Michael Pearce

October season for antlerless whitetails this weekend

In response to legislative mandate, Wildlife and Parks has authorized a special, statewide firearms season for antlerless whitetails this weekend, Oct. 12 and 13.This weekend, Oct. 12-13, firearms deer hunters can shoot antlerless whitetails. Bowhunters can shoot bucks or does, with the proper permit, since archery season remains open.The legislature hopes the special season will encourage deer hunters to take more does to reduce the state’s deer population, though such special seasons have seen limited success in the past.

Kevin Jones, Wildlife and Parks law enforcement chief, said the new season has caused some confusion with hunters. Below are some facts that should clarify the season for most sportsmen.

– The season is open in all 19 management units.

– Those hunting with a firearm are restricted to only shooting whitetails without antlers.

– Archery deer hunters may shoot a buck or a doe, as long as they have the proper permit, because archery season remains open.

– All deer hunters, including bowhunters, must meet the state’s blaze orange hat and vest requirements since a firearms deer season is open.

– No special, season-specific permits are required. Hunters may  tag an antlerless whitetail deer with an “any-season” permit that allows the taking of buck or does, but they will not be issued another permit for that allows the taking of a buck.