Trumbull County MetroParks has just announced their new hunting policy on Tuesday.

Hunters will now have to submit an application and be entered into a lottery system as opposed to their previous first come, first serve basis. 

Anyone interested in being entered in the lottery can submit their application to the Park Office until August 31. Numbers will be placed on ping pong balls and drawn at random.

Any hunters licensed through ODNR are eligible to apply. If hunters choose to not participate in the lottery, they will not be permitted to hunt deer by gun or bow. 

Executive Director of Trumbull County MetroParks, Zachary Svette, says that this new policy is due to the increase in interest being shown by hunters in the county. Svette hopes the lottery system will make things fair for all hunters in the area.

 There will be two drawings with the priority going to Trumbull County residents. The first drawing will be strictly for residents and the second drawing will be statewide to fill any open spaces. Residents can watch the drawings at the Trumbull County MetroParks Office.

The dates and times will be scheduled yearly and posted in the same manner the meetings for the Park District Board are posted.

Although there is ongoing controversy with the Mill Creek Deer, Svette says this policy change has nothing to do with that.

Besides the application process change, Svette says everything else in their new policy is standard.

Other things stated in the hunting policy include:

- Seasonal hunting is permitted in designated parks only

-  Hunting is allowed in only Properties Designated by the Board of Park Commissioners.

- All hunters must follow TCMP regulations as well as all regulations and seasons as designated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and/or state and federal statutes

- Parks permitting hunting for deer using box, gun, or both depending on location: West Branch Wetlands Nature Preserve, Eagle Creek Nature Preserve, Lockwood Hunting Preserve, and Trock Forest. Hunting in these areas will be from the beginning of Bow Deer Season to February 28 of each year.

- The Parks Firearms Regulations allow conceal carry-on but target shooting is permitted.No random or reckless discharge of firearms is permitted. Shooting is restricted to legitimate hunting. Guns are restricted to legal hunting weapons. Anyone who violates will be prosecuted.

The full hunting policy can be found below.