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How To Find Hunting Opportunities in Ohio

We’ve set out to help locals as well as visitors find hunting opportunities in Ohio.

The state of Ohio can be a hunter’s paradise. With a wide variety of game to target and generous bag limits and seasons, a hunter can be out in the field year round with something to hunt. Despite all that, it can sometimes be difficult to find land on which to hunt, especially for hunters who may have just recently moved to the state or are new to hunting.

However, if you know where to look, land to hunt in Ohio is abundant and hunting opportunities are easy to come by. Check out the resources below to start planning your next Ohio hunt.

Public Land

While public land can sometimes carry a negative stigma among hunters, Ohio has some of the best public land hunting opportunities in the country. No matter where in the state you are located, there is very likely to be a public hunting area within a short drive. The Ohio Division of Wildlife does an outstanding job of land and game management so your chances of filling your tag are high at any of the public land hunting areas. Check out the Alphabetical Listing of Wildlife Area Maps for Ohio to find a location near you and to find more information on what species are available for hunting in each area. You will also find links to more information about each area and any special restrictions or requirements you should be aware of before hunting a certain location.

Controlled Hunts

For those looking for the chance to hunt land that is usually not available for hunting, The Ohio Division of Wildlife conducts annual controlled hunting opportunities throughout the state. Controlled hunts are held for both whitetail deer and waterfowl and the hunts include those for adults, youth, and even the mobility impaired. Hunters hoping for a chance to experience one of these hunts need to apply during the month of July and there is a $3 charge to apply. A random drawing is then held and successful applicants are notified before the season, usually in late August or early September, so they have plenty of time to plan for their designated hunting days. These hunts are usually less crowded than open public land hunting areas and can offer hunters a better chance at filling their bag limits although a successful hunt is not guaranteed. For more information on Controlled Waterfowl Hunts, click here. For more information on Controlled Deer Hunts, click here.

Private Land

Private land can produce some of the best hunting in Ohio, but it can also be the most difficult land to gain access to. More and more landowners are becoming more reluctant to allow unknown hunters on their land to hunt. There are misconceptions about the sport and a worry that property damage or injury could occur. For most landowners, simply not allowing hunting is the easiest course of action. However, if approached in the correct manner, it is still possible to gain permission to hunt on game-abundant private land.

Always make sure to treat landowners with the utmost respect when seeking their permission to hunt. Remember, many landowners make their living off of their land and others saved for a long time in order to afford it. A quick internet search will provide you with a plethora of additional tips on the best strategies to gain access to private hunting land. Make sure to always have an official permission slip for hunting on private land from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, which can be found here.


Internet forums focused on hunting and fishing can be a great place to find information on all aspects of hunting including public land areas. They can also be a great way to network with and get to know other hunters in the area. While there is no guarantee of networking leading to gaining land access, making friends and discussing your favorite hobby is always a great way to pass the time when getting out into the field isn’t possible. A couple great Ohio hunting and fishing forums with active memberships are The Ohio Outdoors and Ohio Game Fishing. Signing up for each of them is free and easy.

Although it can be a time-consuming task, making the effort to research and evaluate all of your options for hunting opportunities can greatly enhance your hunting experience in the state of Ohio. For more information on all of Ohio’s hunting rules, regulations, seasons, and bag limits, visit the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website by clicking here. There you will find everything you need to know to have a safe, legal, and enjoyable hunt in the state.

Have any tips of your own on finding great places to hunt in Ohio? Comment below and share them with other Ohio hunters.

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How To Find Hunting Opportunities in Ohio