Ohio Whitetail Deer Hunts
The State of Ohio is quickly becoming the quick fix for whitetail hunters on the East Coast. What I mean by quick fix is that it is a closer drive with huge whitetails for them to pursue. In fact Ohio lays claim to being the #4 State in the Nation for the number of record book whitetail deer entered. Ohio deer outfitters, Iowa deer hunting, Iowa deer hunting regulations, areas to hunt Iowa deer at, and giant Ohio bucks will be discussed in this article. If you are interested in Ohio then sit back and enjoy this article on Ohio deer hunts. IMB Outfitters has just opened a brand new division of Ohio deer hunting in the Golden Triangle that is stunning.
Let us begin a closer look at Ohio whitetail deer outfitters in an effort to narrow your search quickly at the beginning of this article. I have been an outfitter for 14 years full time. We recently entered Ohio to discover many things about Ohio deer hunts. The first thing we discovered if that what Ohio Whitetail Outfitters we visited with were mostly the smaller country boys trying to make it in the hunt industry. You know the kind of outfitters who have the best of intentions but really don’t know how to be successful with you once you arrive in camp. Someday they will have it figured out but for now beware of the young Ohio whitetail outfitters for you can end up in a mess quickly. Stick with authentic outfitters in Ohio. I suggest this because Ohio is very fragile. It is only in 4 Counties where monster whitetail Ohio deer are being harvested on a regular basis. The numbers of deer and big bucks are so crazy different between counties you must see the Ohio page of our website at www.imbmonsterbucks.com to realize how drastic it is. While Counties that border Coshucton are harvesting 9,000 deer per year, most generally the other counties are harvesting less than 2,000. The Ohio deer hunting that worth a darn is concentrated in only 4 counties in my opinion. One must find a ohio deer hunt in this area.
These counties hold vast agricultural crops which would explain why the deer are in abundance there. The Southern Counties are big hills and rough territory without much agriculture. My opinion is if you aint hunting Coshucton, Tuscarawas, Licking, or Guernsey County then you aint hunting Ohio deer in a quality area. Of course outfitters located elsewhere will object to this statement but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources isn’t lieing on deer populations and harvest numbers. It’s the truth.
Even back in Ohio’s top 5 deer counties in 2007 -2008 we saw numbers such as this
1.Coshocton County, Ohio 8,417 Therefore it would only make sense to hunt with an Ohio whitetail deer outfitter in Coshocton County.
2. Ttuscarawas County, Ohio 7,651
3 Licking County, Ohio 7,523
4 Guernsey County, Ohio 7,212
5. Muskingum County, Ohio 6,857
Ohios top 5 antlerless counties in 2007-08
1. Coshocton County, Ohio 5,508
2 Tuscarawas County, Ohio 5,066
3 Licking County, Ohio 4,765
4 Guernsey County, Ohio 4,651
5.Knox County, Ohio 4,465
This is the very reason IMB Outfitters is located and based out of Coshocton County, Ohio. This is the very soul of Ohio deer hunting. I remember when our employees went out to look at our Ohio deer hunting land. They came back shocked, saying out of all 5 States we are in, which include Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Ohio that Ohio had so many more deer that they were amazed. My Senior Manager of IMB Outfitters, “Preston Fraiser” stated, “I have never seen so many rubs in my life on our ground in Ohio.
History of Ohio Deer Hunting
In 1988, the Ohio General Assembly made the White-tailed Deer Ohio's official state mammal. The White-tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus, has been extremely important in Ohio's history. The state tree, the Ohio Buckeye, is named because its nut resembles a deer�or buck's�eye. Buckeye is based on the Indian word "hetuck," meaning "eye of the buck." White-tailed Deer have been in Ohio since the end of the last Ice Age. At this point in time, the deer lived in the unglaciated portion of southeastern Ohio. The deer played a very important role in the lives of practically all of Ohio's prehistoric Indian cultures. Ohio's native people used the deer's meat for food, the hide for clothing, and the bones and antlers for tools. Indians also used the hides, antlers, and bones for ceremonial purposes. Archaeologists have found deer antlers sheathed in copper at a prehistoric site, and Hopewell craftspeople made shaman characters wearing deer antlers.
