Posts Tagged ‘Ohio’

Like a lot of hunters, I spend a good amount of time dreaming of hunting somewhere else – I grew up in Northeast Ohio, hunting rabbits, squirrel, pheasant, and whitetail deer until the mid 1990’s, then I moved to upstate New York, and eventually back to Ohio and finally Georgia, but I haven’t hunted in Ohio since probably 1993, so twenty-five years give or take.

This year, when looking at various options here in Georgia and other states, I was lamenting not having a good place to hunt, and not having the budget to get in on a decent hunting lease, when on a whim I looked up the price for non-resident Ohio hunting licenses with deer tags, and the answer was under $200 for the general hunting license and one either sex deer tag.  I posed that on FaceBook, and the next time I called to talk to my folks in Ohio, the first words out of my dad’s mouth were something like ‘what took you so long?’


My dad is, at this point, 76 year old. He doesn’t use Facebook. He doesn’t know what Twitter is and probably would have to think for a few minutes to explain the term ‘social media’ to somebody if pressed.  He is a retired automotive factory worker and U.S. Army National Guard first sergeant, he doesn’t like computers much, and uses a pay-as-you-go box store flip phone like the old Motorola Razr style, and by ‘uses,’ I mean ‘hates, uses it as little as possible, and would probably prefer to throw it in a river.’  My point is that my step-mom or uncle Phil had to tell him ‘hey, Niko is thinking about hunting in Ohio this year.’

So, with a little planning, we set up the trip. I would stay at the house in Hartford, Ohio, and hunt with dad at some of his favorite places.  The easiest way to describe dad’s health isn’t to list all the things that aren’t working, it’s to say ‘he has one good shoulder, and gets around with the help of a 5′ walking stick he cut himself from a sapling.’  He uses a Barnett Recruit crossbow because it’s light enough for him to carry, and usually takes a darn nice buck with it every year.  He’s average height and weight, too, and for those of you who have met me in person, is nothing like me physically. When we stand side-by-side, I look like Shrek standing next to Robert De Niro.  Despite his health issues, the Saturday I was in Ohio, we left the house at 1:15 in the morning, drove over an hour to pick up Dan, Bill, Edna and Cindy, some of Dad’s Amish hunting friends, and then drove to their property in central Ohio, hunted all day, then drove back, dropped them off, and drove back to dad’s house, a 26.5 hour long day.

We hunted four properties, three in Trumbull County, in the townships of Greene, Johnston, and Hartford, and one property in Tuscarawas county south of Canton. In the time I was there, I saw deer every single day, all but three does, and never drew my bow. I had my release hooked to the d-loop three times, twice, a few minutes apart trying to get a shot at a small six-point while being watched by several nanny-does, and the third time trying to get a shot at the same six-point the last night I was there.  The nanny-does had been spooked by both the doe-in-heat drag we used and a decoy set up off to my right, and that spooked the six-point enough for him to stick to cover the first time, the second time, all of the good acorns were apparently in the underbrush where I couldn’t get a clean shot.  I also watched four gobblers make their way across a field, and saw more raccoons than I thought I would ever see in my life.  When I asked dad about that, he said ‘people used to hunt them, now nobody does, and they’re everywhere now.’ I must have seen fifty or more road-killed raccoons, probably two dozen road-killed opossums, and multitudes of deer while in Ohio.

Still the trip was a great amount of fun, with lots of nostalgic moments driving around the area that forms my childhood memories. I would have liked to come home with a couple of coolers full of venison (I could have purchased additional tags for $42 each, up to a total of three), but that’s ok, I came home with memories.


My friend over at March’s Outdoor Adventures is running a fundraiser to sponsor youth activities in the outdoors:  Visit his “Help Youth Get To The Outdoors” fundraiser at GoFundMe and donate a dollar or more if you can afford it!

Here is the FaceBook page for March’s Outdoor Adventures, just click the image below.



By Mike Moore Editor
Posted on November 23, 2012
Dylan Smith, of New Riegel in Seneca County, shot this 22-point buck with a crossbow a day before his birthday. The buck is expected to score in the 160-170 range.

Dylan Smith, of New Riegel in Seneca County, shot this 22-point buck with a crossbow a day before his birthday. The buck is expected to score in the 160-170 range.

New Riegel, Ohio — Happy birthday to you, Dylan Smith.

The precocious 12-year-old received an early birthday gift when he shot a 22-point buck on Nov. 4, a day before his birthday.

The nontypical buck is expected to green score in the 160-170 range, said Dylan’s dad, Gerald, a farmer from Seneca County.

The kill has created quite a stir in the small Seneca County village of New Riegel.

