obtained by contacting the ODNR Division if Wildlife District Three headquarters," said Kramer. "Landowners listed in the co-op program or landowners experiencing heavy amounts of deer damage in northeastern Ohio rural counties may allow access with a polite and courteous request for permission," noted Kramer. Archery deer hunters may also participate in the special early muzzleloader deer season held October 25 through 30 on Salt Fork, Shawnee, and Wildcat Hollow public hunting areas, the statewide deer gun season November 29 through December 5, or the statewide muzzleloader season December 27 through 30. A detailed listing of deer hunting rules is contained in the 2004-2005 Ohio Hunting Regulations and is available where licenses are sold or may be viewed online at Ohiodnr.com. Publication #77, a map of public hunting and fishing areas in Ohio, is available by contacting the District Three office at (330) 644-2293.