The deer hunting season will kick off in Ohio on Monday, and last-minute shoppers spent the weekend picking up everything they need to prepare.
“People were just bringing their guns in left and right to get checked in,” said Stephanie, the sales manager of Gander Outdoors.
Many of those shoppers were in a rush to get ready for the hunting season, especially for first-time hunters.
One woman said her husband bought women’s hunting gear during the rush and had to come back to return it.
At one point, Gander Outdoors ran out of ammo, restocked and were again left with very little for people to purchase.
“They used to only be able to shoot one round, you know, if they had the break barrel. Where now, with pumps or semiautomatics, you can shoot up to three rounds,” said employee Anthony Walk.
Walk has been hunting for more than a decade and said the amount of deer you can bag in a season has also changed.
“It used to be you can bag five deer in one county. Now it’s only three, one that has antlers and two that don’t. Button bucks still count as a doe because they only have the little antler popping up through the head,” Walk said.
He and other hunters said two things that have not changed much are licenses and gear, which are both essential to hunting safely.
“You need to wear orange, make sure to wear a vest that goes all the way around. That’s required, but I also recommend an orange hat. Carry binoculars, make sure you know exactly what you’re shooting.”
James Drotar hopes people stay safe in treestands by wearing harnesses.
“I’ve seen people fall. Just, we were messing around and just hang from trees. I almost fell a couple of times until I got proper equipment,” Drotar said.
If you miss hunting this time, the next opportunity will be Dec. 15 and De. 16.
For more information and regulations on hunting in Ohio, visit the ODNR website.