With bow hunting season quickly approaching, many archers recently participated in bow hunting proficiency testing at Buckeye Park.
Three tests were given, on Aug. 22, and Sept. 7 and 8. A total of 40 people took the exam and all of them passed, said Dean Sinclair, the Wildlife and Forestry Specialist for the Washington County Soil and Water Conservation district.
"To be able to bow hunt inside the city, they have to pass the test," explained Sinclair.
Marietta passed an ordinance in 2005 that allows for bow hunting of deer inside the city limits.
"The deer population was getting to the point that it was a safety concern. People were hitting them with their cars," said Sinclair.
To pass the recent tests offered at Buckeye park, participants had to prove their archery accuracy by landing four out of five areas in the vital areas of a three dimensional deer model from a distance of 20 yards, said Sinclair.
Hunting White-tailed Deer in Marietta
Hunters can only use a bow to hunt inside city limits.
Archery season starts Sept. 29 and runs through Feb. 3
Hunters must purchase a hunting license either online at www.ohiodnr.com or at one of 13 Washington Counties locations.
Hunters must obtain the proper proficiency certification and show proof of liability insurance.
Hunters can only hunt from elevated tree stands.
Hunters an only hunt on areas consisting of an acre or more of woods.
Hunters must obtain written permission from the property owner(s).
Sources: www.ohiodnr.com, Marietta City Ordinance 505.11.1
Passing the proficiency tests is just one of a handful of requirements archers have to meet before being allowed to hunt inside the city.
"If you hunt in a municipality or other city that allows hunting, they have certain rules," said Ted Offenberger, who owns the Southeastern Trading Post in Waterford.
According to the city ordinance, to receive a permit to hunt inside city limits, archers have to have a standard hunting license and proof of a minimum $100,000 liability insurance policy. Hunters must also use elevated tree stands.
In order to address the issue of population control, "hunters inside the city are supposed to take an antlerless deer before they take a male," said Sinclair.
The hunting can take place on designated areas of city property and on private property encompassing an acre or more of woods when the landowner gives written permission.
These rules are in addition to all of the applicable state laws, which archers are required to follow regardless of where they hunt, said Offenberger.
"You can kill six deer a year in zone C," said Offenberger.
Zone C encompasses approximately one third of the state, including Washington and all surrounding counties.
Bow season appeals to the die hard hunters because it takes more skill and patience.
"It takes someone with more dedication to bow hunt. Most of the bow hunters start practicing in July and August," said Offenberger.
However, archery hunting has been steadily growing in popularity. The sport has also been drawing more women in recent years.
"So much so that a lot of the bow manufacturers are making pink and pink cammo bows now," Offenberger said.
Deer season for bow hunters starts Sept. 29 and runs through Feb. 3 in Ohio. Hunting licenses are available online and at 13 vendors throughout Washington County, including Offenberger's store.