As the Ice Age ended, the White-tailed Deer spread across Ohio. The deer population before 1775 was healthy and stable because of good food and cover. The wolf, cougar, and Indian hunters limited the deer population slightly. The White-tailed Deer was the most important food source for the Indians. As they did during prehistoric times, Indians used deer for many reasons, including for food, clothing, and for tools.
As the Europeans entered into what is now modern-day Ohio, they too used deer to their own advantage. Europeans considered deer hide to be very valuable. They used deerskins in barter and trade with the Indians and with other Europeans. The slang term "buck," referring to a dollar, dates to this time when deerskins (commonly called buckskins) were used to trade and barter for supplies. According to a report in 1779, "A large buckskin is valued at a Spanish dollar; two doeskins are regarded as equal in value to one buckskin."
As white settlers began to carve farms out of Ohio's forests, the deer population decreased. To try and save Ohio's dwindling deer population, Ohio's government established hunting restrictions in 1857. However hunting seasons that lasted over a month with no bag limits continued through most of the 1800s. In 1882, A.W. Brayton wrote, "The Virginia Deer is rarely met with in Ohio at present, except as domesticated in parts." Because of the deer population's decimation, there were no hunting seasons between 1897 and 1899.
By 1904, White-tailed Deer no longer existed in Ohio. During the 1920s and the 1930s, a limited restocking program began, as well as the natural migration of deer from surrounding states into Ohio. By 1937 White-tailed Deer were reported in twenty-eight of Ohio's counties, and in 1943, enough deer existed in the state for a regulated hunting season to occur in select counties. By 1956, deer existed in all of Ohio's counties, and hunting now occurred across the state. In 1995, Ohio's deer population had reached 550,000 animals.
Ohio Deer Hunting Regulations
Hunter Orange Requirement
Hunting any wild animal (except waterfowl) from 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset during the youth deer gun season, deer gun season, deer gun weekend (Dec. 17 & 18), the statewide muzzleloader deer season, and on designated areas during the early muzzleloader deer season is unlawful unless the hunter is visibly wearing a vest, coat, jacket, or coveralls that are either solid hunter orange or camouflage hunter orange. This requirement applies statewide on both public and private land.
Camouflage Ground Blinds
Use caution when hunting from a camouflaged ground blind. For your safety, mark it with a hunter orange flag or band.
Hunters are not required to buy a Deer Permit before purchasing any Anterless Deer Permits.
Antlerless Deer Permits ($15) may only be purchased until November 27, 2011.
A hunter may harvest no more than one (1) antlered deer during the 2011-2012 season regardless of where or how it is taken.
All deer hunters must possess a valid Ohio Hunting License.
Deer taken in Urban Units and during Controlled Hunts do not count against a hunter's Deer Zone bag limit.
Deer Zone bag limits are separate and do not impact deer hunting in other Deer Zones.
A B C
A hunter may harvest no more than 2 deer in Zone A during the 2011-2012 season. A hunter may harvest no more than 4 deer in Zone B during the 2011-2012 season. A hunter may harvest no more than 6 deer in Zone C during the 2011-2012 season.
Only 1 deer may be tagged with a Deer Permit ($24) in Zone A. Only 2 deer may be tagged with Deer Permits(s) ($24) in Zone B. Only 3 deer may be tagged with Deer Permits(s) ($24) in Zone C.
Only 1 deer may be tagged with an Antlerless Deer Permit ($15) in Zone A. Only 2 deer may be tagged with Antlerless Deer Permit(s) ($15) in Zone B. Only 3 deer may be tagged with Antlerless Deer Permit(s) ($15) in Zone C.
The Antlerless Deer Permit ($15) is not valid in Zone A afterNovember 27, 2011. The Antlerless Deer Permit ($15) is not valid in Zone B afterNovember 27, 2011. The Antlerless Deer Permit ($15) is not valid in Zone C afterDecember 4, 2011.
