Remember Fred Bear’s Ten Commandments of deer hunting

Next weekend’s (Nov. 23-24) youth deer hunt begins the firearms seasons for deer in Ohio. The 2019 weeklong deer-gun season follows on Dec. 2-8 with the additional deer-gun weekend on Dec. 21-22.

There are all kinds of tips offered by people about deer hunting, but Fred Bear’s Ten Commandments of deer hunting remain relevant decades after he issued them. The legendary Bear is considered the greatest bow hunter ever. And his fame seems to grow more than 30 years after his death.

His commandments are:

1. Don’t step on anything you can step over.

2. Don’t look for deer, look for movement and remember it’s what they’re looking for, too.

3. Always approach from downwind. In the cool of the day, move uphill; in the heat of the day, move downhill.

4. The best camouflage pattern is called, “Sit down and be quiet!” Your grandpa hunted deer in a red plaid coat, think about that for a second.

5. Take only the gear to the field that allows you to hunt longer, harder, smarter.

6. A rainstorm isn’t a reason to quit the hunt, it’s a reason to stay.

7. Camouflage your appearance, your sound and your scent.

8. Be sure of your shot. Nothing is more expensive than regret.

9. Hunt where the deer actually are, not where you’d imagine them to be.

10. Next year’s hunt begins the minute this season’s hunt ends.

Young hunters 17 and under must have a valid youth hunt license and a deer permit to hunt during the special youth weekend. All young hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult. The Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) describes a non-hunting adult is any person (a hunting license is not required) age 18 or older who accompanies the young hunter to and from the field and is present with the young hunter while the young hunter is engaged in hunting. The non-hunting adult may not possess any hunting implements.

The wildlife agency explained that accompany means to go along with another person while staying within a distance from the person that enables uninterrupted, unaided visual and auditory communications. Young hunters must be accompanied at all times by a non-hunting adult. No more than two youths per adult.

All legal deer hunting equipment for the gun season applies during the youth season. Deer taken by young hunters during the youth deer gun season count toward the county and statewide bag limits. In the Lima area, Hardin and Logan are three-deer counties while the remaining seven area counties are two-deer counties. The statewide bag limit is six deer. Only one may be a buck, regardless of method of take or location.

Legal hunting equipment includes specific shotguns, muzzleloaders, handguns, straight-walled cartridge rifles and archery equipment. More information is available at

Young hunters harvested 6,563 deer during the 2018 youth season.

Hunters can contact the DOW toll-free hotline at 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) with questions about hunting. In addition to normal business hours, special call center hours for deer-gun seasons include: 12 – 8 p.m., Nov. 23 for youth deer-gun season and 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Dec. 2- Dec. 6 for deer-gun season.

The DOW has issued a challenge to veteran hunters. It suggests experienced hunters pass along their hunting knowledge and expertise to someone new this season.

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The Allen County Sportsmen & Farmers Association will hold a turkey shoot Sunday at its 1001 South Kemp Road location. The first shoot goes off at 12 p.m. with turkeys, hams, ribs and chickens as prizes. Cost is $5. Breakfast will be served beginning at 10:30 a.m.

The club will hold its monthly meeting Thursday (Nov. 21) beginning at 7 p.m. For further information, please call Bill Stratton at 419-236-9082.

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Entries in the Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp juried art competition will be accepted from Jan. 27-Feb. 7, 2020, according to the DOW.

A copy of the contest rules, preliminary artist’s agreement and other related information is available at The competition is open to all artists age 18 and older who reside in the U.S., except for last year’s winner.

If you have any questions regarding the competition, contact Tim Daniel at 614-265-6537. Contest judging is scheduled for Feb. 15.

All native Ohio waterfowl species are eligible for the stamp competition except for the ring-necked duck, redhead, and American black duck.

The stamp is a required purchase for all waterfowl hunters. It also can be bought separately by conservationists and stamp collectors.

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The National Walleye Tour will make a pair of stops on the Great Lakes during is 2020 schedule.

Lake Erie, noted as probably the best walleye water in the world, will be the site of the tours second event when the tourney is held May 28-29 out of Sandusky.

The tour’s third stop will be on Lake Michigan n July 23-24 out of Oconto, Wisconsin..

The tour is presented by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s.

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

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