On January 26, the Ohio Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted a policy briefing with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife (Division) to discuss whitetail deer management. Division staff presented information and data on the recent whitetail deer trends in the Buckeye State, as well as the preliminary stages of a comprehensive, long-term deer management plan.
The briefing, which was attended by Division staff, legislators, legislative staff, and hunting and fishing organization representatives, was in addition to several deer policy forums hosted by the Division in order to gather stakeholder input for short-term management regulation changes. Newly appointed Division of Wildlife Chief Ray Petering also announced that he will work closely with the Ohio Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and the General Assembly throughout the process.
Caucus Co-Chair Senator Joe Uecker spoke to the utility of the Sportsmen’s Caucus: “We look forward to working with Chief Petering and the Division of Wildlife to ensure legislators are kept informed and educated on these issues.” The Ohio Sportsmen’s Caucus is also co-chaired by Senator Lou Gentile, and Representatives John Dever and Jack Cera.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?