Deer Zones and Bag Limits
Deer Permit ($24) Antlerless Deer Permit ($15)
Zone Opening Date Closing Date Limit Opening Date Closing Date Limit Total
A Sept 24, 2011 Feb 5, 2012 1 Sept 24, 2011 Nov 27, 2011 1 2
B Sept 24, 2011 Feb 5, 2012 2 Sept 24, 2011 Nov 27, 2011 2 4
C Sept 24, 2011 Feb 5, 2012 3 Sept 24, 2011 Dec 4, 2011 3 6
Deer Hunting Permits
In addition to your Ohio annual hunting license, you must purchase a Deer Permit ($24) or an Antlerless Deer Permit ($15) to hunt deer in Ohio. The Deer Permit ($24) is good for an antlered or antlerless deer and is valid statewide.
The Deer Permit is valid Sept. 24, 2011 through Feb. 5, 2012.
Antlerless Deer Permits may only be purchased until November 27, 2011.
Deer Permit ($24)
The Deer Permit is good for an antlered or antlerless deer and is valid statewide. No more than one (1) antlered deer may be taken per license year. These permits may be used during any of the deer hunting seasons, for controlled hunts or in designated Urban Units. These permits may be purchased individually throughout the entire deer season. Refer to the Deer Permit Use and Bag Limits per Zone section to determine the number of Deer Permits you can use in each deer hunting zone.
Antlerless Deer Permit ($15)
Hunters are not required to buy a Deer Permit before purchasing any Antlerless Deer Permits.
Antlerless Deer Permits may be used to take antlerless deer ONLY. These permits may be purchased individually until Nov. 27, 2011. Antlerless deer permits are valid statewide between Sept. 24 and Nov. 27. Antlerless Deer Permits may be used in Zone C through Dec. 4. These permits are also valid at Division of Wildlife controlled hunts, the early muzzleloader season, youth deer gun season, and within designated Urban Deer Units (see Urban Deer Units). Refer to the Deer Permit Use and Bag Limits per Zone section to determine the number of Antlerless Deer Permits you can use in each deer hunting zone.
What is an Antlerless Deer?
Antlered deer are deer with at least one antler 3 inches or longer in length. Antlerless deer include deer without antlers and deer with antlers less than 3 inches in length.
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Deer Hunting Hours
Archery season hours are 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.
Deer Gun Season, Youth Deer Gun Season, the Early Muzzleloader Season, and Statewide Muzzleloader Season hours for deer hunting are 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset.
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Ohio Deer Hunt Tagging
Every person who kills a deer must immediately fill out the temporary tag with the name and address of the hunter and date and time the deer was killed, detach the temporary tag from their deer permit, and immediately attach that tag to the dead deer at the place where it fell. Your temporary deer tag must be separated from the deer permit and tied to the deer.
Licenses and permits will need to be protected from the elements. You may choose to purchase a reusable license/tag protective holder if available at the license vendor or many offi ce supply stores or make your own. Attach a piece of string, wire, etc. to your temporary tag and protective holder before you hunt. Carry a pen or pencil and a watch with you to fill out your temporary tag. The temporary tag must remain on the deer until it is permanently tagged. Once a temporary tag is detached from the permit, it is illegal to hunt or pursue deer with a hunting device without purchasing an additional valid deer permit (See Concealed Carryinformation).
For multiple deer permit holders, the first deer taken in the day must have been temporarily tagged before hunting or pursuing another deer.
Hunters with deer permits must use the temporary tag from the permit. Landowners and tenants who take a deer on their land and any other person not required to purchase a deer permit must make and attach their own tag with their name, address, and date and time killed. This tag must be attached to the dead deer immediately in the field at the place were it fell.
Ohio Deer Checking: Automated Game-Check & Permanent Tagging
The automated game-check and permanent tagging process no longer requires hunters to transport their deer to an official game-check station for permanent tagging. License agents will process game-check transactions, but will not visually inspect or permanently tag deer on behalf of hunters.
Metal tags have been discontinued. Hunters will not receive a metal tag for their deer.
Hunters are encouraged to complete the automated game-check and permanent tagging process in a sheltered area.
