Deer Hunters, Wildlife Officers Taking to the Woods

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When deer hunters take to the fields and woods of Southeastern Ohio on Monday, so will about two dozen officers with the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Ohio’s deer-gun season starts Monday and is open through Sunday, Dec. 8.

Athens County is part of the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s District 4, which includes 19 counties in Southeastern Ohio. Jay Abele, District 4 law enforcement supervisor, said that 18 wildlife officers, four investigators and three field supervisors will be working in the district during deer season.

He said the most common calls they respond to are people hunting on private land without permission and people hunting illegally — for example, without wearing hunter orange or hunting from a roadway or vehicle.

People who need the assistance of a wildlife officer can call their county’s officer directly — in Athens County, that’s Dan Perko at (740) 589-9980 — or call 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543), Abele said. Also, people can call their local sheriff’s office. Phone numbers for all the wildlife officers are available online at ODNR’s website.

“Hunters are reminded to use safety precautions while hunting, including wearing required hunter-orange clothing, using a safety harness while in a tree stand and safe handling of firearms,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Scott Zody.

The state has expanded the time to hunt by 30 minutes per day. People could already start hunting 30 minutes before sunrise, and starting this year they can hunt 30 minutes after sunset.