Ohio Deer Hunting Season

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife delivered its suggestions for the 2022-23 whitetail deer shooting season to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

In September 2022, 18 counties will see increased deer hunting bag restrictions following approval of the new rules.


Deer hunting is more than just a pastime for many; it’s a tradition, a way of life, and, in places like Ohio, a significant activity during specific times of the year.

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Ohio, with its rich forests and vast green landscapes, offers one of the best terrains for deer hunting. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or a newbie to the game, this guide will provide you with all the essential details about deer hunting in Ohio.

What is Deer Hunting?

Deer hunting refers to the practice of hunting deer for sport, food, or population control. It requires a combination of skill, patience, and knowledge about deer habits and habitats.

Ohio Deer Hunting

In the United States, Buckeye State deer hunting is consistently among the best. Whitetail deer of the Boone and Crockett class are often taken there by Ohio hunters each hunting season. Since the state is known for its large deer antlers, it’s no surprise that hunters flock here.

We’ll tell you everything you need to know about hunting in Ohio this year, from the best public property to find the big bucks to the dates, bag restrictions, and hunting licences you’ll need.

Seasons for deer hunting in Ohio are simple. In a time when many states tend to over-complicate hunting zones with strange borders, variable seasons, and other rules that require a lot of research, this is a welcome change.

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Ohio Deer Hunting Season

The deer shooting dates for the 2022-23 season are similar to those of the previous season. One antlerless deer may be harvested, regardless of where or how it is taken.

Hunter may not exceed the county bag limit for that particular county. The following dates have been suggested for the 2022-23 deer shooting season: 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset are considered prime hunting times.

In order to restrict herd expansion and boost hunting possibilities, bag limits for deer have been increased Proposals to enhance deer bag restrictions in 18 counties have been rejected by the legislature.

Allen, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Mercer, Miami, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Preble, Putnam, Shelby, Van Wert, and Washington are among the fifteen counties that have been recommended to increase to three deer (from two deer).

Clinton, Fayette, and Pickaway counties all want to go from one to two deer. At wildohio.gov, you can see a proposed bag restriction map in geographic form.

Dates for Deer Season in Ohio

The specific dates for deer season can vary from year to year. It’s essential to check the official Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) website or their annual hunting guide for the most accurate dates. Generally, Ohio splits its deer season into various parts, including bow season, youth season, gun season, and muzzleloader season.

Deer Hunting Permits

You must obtain an either-sex deer permit or a deer management permit in addition to your valid Ohio hunting licence unless you are excused.

From September 25, 2021 to February 6, 2022, the deer permit is good for any sexe. It’s good from September 25 to November 28 of 2021, while the deer management permit is valid.

Either-Sex Deer Permit

The either-sex deer permit is applicable for an antlered or antlerless deer and can be used anywhere in the United States. This licence is valid for all deer hunting seasons and controlled hunts. Throughout the deer season, this permit can be obtained on a one-time basis. The 2021-22 season is limited to one antlered deer.

Deer Management Permit

If you have a permit to take antlerless deer, you can do so. Permits are valid from September 25 through November 28, 2021, on private properties within the state.

On public properties, licences for deer management are not valid, save in the Killdeer Plains and Lake La Su An wildlife areas, which have been designated for restricted hunting. Prior to acquiring a deer management permit, hunters are not needed to get an either-sex deer permit.

Hunting Licenses

Wildohio.gov allows you to obtain a licence either in person from a variety of companies or by phone or online, much like in most other states. It’s often easier and more convenient to apply for a driver’s licence online, as you may print it at home. As far as we can tell, Ohio does not permit the storage of a digital copy on a mobile device.

The price difference between residents and non-residents is obvious. To begin, you must purchase a hunting licence for a period of one year, which costs $19 for adults and $10 for minors. Adults pay $180.96 for a non-license, resident’s driver’s which is the same for youths. The three-day (tourist) licence isn’t valid for deer, so don’t buy it.

Deer Hunting on Public Land

One antlerless deer per licence year may be taken from any public hunting zones. At wildohio.gov, you may find a list of hunting places open to the public. Exemptions include hunts in areas under the supervision of the Division of Wildlife, such as those in Wyandot County’s Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area and Williams County’s Lake La Su An Wildlife Area.

Controlled Deer Hunts

Controlled hunts are carried out by the Wildlife Division in locations that are not ordinarily open to hunting. Visit wildohio.gov or call 1-800-WILDLIFE for information about controlled hunts (1-800-945-3543).

For the purposes of county and state bag limits, a deer harvested in a controlled hunt does not count. Computer generated random draws are used to choose permit recipients.. Annually, the application period runs from July 1 to July 31.

For a convenience charge, hunters can submit an application online at wildohio.gov or by phone at 1-866-703-1928. The chief of the Division of Wildlife can authorise the use of deer management licences in regulated hunts that are not overseen by the Division of Wildlife.

