Trust me, Ohio is a sportsman’s paradise.
While it is not usually listed amongst the best states for outdoorsmen and women, and although it does not have a plethora of big game species such as elk or bear, Ohio boasts incredible opportunities for hunters and anglers of all pursuits.
View the slideshow to see five reasons why.
Reason #1: Lake Erie
Lake Erie forms Ohio’s northern border and is widely known as a world class fishery for species like smallmouth bass, walleye, and perch. One of the five Great Lakes, Lake Erie offers anglers the chance to catch large limits of multiple species that also happen to be among the best tasting fish out there. Anglers can charter a guide to give themselves the best chance to limit out on perch or walleye, or take it upon themselves to fish from shore or their own vessel. There are also ample opportunities for ice fishing during the long winter months. More information on fishing Lake Erie can be found on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website here.
Lake Erie not only offers Ohio anglers the chance to fish in highly productive waters, but also affords many other recreational activities for those who simply enjoy outdoor activities. Popular summer destinations include the wide array of different public parks and beaches as well as the Lake Erie Islands. A short ferry boat ride away from Port Clinton, Ohio, the islands of Lake Erie have wineries and caves to tour and explore, beaches, restaurants, and ample fishing spots.
Reason #2: Long Deer Hunting Season
Ohio is quickly rising on many lists of top whitetail hunting destinations, especially in the state’s southern region. The reason for that is not only because of the healthy deer population, affordable licenses, and chance for a trophy buck, but also because of the very long hunting season.
Hunters looking to fill a whitetail tag in Ohio have ample opportunity to do so. The state’s archery season begins in late September and lasts all the way into the month of February. For those that do not hunt with a bow, there are also several chances to hunt with firearms throughout the season.
For more information on Ohio’s deer hunting opportunities, including controlled hunts and allowable equipment, click here.
Reason #3: Year Round Hunting Opportunities
For many hunters, the arrival of summer usually means putting hunting on hold until the fall. However, the arrival of warmer weather in Ohio does not mean hunters must wait to pursue their passion until the next fall. For hunters wanting to continue to hone their skills but who want more excitement than the shooting range offers, several species are available to hunt twelve months out of the year.
Those species are groundhog, crow, coyote, and although they are only currently found in extreme southern Ohio, feral hogs. There are no closed seasons, save for a brief timeout for both groundhog and crow (more information here), on these creatures in Ohio. Crows offer the excitement of wing shooting and the other species can help hunters maintain their shooting accuracy and other hunting skills throughout the year.
Reason #4: Inland Fishing Opportunities
Lake Erie is not the only great place for fishing in Ohio. In fact, there is great fishing to be found throughout the state, from the mighty Ohio River along the southern edge of the state, all the way up to the north coast formed by Lake Erie. Dozens of state managed fishing, hunting, and wildlife areas offer access to great fishing for a huge range of fish species.
RELATED: 5 Species to Fish in Ohio
Anglers can fish the rivers for steelhead trout, the reservoirs for monster flathead catfish, and smaller lakes and ponds for everything from stocked trout to largemouth bass. With the huge amount of farmland in the middle of the state, farm ponds with hungry bass, sunfish, and channel cats are never too far away.
No matter what type of fishing any given angler enjoys, there is sure to be a chance they would enjoy in Ohio. For an interactive map of Ohio’s wildlife areas, click here.
Reason #5: Midwestern Ideals
Available hunting grounds, ample fishing opportunities, generous bag limits and seasons, and diverse natural resources are only part of the equation when it comes to naming a state a sportsmen’s paradise. Ohio is located in the Midwestern region of the country and the vast majority of the population follow the ideals that region is known for.
No matter where a hunter or angler decides to partake in outdoor activities in Ohio, there is sure to be a fellow outdoorsman ready to offer a helping hand, some friendly advice, or even just someone to hunt or fish with who enjoys those activities just as much.
Ohio is a very hunter and angler friendly state and the great outdoorsmen and women who call themselves Ohioans are a huge reason why Ohio truly is a sportsmen’s paradise.