Hunters must have their permit with the attached permanent tag in hand to complete the game-check and permanent tagging proces. Hunters can complete the automated game-check and permanent tagging process in one of three ways:
Call 1-877-TAGITOH (1-877-824-4864)
Visit wildohio.com. Click on "Wild Ohio Customer Center" and then click on "Game Check: Report a Deer or Turkey Harvest." To game-check a harvest online, make sure to use a computer hooked to a printer. A game check receipt will be issued and SHOULD be printed. When using a smartphone for game-check, you MUST SAVE the game-check receipt .pdf provided at the end of the transaction to print out later.
Visit any authorized license sales agent. A list of sales agents can be found at wildohio.com. Hunters do not need to take their deer to the agent for the game-check. Authorized license sales agents will be available for game check during normal business hours. Call for exact hours of operation before you go.
Regardless of the game-check method, the hunter must provide the 10-digit permit number, which is printed in large numbers on every permit.
The hunter must answer a series of questions like those traditionally asked at game-check stations. At the end of the process, the hunter will be issued an 18-digit permanent tag number. The first six digits are pre-printed on the permanent tag(s). When a hunter has game-checked their deer by Web or agent, they will receive a game-check receipt with their permanent tag number printed on it. Hunters using the telephone game-check method will receive the final 12 digits of the number over the phone. The first six digits are pre-printed on the permanent tag(s).
The 18-digit permanent tag number must be written on the permanent tag(s) in the spaces provided on the permanent tag(s). Remember, the first six digits are pre-printed on the permanent tag(s). The hunter must write the date and time of kill on the permanent tag and sign it.
DEER HUNTERS must write the permanent tag number on BOTH permanent tags. Like the metal tag, the completed permanent tag must then be attached to the deer. The temporary tag can be discarded. The game-check and permanent tagging process is complete.
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Ohio Deer Checking: LANDOWNERS
For hunters who are NOT REQUIRED to have deer permits:
As in the past, landowners and tenants who take a deer on their land and any other person not required to have a deer permit must make and attach their own temporary tag. The temporary tag must include the name and address of the hunter, and the date and time the animal was killed.
1. The landowner hunter must immediately attach the homemade temporary tag to the deer at the place where it fell. Once this step is completed, the hunter legally possesses the deer and is free to transport it to its final destination.
2. The hunter must complete the automated game-check and permanent tagging process by 11:30 p.m. on the day of the harvest.
The automated game-check and permanent tagging process no longer requires hunters to transport their deer to an official game-check station for permanent tagging. License agents will process game check transactions, but will not visually inspect or permanently tag deer on behalf of hunters.
Metal tags have been discontinued. Hunters will not receive a metal tag for their deer.
Landowners CANNOT use the telephone game-check option!
Game-check options for the landowner are:
Visit wildohio.com. Click on "Wild Ohio Customer Center" and then click on "Game Check: Report a Deer or Turkey Harvest." To game-check a harvest online, make sure to use a computer hooked to a printer. A game-check receipt will be issued and MUST be printed. When using a smartphone for game-check, you MUST SAVE the game check receipt .pdf provided at the end of the transaction to print out later.
Visit any authorized license sales agent. A lsit of sales agents can be found at wildohio.com. Hunters do not need to take their deer to the agent for the game check. Authorized license sales agents will be available for game-check during normal business hours. Call for exact hours of operation before you go.
At the time of the game-check, the automated game-check system will attempt to determine if the hunter has an existing customer ID using the hunter's last name, date of birth, and the last 4-digits of their SSN. If the system cannot find the hunter's account, a new one will be created.
The landowner hunter must answer a series of questions like those tradtionally asked at game-check stations. When a landowner hunter has game-checked their deer by Web or agent, they will receive a game-check receipt with their permanent tag(s) and permanent tag number printed on it. The landowner hunter will be issued an 18-digit permanent tag number. The first six digits are pre-printed on the permanent tag(s).
The 18-digit permanent tag number must be written on the permanent tag(s) in the spaces provided. The first six digits are pre-printed on ther permanent tag(s). The hunter must write the date and time of kill on the permanent tag and sign it.
