Deer Damage Complaint Procedure
Ohio Administrative Code – 1501:31-15-08 (Deer Damage Control Permit) authorizes the Ohio Division of Wildlife to issue Deer Damage Control Permits under certain conditions and guidelines. While the OAC allows any landowner to apply for a permit, the application of a permit does not guarantee the landowner a permit even if damage is occurring. The Division of Wildlife personnel and partners, including SWCD Wildlife Specialists, provide guidance on handling complaints of crop losses or property damage caused by deer and issuance of permits.
In situations where deer damage is currently occurring, a landowner/lessee can request assistance on techniques to help deal with the damage experienced. In most cases the assistance is first provided by a discussion over the telephone and/or email. However, at times a site visit may be needed to further assist the landowner/lessee to identify ways to minimize the damage. Recommendations to a landowner may include fencing and other exclusions, scare devices, repellents, alternative landscape plantings and hunting. Hunting is the most economical and efficient method of reducing deer numbers and is encouraged where feasible. If a Division of Wildlife representative determines that the use of a Deer Damage Control Permits (DDCP) in conjunction with other management techniques will further assist the landowner, a permit may be issued primarily when the damage is occurring.
These permits allow permittees and their approved shooters to kill an agreed upon number of deer during the dates and under the conditions specified on the permit. In most situations the permits are used to allow the shooting of deer outside of Ohio’s deer hunting seasons. However, in circumstances where damage is occurring during Ohio’s deer hunting seasons, permits may be extended during that time. Under no circumstances are antlers from deer harvested under a Deer Damage Permit able to be kept.
Deer Damage Permits are intended as a tool for landowners to modify deer behavior in conjunction with reducing deer numbers on a particular property in an effort to alleviate and reduce property damage caused by deer. They are not issued for use as a quality deer management tool or as a primary means to kill deer for human consumption. The permittee and their approved shooters are fully responsible for conducting shooting activities in a safe, legal and responsible manner and assume all liability arising from their shooting activities. The permit may be revoked if the permittee and/or their shooters violate any of the conditions listed on the permit, are found to be in violation of local ordinances or are found to be conducting irresponsible shooting activities which affects adjoining landowners or tenants.