“He has just been happier than heck,” said Dylan’s mom, Dottie. “We’ve had people coming in and out of here like crazy” to look at the deer.

The day started just like any other for Dylan, who hunts quite a bit with his father. Just a week earlier, he had killed a doe.

Dylan and his dad was at their makeshift blind behind four straw bales when the sun came up Sunday morning, Nov. 4.

“I was thinking that it’s about time for deer to start moving around,” Dylan said. “I knew that they usually come up from the creek so I was looking around there.”

Read the rest HERE


My father has a litany of news for me when I talk to him these days.  Favorite topics include folks who are better at hunting than I am, live in a better hunting area than I do, hunt harder than I do (one of his favorites is a 12 year old Amish girl, he hunts with her family), and finally folks who have passed away that he knows, but I don’t.

The other day my father was rambling on about some kids looking for shed antlers, and then the topic seemed to change to a theft of somebody’s whitetail deer mounts, but the mounts were replicas, not the actual deer.  I was confused, but OK, I got the gist of that conversation.

Today in the mail I got a letter and a WANTED poster from my father – the wanted poster is below, I’ll put some bits from the letter below that.


The letter STARTS with: “PS It’s snowing right now hunting Phil’s on Monday 30-06.


Niko & Lisa Pooches Cats & Balance of zoo    24 nov 2012 8:30am

Here is the flyer of the 2 mounted heads of deer that were stolen from my friend Dan Kuhns’ office at his deer farm (Woodside Whitetails) near Middlefield, Oh.  2 young guys stopped and asked about shed antlers and a few days later these heads were missing.  

These Kuhns have raised deer for close to 30 years.

This is the family I like to hunt with. 

They have 226 acres in Tuscawaras county, Oh.

They wait for big ones, I’ve been witness to this.

Dan raised these bucks and the heads that were stolen had replica antlers. 


The only thing I changed was correcting a few minor spelling errors.

I realize that I’m 4 states away, and that I have a VERY low view count on most posts, but these are ONE of a kind REPLICA antlers, of massive non-typical bucks.  Hopefully somebody somewhere spots these for sale on eBay or whatnot and gets the reward.



July 13, 2012 • From North American Whitetail

Ronnie Stevens navigated a maze of rules and regulations to put a tag on an urban monster that stretched the tape to 187 7/8 typical inches. Photo courtesy of Ronnie Stevens.

Ronnie Stevens exchanged the memory card in his trail camera, turned the power back on and latched the door closed. Slipping the spent card into his pocket, he climbed into his treestand and towed up his bow.

It was 4 p.m. on October 18, just a few short hours from prime time, and Stevens was in place overlooking an overgrown 8-acre CRP field adjacent to a hardwood lot. As he settled into the zone, Stevens couldn’t help but wonder what had been recorded on the memory card in his pocket.

Fishing a camera from his pack, Stevens inserted the card and began cycling through the photos that had been recorded over the last 24 hours. There he was! A giant 10-point typical with some serious G2s and wide, sturdy mainbeams was posing for the camera.

Stevens soaked in the contents of the photo, but it was the time stamp that held the most meaning — 7:30 a.m., October 18. Based on everything Stevens had learned about this bruiser’s habits over the last few weeks, he had a sneaking suspicion that the buck was using the head-high CRP grass as bedding cover during the day. Stevens stashed his camera back in the pack and looked out over the field and into the adjacent woodlot. Somewhere, out in front of him, was the buck of a lifetime.

It was September 24, Opening Day of Ohio’s 2011 archery season for whitetails, and Ronnie Stevens wasn’t hunting.

Instead, he was behind the wheel, driving home from his daughter’s volleyball game in Sugar Grove, southeast of Columbus.

But when Stevens wasn’t actually bowhunting whitetails, he was at least thinking about them. Those thoughts prompted Stevens to take the southerly route to his home in Columbus, passing through the village of Obetz, just below the southern city limits of Columbus.

The route afforded Stevens the opportunity to scope out the bean fields in the area as the sun slipped towards the horizon, the perfect time and place to catch a glimpse of any deer that might be moving into the fields for supper.

“As my wife can attest, while I’m driving, I’m looking in bean fields and cornfields,” Stevens explains. “She always worries about me wrecking. I came home the back way through south Columbus, checking bean fields because it’s that time in September when bucks are together in bachelor groups.”

Stevens was passing one such field when he noticed a handful of bucks standing in the beans. He instinctively slowed his vehicle to get a better look and as the field was just passing out of view, he caught a glimpse of a solid 180-class buck moving toward the tree line.

Read the rest at North American Whitetail


This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.


Is the information easy to find?