DEER HUNTERS must write the permanent tag number on both permanent tags. Like the metal tag, the completed permanent tag must then be attached to the deer. The temporary tag can be discarded. The game-check and permanent tagging process is complete.
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Tree Stands for Ohio deer hunts
It is unlawful to construct, place or use a permanent-type tree stand, or to place spikes, nails, wires or other metal objects into a tree to act as steps or to hold a tree stand on public hunting lands. It is also unlawful to make any of these changes to trees on private property without first getting the permission of the landowner or the landowner’s authorized agent. Tree stands and deer blinds must be removed from public hunting areas by the last day of the deer archery season.
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Allowable Hunting Equipment
Longbow or bow means a device for propelling an arrow by means of limbs, and a string which is hand-held, hand-drawn and held in a drawn position by hand, or hand-held mechanical release, or by a mechanical device with a working safety. This would include compound bows and recurve bows. Minimum draw weight 40 lbs. Crossbow means a device for propelling an arrow by means of transverse limbs and a string, mounted on a stock of at least 25 inches in length, and having a working safety: draw weight not less than 75 lbs. The arrow tip shall have a minimum of two cutting edges which may be exposed or unexposed and minimum 3/4-inch width. Expandable and mechanical broadheads are legal. Poisoned or explosive arrows are illegal.
Gun Season and Youth Deer Gun Season:
10-gauge or smaller shotgun using one ball or one rifled slug per barrel (rifled shotgun barrels are permitted when using shotgun slug ammunition); or muzzleloading rifle .38 caliber or larger; or handgun with 5-inch minimum length barrel, using straight-walled cartridges .357 caliber or larger, or longbow, crossbow (draw weight limitations same as for Archery Season). Shotguns cannot be capable of holding more than three shells.
Statewide Muzzleloader Season:
Longbow, crossbow (draw weight limitations same as for archery season), muzzleloading rifle .38 caliber or larger, or muzzleloading shotgun of 10-gauge or smaller using one ball per barrel. Hunters cannot carry more than one firearm while hunting deer. See Concealed Carry information.
See legal definitions of hunting equipment.
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A Ohio Deer Hunter CANNOT do any of the following:
1. Hunt or take a deer with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells. This means you may not hunt with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler
which limits the capacity of the gun to three shells. The fi ller must be such that it cannot be removed without disassembling the gun.
2. Hunt with any rifle during the deer gun, the youth deer gun, the Early Muzzleloader hunts (Salt Fork Wildlife Area, Wildcat Hollow, and Shawnee State Forest), and the statewide muzzleloader seasons other than a muzzleloading rifl e .38 caliber or larger.
3. Hunt or take a deer with a gun or possess a loaded fi rearm while going to and from deer hunting during the deer gun, youth deer gun, and the statewide muzzleloader seasons, at anytime other than 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset. NOTE: Muzzleloading firearms are considered unloaded when the cap is removed or priming powder is removed from the pan or when the battery is removed on electronic systems.
4. Carry a handgun while hunting deer during the early muzzleloader season (on designated areas), the statewide muzzleloader season, and archery season; have more than one firearm while hunting deer; carry a handgun being used during hunting in a concealed manner.
5. Use a muzzleloading handgun for deer hunting.
6. Hunt deer with a longbow having a draw weight of less than 40 pounds, or with a crossbow having a draw weight of less than 75 pounds. Expandable and mechanical broadheads are legal. Poisoned or explosive arrows are illegal.
7. Carry a firearm while deer hunting with a longbow or crossbow.
8. Have attached to a longbow or crossbow any mechanical, electrical or electronic device capable of projecting a beam of light.
9. Use dogs to hunt deer. Leashed dogs may be used to track wounded deer.
10. Possess shotshells containing shot during the deer gun season, unless waterfowl hunting when the season is open or as explained in number nine of the Hunter Can Do section.
11. Hunt coyote or boar between sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise during deer gun season.
12. Use any device capable of transmitting or receiving a person’s voice to aid in the hunting or taking of deer.
13. Pursue wounded deer or other wild animals or recover dead deer or other wild animals from private property without the written permission of the landowner.
