Ohio Deer Hunting

Whitetail deer hunting Ohio is booming these days. Record breaking harvests and record breaking trophy bucks seem to be a very common occurrence in this state. The 2006 season saw a record 237,000+ deers taken. One very notable trophy buck was a 291 2/8, taken in Adams County by John Schmucker with a crossbow. In fact, many believe that Ohio is the state for trophy bucks at this time in deer hunting history. It is hard to argue with the results, with several of the largest bucks in the world were taken in Ohio during the past few years.

Whether or not a buck becomes a real trophy is based on genes, nutrition and age. For several years Ohio had pretty restrictive hunting regulations and this took the pressure off their deer herd. During that time, the bucks were able to age. That and combination of a great gene pool and plenty of food led to an ideal situation for huntings looking to harvest a nice mantlepiece.

Ohio is home to the Buckeye Big Buck Club (BBBC), created in 1957. This organization is the official keeper of trophy whitetail records in the state, and membership is limited to hunters who take a buck with at least a score of 140 for typicals and 160 for non-typicals. The club has experienced rapid growth over the past few years, with so many large bucks being taken.

Ohio’s deer population is not distributed evenly across the state, although big bucks have been taken in every county. The best deer hunting population can be found in the central to south and east portions of Ohio. The northeastern part of the state has a good many deer, and it is a bit more sparse in the northwest. Interestingly enough, some of the biggest trophy deer have been taken in the western part of the state, proving yet again that a light population doesn’t always mean that you can’t find a monster out there.

Finally, not only are the deer plentious and large, you have a lot more time for hunting in Ohio, with a deer hunting season that starts in October and runs through January. All of these factors add up to make Ohio one of the best places for deer hunters in the USA. This is all very fitting for a state whose most enduring symbol is the Ohio Buckeye tree, named so because its nut resembles the shape and color of a deer’s eye. Deer and deer hunting are a big part of Ohio!

Ohio Deer Hunting Facts

  • One of the longest deer hunting seasons in the United States (Late September through early February in 2007!)
  • Deer herd numbering at an estimated 600,000+
  • Largest typical buck score is a tie with two bucks scoring 201 1/8 harvested in 1986 and 2005
  • Largest non-typical buck was a 304 6/8 taken in 2000 in Greene County.
  • The 304 6/8 non-typical noted above is the largest non-typical every harvested by a hunter according to the Boone and Crockett Club scoring and record sheet. This buck is known as the Beatty Buck (taken by Mike Beatty).

Popular Public Hunting Areas in Ohio

There are great public hunting areas in every district in the state of Ohio. As opposed to our trying to list them or rank them here, it is highly suggested that interested hunters view Ohio’s official state hunting page. The list of downloadable public outdoor recreation and hunting areas can be found there. We’ll provide a link in our resources section below.

Popular Private Hunting Areas in Ohio

Do you own private hunting land or offer guided hunts in Ohio? Contact us about a listing in this section!

Other Resources

Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Wildlife Division

List of Downloadable Maps of various public hunting areas in Ohio.

Buckeye Big Buck Club