If the hunter wants to use deer management permits, he or she must consult with the agency in charge of the hunt. The Division of Wildlife organises a number of hunts for young hunters under the supervision of the agency.

How Many Deer Can I Hunt in Ohio?

The bag limit for deer in Ohio typically depends on the county. Some counties might have a limit of one antlered deer regardless of the method or season.

The total limit for antlerless deer might differ based on the county’s deer management goals. Again, always refer to the latest guidelines issued by the ODNR.

Hunting Without a License: Is it Permissible?

No, you cannot hunt deer in Ohio without a valid hunting license and deer permit. Hunting without these can lead to hefty fines and potential legal consequences.

Cost Implications of Deer Hunting in Ohio

  1. Hunting Deer Cost: The exact price can vary depending on non-residential or residential status, type of hunt, and more.
  2. Deer License Cost: A deer license’s cost can also vary based on whether you’re a resident or non-resident, with non-residents typically paying more.

Always check the latest fees on the ODNR website to get accurate pricing.

Duration of Deer Season in Ohio

Deer season length can vary based on the method of hunting (archery, gun, muzzleloader) but generally spans from late September to early February.

Deer Activity Peaks

Deer are most active during their rutting season, which in Ohio, usually occurs in November. This period sees an increase in deer movement, making it a prime time for hunting.

Legal Firearms for Deer Hunting

In Ohio, specific guns are deemed legal for deer hunting. This includes certain shotguns, muzzleloading rifles, and specific straight-walled cartridge rifles. Handguns meeting specific criteria may also be used. Always refer to ODNR guidelines for a comprehensive list.

Legal Deer Hunting Equipment

These are the equipments which are legal to be used in deer hunting.

Longbow or Bow

Drawing power must be at least 40 pounds. Compound and recurve bows are included in this category.

Two cutting edges, either exposed or unexposed, and a minimum 3/4-inch width are required for the arrow tip. The use of mechanical and expandable broadheads is permissible.


Draw weight of 75 pounds is the bare minimum Two cutting edges, either exposed or unexposed.

A minimum 3/4-inch width are required for the arrow tip. The use of mechanical and expandable broadheads is permissible.


Guns with a bore no larger than 10 ga. that can only hold one round or one slug per barrel (rifled shotgun barrels are permitted when using shotgun slug ammunition).

Straight-walled Cartridge Rifles

Calibers with a straight wall, ranging from a minimum of.357 to a maximum of.50 are all eligible.

Cartridges that are Lawful and Illegal

No more than three shells can be placed in the chamber and magazine of a shotgun or straight-walled cartridge rifle.

Muzzleloading Shotgun

Using a single ball in each barrel of a 10 gauge or smaller.


Straight-walled cartridges of.357 calibre or bigger can be used with a 5-inch minimum barrel length. Front to back of cylinder or chamber to end of barrel is barrel length.

Shooting Deer on Personal Property

You can hunt deer on your property in Ohio; however, you still need the appropriate permits and licenses. Additionally, safety considerations and specific regulations must be adhered to.

Quality of Deer Hunting in Ohio

Ohio is often regarded as a top state for deer hunting, especially for trophy white-tailed deer. With a mix of farmland, forests, and regulated hunting practices, Ohio ensures a healthy deer population.

Safety Considerations

Deer hunting, like all forms of hunting, has its risks. However, with proper training, adherence to safety guidelines, and ethical hunting practices, it can be a safe activity. Ohio offers various hunter education courses that are beneficial for both novice and experienced hunters.

Ohio Deer Hunting Rules

Here are the rules for white-tailed deer hunting in Ohio –

1. 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset are considered prime hunting times.

2. After taking down a deer, hunters are required to perform a game check. For additional information, visit ohiodnr.gov.

3. During the 2021-2022 hunting season, no more than one antlered deer may be taken, no matter how or where it was killed.

4. Deer with antlered antlers have at least one antler that is at least three inches long.

5. An Ohio hunting licence is required to take part in the season. A deer hunting licence, on the other hand, is required.

6. From September 25 to February 6, 2022, two permits are valid: the either-sex permit and the deer management permit. The latter is valid from September 25 to November 28.

7. Antlerless deer may only be taken from public hunting grounds once every licence year.

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It is possible to hunt deer, turkey, and pheasant in Ohio at various times of the year. Archery, muzzleloader, and normal firearms seasons, as well as several constantly open seasons, are all readily available to children.

Controlled hunting is available in Ohio by lottery. Most people who meet the criteria are eligible for two hunting licences, which can be used for either personal or shared hunting.

Ohio presents deer hunters with a robust environment teeming with opportunities. Whether you’re in it for the sport, the thrill, or the venison, it’s essential to be informed, licensed, and always practice ethical and safe hunting. Remember, the key to a successful hunting trip in Ohio, or anywhere, lies in preparation and respect—for the animals and the laws that protect them.