14. Carry the deer permit of another person.
15. Receive or possess a deer or parts of a deer unless such deer or deer part is tagged as required or unless the deer or part of a deer has a statement showing when and where legally taken, the date received, and from whom received; or a Division of Wildlife tag, seal, or certificate or other proof of ownership which shows the deer was killed by a motor vehicle in Ohio; or an official tag or seal and valid nonresident license issued by another state if taken from outside Ohio; or certificate of ownership or receipt issued by a wildlife officer. Shed antlers, if found, do not require a certificate of ownership or receipt by a wildlife officer.
16. Construct, place or use a permanent-type tree stand, or to place spikes, nails, wires or other metal objects into a tree to act as steps or to hold a tree stand on public hunting lands. It is also unlawful to make any of these changes to trees on private property without first getting the permission of the landowner or the landowner’s authorized agent. Tree stands and deer blinds must be removed from public hunting areas by the last day of the deer archery season.
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A Hunter CAN do the following:
1. Field dress a deer before transporting to an official deer check station for final inspection and tagging as long as the head remains attached to the body.
2. Aid or assist another hunter who is hunting deer if the temporary tag has been removed from their deer permit as long as he or she does not carry any hunting device commonly used to kill wild animals and has a valid hunting license. Those persons exempted from having a hunting license and deer permits for deer hunting on their property are required to have a hunting license and deer permit to aid another hunter or hunt deer off of their property.
3. Use certain handguns during the youth deer gun season and deer gun season. These handguns must: (a) have a barrel length of not less than 5 inches, (b) use straight-walled cartridges (no shoulder/ neck; straight-tapered wall is acceptable) and (c) be .357 caliber or larger.
4. Leave a deer or deer parts with a taxidermist, fur buyer, cold storage, locker plant, or meat processing plant as long as a tag or seal is attached to it that lists the owner’s name and address and the date and place where the deer was killed. Persons receiving deer from another person must keep records with the owner’s name and address, the date, time, and place where the deer was legally taken and the date it was received.
5. Take more than one deer per day as long as each deer has been tagged with a temporary tag before hunting for the next deer.
6. Hunt deer over bait except on public land.
7. Possess a communication device as long as you do not use the device to aid a person in pursuing or taking of deer.
8. Hunt coyote and wild boar during the deer gun season and statewide muzzleloader deer season with a hunting license and a valid deer permit, using firearms legal for deer hunting while visibly wearing a vest, coat, jacket or coverall colored solid hunter orange or camouflage hunter orange. A valid deer permit is a deer permit, with temporary tag attached, and valid for the zone or unit being hunted.
9. Hunt other wild animals other than deer, coyotes, or wild boar during the Saturday, December 17 and Sunday, December 18 gun season, as long as they possess no shot shells larger than number four shot and comply with hunter orange requirements. No one may hunt with a rifle other than a muzzleloading rifle legal for deer, or posses rifle ammunition.
10. Use a leashed dog to recover wounded deer.
11. Deer archery hunt during the youth deer gun season, if the archery hunter is not accompanying a hunter participating in the youth deer gun season (See Youth Deer Gun Season, Pager 13).
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Hunting Other Game During the Youth Deer Gun, Deer Gun, and Muzzleloader Seasons
Youth Deer Gun Season – It is lawful to hunt legal game and furbearers (including coyote and wild boar). It is unlawful to use or possess slugs except youth hunters hunting deer. Waterfowl hunting and the night hunting of furbearers is also permitted when the season is open. All persons (except waterfowl hunters) hunting or accompanying a youth hunter during the youth deer gun season are required to wear hunter orange. Archery deer hunters may hunt until 1/2 hour after sunset during the Youth Deer Gun Season and are required to wear hunter orange.