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Hunting Regulations page is at the top of the search results. The Hunting home page is a much better place to start searching for information, the link to the home page is in the top bar.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

Searching for the usual information needed to plan a hunt, how much will it cost, when to hunt, and where to hunt, only requires a few minutes, however the website has some logical flow issues, starting from the Hunting home page is a better option  than the regulations page, with all of the pertinent links available from one location.

Grade: B

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

Ohio uses over the counter licensing, with some lottery-style hunts available for limited access areas.

Grade: A

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Resident annual hunting licenses are priced at $19.00, nonresident hunting licenses are $125.00.  Unlike many states, Ohio’s pricing for deer permits is identical regardless of residency, either sex deer licenses are $24.00, antlerless licenses are $15.00, though please note that the antlerless licenses are not sold after November 25th.  The antlerless tags are also NOT valid for the first week of firearm season, as detailed here:

Deer Hunting Permits

In addition to your Ohio annual hunting license, you must purchase an either-sex deer permit or an antlerless deer permit to hunt deer in Ohio.

The either-sex deer permit is valid Sept. 29, 2012 through Feb. 3, 2013.

Antlerless deer permits may only be purchased until November 25, 2012.

Antlerless deer permits will no longer be valid for the first week of deer gun season (Nov. 26, 2012-Dec. 2, 2012) in Zone C.

Either-Sex Deer Permit

The either-sex deer permit is good for an antlered or antlerless deer and is valid statewide. No more than one (1) antlered deer may be taken per license year. These permits may be used during any of the deer hunting seasons, for controlled hunts or in designated Urban Units. These permits may be purchased individually throughout the entire deer season. Refer to the Deer Permit Use and Bag Limits per Zone section to determine the number of either-sex deer permits you can use in each deer hunting zone.

Antlerless Deer Permit

Hunters are not required to buy a Deer Permit before purchasing any Antlerless Deer Permits.

Antlerless Deer Permits may be used to take antlerless deer ONLY. These permits may be purchased until Nov. 25, 2012. Antlerless deer permits will no longer be valid for the first week of deer gun season (Nov. 26, 2012-Dec. 2, 2012).

Antlerless deer permits are valid statewide between Sept. 29, 2012 through Nov. 25, 2012. These permits are also valid at Ohio Division of Wildlife controlled hunts, during the early muzzleloader season, during youth deer gun season, and within designated Urban Deer Units (see Urban Deer Units). Refer to the Deer Permit Use and Bag Limits per Zone section to determine the number of antlerless deer permits you can use in each deer hunting zone.

Refer to the Deer Hunting Zone map for bag limits by zone and which licenses are required.

Reasonable prices preclude the need for a short term license, however the bag limit variance combined with antlerless tags being invalid during the first week of gun season are both potential negatives.

Grade: B

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

The Hunting Dates and Bag Limits page is very easy to read, with seasons listed by equipment type and dates.  There are only six seasons for deer in Ohio, Archery, Early Muzzleloader (limited areas), Youth Gun, First Gun Season, Second Gun Season, and Statewide Muzzleloader.

Grade: A

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

The Wildlife Management Areas Map page lists all of the available public hunting areas in Ohio. Clicking on a specific area brings up a map and detail page regarding that WMA, such as Salt Fork Wildlife Area. On the detail page, clicking on the map brings up a printable map with clearly marked hunting, non hunting, and restricted areas listed clearly.  Other than some date variations, hunting regulations for most of the public hunting in Ohio is based on the state hunting area rather than by WMA.

Grade: A

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

Chronic Wasting Disease is not present in Ohio.  Read the regulations carefully, however, as there are oddities to hunting in Ohio that are unique to the state, reading the ‘What a hunter CANNOT do’ list is a good start. As one example:

Hunt with any rifle or possess rifle ammunition during the deer gun, the youth deer gun, the early muzzleloader hunts (Salt Fork Wildlife Area, Wildcat Hollow, and Shawnee State Forest), and the statewide muzzleloader seasons other than a muzzleloading rifle .38 caliber or larger.

So if you’re hunting pack has a .30-06 cartridge left over from last year in the bottom of the outer pouch while muzzleloader hunting, you can be found to have violated this regulation. (Ohio requires shotguns for deer during primary firearm season, thus the rifle ammunition ban.)

Grade: B

Summary: Final Grade A-

Ohio is known for big whitetail deer.  The regulations have a few oddities, such as a three-shot limit to shotguns, but the prices are reasonable, and public hunting is widely available.  The web site could be formatted in a more user friendly manner, some of the information was difficult to find details on, particularly Chronic Wasting Disease (a search using the internal search function failed to find anything on CWD or Chronic Wasting Disease, yet there is an entire page dedicated to the issue.)

States CompletedAlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware,

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland

MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Hampshire

New JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth Carolina, North Dakota