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Ohio Deer Hunting Season is Almost Here

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

In just a few short weeks, Ohio deer hunting season will be upon us, so make sure you are ready to go and have a great hunt this season.

Now is a great time to bone up on all the information that you need to have before setting out on one of the great deer hunting opportunities that the state of Ohio offers. Whether you are planning to hunt the hardwood forests of southern Ohio or the farmland that lies in the north, this article will help make sure you are completely prepared to have a successful Ohio deer hunt.

Season Dates

The Ohio deer hunting season stretches from late September all the way into February, so you will have plenty of opportunities to hit the woods in pursuit of a trophy buck or a doe to fill the freezer. Here are the Ohio deer hunting season dates that you need to know:

Archery Season: September 27, 2014 through February 1, 2015

Antlerless Deer Early Muzzleloader Season: October 11, 2014 through October 12, 2014

Youth Gun Season: November 22, 2014 through November 23, 2014

Gun Season: December 1, 2014 through December 7, 2014

Muzzleloader Season: January 2, 2015 through January 5, 2015

Muzzleloading rifles may also be used during deer gun season, but other firearms are not permissible during muzzleloader season.

In seasons past, Ohio deer gun hunters were limited to using shotguns while in the field for deer. However, that has changed in advance of the upcoming 2014-15 season. Ohio gun hunters will now be allowed to use rifles chambered in certain straight walled cartridges. The legal cartridges are the same ones that are currently legal to use while handgun hunting in Ohio.

According to the Ohio Division of Natural Resources, the following rifle calibers are now legal to hunt with in Ohio: .357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, .38 Special, .375 Super Magnum, .375 Winchester, .38-55, .41 Long Colt, .41 Magnum, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .444 Marlin, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .45 Long Colt, .45 Winchester Magnum, .45 Smith & Wesson, .454 Casull, .460 Smith & Wesson, .45-70, .45-90, .45-110, .475 Linebaugh, .50-70, .50-90, .50-100, .50-110 and .500 Smith & Wesson.

More hunting in Ohio posts

Licenses and Permits

To legally hunt during the Ohio deer hunting season, you will need a valid 2014-15 hunting license as well as a permit for each deer that you harvest. The bag limits vary from county to county (see map below), but Ohio hunters are able to take anywhere from 2 to 4 deer depending on where in the state they are hunting. Here is a quick look at the required licenses and permits and their cost:

Resident hunting license: $19

Non-resident hunting license: $125

Either sex deer permit: $24

Antlerless deer permit: $15

Deer Hunting Zones and Bag Limits

Image via Ohio Division of Natural Resources.
Image via Ohio Division of Natural Resources.

Blue = 2 Deer Counties (One either sex permit and one antlerless permit)

Light Green = 3 Deer Counties (Three either sex permits and zero antlerless permits)

Dark Green = 3 Deer Counties (Two either sex permits and one antlerless permit)

Red-Orange = 4 Deer Counties (Three either sex permits and one antlerless permit)

Make sure to check the deer zone map once you know where you will be hunting so you can obtain the appropriate permits for your hunting area. For more information on the Ohio deer hunting season hunting zones and bag limits, go here.

A trophy Ohio whitetail buck.
Image via

Where to Hunt

Ohio has ample public land available for hunters to use for deer hunting. Many of these areas offer a great chance for hunters to see a lot of game and even some true trophy bucks. The southeastern portion of the state is known for the large bucks that roam the hills and forests of that area. However, the farmland to the north, and even the areas closer to urban areas, can still hold some big deer. For a complete listing of public lands to hunt in Ohio, go here.

The Ohio deer hunting season offers generous season dates and bag limits to go along with some of the best, and most underrated, deer hunting in the Midwest. So get out in the woods this fall and winter and have a great hunt. Best of luck.

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Are you planning on taking part in the Ohio deer hunting season this year? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Ohio Deer Hunting Season is Almost Here