Deer Gun Season - During the seven-day deer gun season (Nov. 28, 2011 - Dec. 4, 2011) it is unlawful to hunt any wild animal except deer, coyote, wild boar, or waterfowl statewide from 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset. Hunters must possess a deer permit with the temporary tag attached that is valid for the zone or unit being hunted. Hunters may not possess rifle ammunition or shot shells (except waterfowl hunters), however, hunters using a muzzleloading rifle; .38 caliber or larger may possess ammunition for that rifle. Furbearers, except coyote, and wild boar can be hunted from sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise when the deer gun season is open. All persons (except waterfowl hunters) hunting during the deer gun season are required to wear hunter orange.
Statewide Muzzleloader Deer Season - It is lawful to hunt legal game and furbearers (including coyote and wild boar) with shot shells containing shot no larger than #4 (except waterfowl hunters may use larger nontoxic shot). If you are hunting coyote or boar during the statewide muzzleloader deer season with a device that is lawful for deer hunting, you must also have a deer permit with the temporary tag attached that is valid for the zone or unit being hunted. Waterfowl hunting and the night hunting of furbearers is also permitted when the season is open. All persons (except waterfowl hunters) hunting during the statewide muzzleloader deer gun season are required to wear hunter orange.
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Division of Wildlife Controlled Deer Hunts
The Ohio Division of Wildlife conducts annual controlled hunts on a number of managed areas that are not normally open to hunting. The dates and locations of the hunts vary from year to year. In an effort to encourage participation by non-traditional user groups, some of the controlled hunts are dedicated to "mobility impaired" persons, youths, or women. However, most of the hunts do not carry any particular designation. For more specific information, please view the Controlled Hunt Section of our Web site or call 1-800-WILDLIFE.
Participation is determined by computer-generated random drawings. The application period is June 1 through July 31. Hunters may apply online using a credit card. If you prefer to submit an application via U.S. mail, hard-copies of the application are available at 1-800-WILDLIFE.
Other controlled deer hunts are held at various locations around Ohio, including certain state parks and Metro parks. The Ohio Division of Wildlife is not involved in the management or administration of many of these hunts. Often these hunts are subject to special rules and regulations. For specific information, hunters must contact the individual areas.
Early Muzzleloader Ohio Deer Hunt
Hunters are not required to apply for a special permit to participate in this season. Hunters are required to have a valid hunting license and Deer Permit or an Antlerless Deer Permit to participate in the early muzzleloader deer season (October 17-22, 2011; Wildcat Hollow, Shawnee State Forest, and Salt Fork Wildlife Area only). Persons hunting on these 3 designated areas are required to wear hunter orange except for waterfowl hunters. Bag limit is 1 deer of either sex and deer harvested during this season count towards the hunter’s zone bag limit.
Deer taken during these hunts must be checked at the respective wildlife area headquarters: Salt Fork Wildlife Area Office (Salt Fork Wildlife Area) and Wolf Creek Wildlife Area Office (Wildcat Hollow). Hunters must check deer at the Boland’s Mini Mart (check station 7315) when hunting at Shawnee State Forest during the early muzzleloader season.
Allowable hunting equipment includes longbow, crossbow (draw weight limitations same as Archery Season), muzzleloading rifle .38 caliber or larger, or muzzleloading shotgun of 10-gauge or smaller using one ball per barrel. If a hunter kills an antlered deer on a controlled hunt, he or she may not kill another antlered deer during the same license year in Ohio.
Youth Deer Hunts
The Ohio Division of Wildlife conducts several controlled deer hunts for young hunters. The dates and locations of the hunts vary from year to year. See the Youth Hunting Section for details on these hunts and other youth hunting opportunities.
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Ohio Youth Deer Gun Season
A youth deer gun season will be open statewide, Nov. 19 and 20, 2011 on public and private land. Young hunters 17 years old and younger at the time they purchase their Youth Hunting License, Youth Deer Permit, and who are accompanied by a non-hunting adult may hunt. Accompany means to go along with another person while staying within a distance from the person that enables uninterrupted, unaided visual and auditory communications. See the Youth Hunting Section for details.
