The 2015 Ohio deer season has definitely been a strange one. For instance, today is December 27, and I got up at 4:00 a.m. with hopes of going out and getting in my stand today. Yet, here I sit in front of my computer writing this article instead. So, why am I not out hunting? Too much snow to get out, or ice maybe? Nope, that’s not the case. It is heavy rainfall keeping me indoors this morning. It’s actually a very warm 68° out right now. And, this has pretty much been the normal for this 2015 winter hunting season. Yes, we’ve had a few cold days here in southern Ohio; we’ve even seen a few flurries. But, the key word in that last sentence is “few.” It has been unusually warm, and believe me this odd weather has definitely had an impact on deer movement!
I don’t know about you, but I can honestly say this has been one of the worst deer seasons I have ever seen. So, needless to say, no, I have not got a buck yet. Of course, I have been totally focused on one particular buck this season. And, I have seen him a total of 5 times now, but never in bow range. November shotgun season came and went with no luck. But, not to worry, there are still 2 more shots to get it done with a gun in Ohio!
The first opportunity actually starts tomorrow, December 28 and runs through December 29th. This is Ohio’s 2nd shotgun season. I really don’t understand the decision to make it on a Monday and Tuesday, as this makes it much more difficult for people to be able to get out and hunt. Nevertheless, it is another opportunity for gun hunters to get out there. As for me, well, I have to work. I might get the opportunity to get out late Tuesday afternoon, and it actually looks like the weather might cooperate Tuesday. Monday, on the other hand, the forecast is calling for rain all day. Again, very unusual weather for late December.
The next shot to get it done with a gun will be during Ohio’s muzzle loader season which runs from January 9th through January 12th. At least this season will allow gun hunters the opportunity to hunt on the weekend, as the days run Saturday through Tuesday. It’s too early to predict the weather for muzzle loader season, but hopefully, it will be a little more winter-like. Unfortunately, muzzle loader season doesn’t fit into my schedule any better than the 2nd shotgun season does. It is a working weekend for me at my regular job, and I will also be starting a new teaching job on Mondays, and then back to my regular job on Tuesday. My only opportunities for hunting muzzle loader season will be on Sunday evening and Tuesday morning, but my time out in the woods will be very limited.
Normally, I am really not even that interested in gun season. Yet, this year is a little different. Bow season has been hard. Deer movement has been greatly affected by the weather, and I would actually like to get out there and try to get it done with a gun. Of course, getting a buck with my bow would be my preferred choice, but I’m definitely not against getting it done with a shotgun or muzzle loader. So, if you’re in the same boat as me, and you’ve had a tough time with the bow, take advantage of Ohio’s next 2 gun seasons. Or, if you just want to stick with your bow, Ohio’s bow season is in until February 7, 2016. While season is definitely winding down, there’s no need to worry, there is still time to get that buck.
So, whether you stick with your bow, or choose to take a shot at getting it done with a gun, I wish you the best of luck!
Gun Season………………………,..December 28-December 29
(Muzzleloading rifle: .38 caliber or larger. Muzzleloading shotgun: 10 gauge or smaller using one ball per barrel. Handgun: With 5-inch minimum length barrel, using straight-walled cartridges .357 caliber or larger. Straight-walled cartridge rifles in the following calibers: .357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, .38 Special, .375 Super Magnum, .375 Winchester, .38-55, .41 Long Colt, .41 Magnum, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .444 Marlin, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .45 Long Colt, .45 Winchester Magnum, .45 Smith & Wesson, .450 Marlin, .454 Casull, .460 Smith & Wesson, .45-70, .45-90, .45-110, .475 Linebaugh, .50-70, .50-90, .50-100, .50-110, and .500 Smith & Wesson.)
Shotguns and straight-walled cartridge rifles can be loaded with no more than three shells in the chamber and magazine combined.
Muzzle Loader Season……………………January 9-January12
Muzzleloading rifle: .38 caliber or larger. Muzzleloading shotgun: 10 gauge or smaller using one ball per barrel.
Archery Season runs through February 7th
Longbow or Bow: Minimum draw weight 40 pounds. This includes compound bows and recurve bows. The arrow tip needs a minimum of two cutting edges, which may be exposed or unexposed and a minimum 3/4-inch width. Expandable and mechanical broadheads are legal. Crossbow: Minimum draw weight 75 pounds. The arrow tip needs a minimum of two cutting edges, which may be exposed or unexposed and a minimum 3/4-inch width. Expandable and mechanical broadheads are legal.