COLUMBUS, Ohio – With schools back in session and summer ending, the next milestone in the calendar for many Ohioans is the start of white-tailed deer archery hunting season. Ohio’s popular deer archery season opens statewide Saturday, Sept. 24, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
“Deer hunting is a tradition in Ohio,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Throughout the season and beyond, hunting-related tourism, equipment sales, and license sales generate revenue in Ohio from hunters across the nation, with much of that revenue being directed back to the state’s wildlife.”
The 2021-22 deer season saw a record 95,303 deer taken with a bow, or 48% of the total harvest. Archery hunting continues to grow in popularity, partially driven by the accessibility of crossbow hunting. Approximately 71% of Ohio’s bow harvest was with a crossbow, although compound, recurve, and longbows remain in favor among many archers.
October and November are the most popular months for bow hunters because of increased deer activity during the breeding season. For more tips, visit the Wild Ohio Harvest Community’s Getting Started: Deer Hunting page at wildohio.gov.
Archery season continues until Feb. 5, 2023. Ohio offers additional seasons for hunters to pursue deer. Youth-only firearms hunting is open for hunters under the age of 18 on the weekend of Nov. 19-20. The seven-day deer gun season is from Monday, Nov. 28, to Sunday, Dec. 4, with a bonus weekend of Dec. 17-18. Deer muzzleloader season is from Saturday, Jan. 7 until Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.
Archery season opens in the Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance area of Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties on Sept. 10, with an early gun season in those counties from Oct. 8-10. Find complete details in the 2022-23 Hunting and Trapping Regulations.
Deer hunting presents a unique challenge, especially with archery equipment. Practicing with your equipment before a hunt can help you refine the patience and skill needed for a clean, ethical shot. Find a public shooting range near you to find a safe, accessible place to practice.
Bowhunters can find hunting opportunities near them on both public and private land. The Ohio Landowner-Hunter Access Partnership incentivizes landowners to allow hunters access to their property. Hunters can obtain a free daily permit to gain hunting access on private lands via the HuntFish OH mobile app or wildohio.gov. To date, 18,400 acres of private land are accessible through the OLHAP program.
Deer hunters can download the free HuntFish OH mobile app to buy licenses and permits, view maps of public hunting areas, see the current hunting regulations, or check the game even without a cellular connection. The app is available for Android and iOS users in the app store.
A deer management permit costs $15 and may be used to harvest antlerless deer. Deer management permits are used to improve the overall health of Ohio’s deer population and create better hunting opportunities. Deer management permits are valid on private land and select public hunting areas until November 27, 2022, and during authorized controlled hunts.