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Cervid Carcass Regulations for Those Hunting Out-of-State
Ohio hunters who travel out of state to hunt cervids (deer, elk, moose, caribou) in areas where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected may only possess the following parts of the cervid carcass in Ohio:
(1) De-boned meat;
(2) Meat that is cut and securely and completely wrapped either commercially or privately with no part of the spinal column or head attached;
(3) Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached;
(5) Antlers attached to a skull cap from which all soft tissue has been removed;
(6) Upper canine teeth from which all soft tissue has been removed;
(7) Hides or capes without any part of the head or lymph nodes attached;
(8) Finished taxidermy mounts;
(9) Any soft body tissue wrapped and packaged for use by a diagnostic research laboratory.
Out of state hunters traveling through Ohio may possess any cervidae carcass or part of a cervidae carcass, legally taken or possesses, provided the carcass or parts thereof are not off-loaded from the vehicle in which the carcass enter the state.
For a complete list of areas in the United States and Canada where chronic wasting disease has been detected, see the Division of Wildlife's chronic wasting disease information or Ohio Administrative Code section 1501:31-19-02.
Monster whitetail deer of Ohio
Here are some of the largest deer ever killed in Ohio:
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife announced that another record-setting deer has been harvested in southwestern Ohio. On Saturday, January 30, the 18-point non-typical (non-symmetrical antlered) deer, taken by Brian Stephens on November 30, 2009 with a muzzleloader in Highland County, was officially scored.
Brian Stephens, with friends and family by his side, excitedly awaited the official score Saturday morning in Xenia. The buck was scored by Mike Wendel, David Haney and Ron Perrine, certified scorers with Buckeye Big Bucks Club (BBBC). Gary Trent, BBBC president, announced the score as 232 5/8, which certified it as the new state record.
Official Score Details:
Number of points: 18 total – twelve (12) on the right and six (6) on left.
Greatest spread: 26 2/8
Inside spread: 24 3/8
Total gross: 250 1/8
Longest tine: 17 7/8
Side to side symmetry deductions: 17 4/8
Total of abnormal points: 32 0/8
Net score: 232 5/8
The Highland County deer is the largest non-typical rack ever taken with a muzzleloader in Ohio history, beating out the 2004 record of 225. The 35 1/8 inch left main beam is a Boone and Crockett largest ever recorded and the right main bean measured an impressive 34 1/8 inches. Marty Murphy of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association said the score will be recognized as the largest ever in Ohio according to the association’s Longhunter Big Game Record Book.
This magnificent animal will also be a record for World Classics in the men’s muzzleloading category, according to Dan Stapleton. The World Classics scoring system does not include deductions and the main beam outside spread measurement is added. Under these scoring criteria Stephens’ buck scores 252 0/8.
“Deer hunting in Ohio continues to prove to be world-class,” said Todd Haines, ODNR Division of Wildlife District Five manager. “We are seeing the benefits of a successful whitetail deer management program.” Brian Stephens’ deer is one more to add to Ohio’s record books. In the last decade, southwest Ohio has been the setting for numerous records including:
The Beatty buck, harvested in Greene County in the fall of 2000 by Mike Beatty, holds the record for non-typical at 304 6/8 and currently ranks as the number one non-typical buck in Ohio, the largest non-typical whitetail deer ever taken by a bow hunter.
A typical white-tailed deer killed by Brad Jerman in 2004 in Warren County, known as the Jerman buck, became an Ohio record with a score of 201 1/8. In 2006 a world-class buck was harvested by Jonathan Schmucker in Adams County. The deer was scored at 34-point non-typical, 291 2/8 Boone and Crockett and 305 7/8 World Classics. Also in 2006 the Metzner buck, harvested by Justin Metzner, scored 196 6/8 which positioned it to be the second largest deer harvested with a compound bow in Ohio; the fifth largest typical deer taken in the world in the Pope and Young record book; and Buckmaster’s seventh all-time typical white-tailed deer harvested with a compound bow. “When we are continually in the record books with large non-typical and typical whitetails harvested Ohio, we attract the attention of hunters that might have hunted in another state,” said Haines. “The hunters staying and coming into Ohio is a boost to our economy. Each year, hunting has an $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food and lodging as well as supporting thousands of jobs.”