Getting Started with Ohio Deer Hunts
Deer hunting is one really addicting obsession and lifestyle choice. Depending on how much effort you put into it, the end result can be dramatically different. For example, if you routinely hunt the same tree stand on the same property for decades, you’ll learn a lot about the local deer herd and their patterns over time. But to really grow and expand your whitetail knowledge, have you ever considered an out of state hunt? If that is an item on your wish list, you might want to consider Ohio deer hunts. Depending on where you come from, deer hunting in Ohio could be a major game changer for you because bucks can get so big and the hunting is great. Here are a few reasons you should consider an Ohio deer hunt.
Why Ohio Has Big Deer
Although it might not be familiar to you, there is no denying that Ohio has some of the best deer hunting in the country. Some truly giant bucks have been taken here over the years, and the secret seems to be getting out. But what makes Ohio so special for growing big deer?
Simply put, there is great deer habitat and food here. Ohio offers an ideal mix of the forest types and structures that whitetails love to hide in and browse. Oak and hickory forests provide a lot of hard mast each fall, which deer absolutely devour. Younger tree species, such as those growing back after a timber cut, are extremely attractive for deer fawning and browsing. Of course, the state also has abundant agricultural food resources to help deer pack on the pounds and grow some impressive headgear. Many farms grow row crops, such as soybeans or corn, which are two of the best food sources for summer nutrition and late season deer hunting. When you pair all of that along with good natural water sources and varied topography (e.g., hills and fields), you’ve got a recipe for big buck potential.
In addition, Ohio has an excellent deer management program. You can only take one antlered deer per year, rather than multiple bucks per year as in other states. Since many hunters here know of the true trophy potential, they are more willing to pass on younger bucks. That means that many bucks make it past the hunting season to grow into mature deer. To help matters even more, there are some incredible genetics of deer in the state. So if a buck can make it to 3.5 years or older, there is a great chance that with good genetics and lots of quality food that they will get your trigger finger itching when they step out in front of you.
Ohio Deer Hunting
So now you know why our state is so good at producing big deer – what about the hunting side of things? That’s ultimately what can make or break a hunting trip plan.
- License Options and Costs – compared to many other states, especially those with known big buck successes, Ohio has very reasonable hunting license options. You can buy non-resident tags over the counter for Ohio deer hunts instead of applying and waiting to be drawn. And they are very affordable Ohio deer hunts for most people. For the 2018-2019 season, for example, the deer license was $141.50 and an either-sex deer permit was $41, bringing the total to $182.50.
- Ohio Deer Hunting Regulations – as mentioned above, you are allowed to take only one buck in the Buckeye state, so hunters need to choose wisely. Luckily, the Ohio deer season runs from late September through early February, which gives you a great chance of taking a buck with a bow or firearm.
Best Regions for Ohio Deer Hunts
While much of the state has good habitat and food resources for whitetails, that doesn’t mean you are likely going to tag a giant buck anywhere you go. Some regions are better than others when it comes to the odds of encountering a trophy buck. The more pressure a given area gets and the lower the habitat quality, the lower the likelihood of seeing multiple big deer. Generally, your best chances would be in west-central, central, east-central, and southern Ohio. You have a couple options for your Ohio deer hunts in these regions. Briarwood is situated right in the midst of the best ranking big buck counties in the entire state of Ohio. Located in Logan County in the west-central region, this area is annually a producer of trophy whitetail deer.
If you’re really looking for a DIY hunting trip, you could choose to hunt Ohio public lands. Ohio has much more publicly available land to hunt than most people assume, and the often vast timbered areas are great spots for reclusive bucks to hide away. The trick is finding areas without a ton of existing hunting or human pressure. However, that’s tough to confirm without some in-season and in-person scouting, which might seriously stall you on an out of state hunt.
A better bet is to choose a hunting outfitter that specializes in Ohio deer hunts. A good outfitter will have extensive local knowledge of the area, manage their properties for maximum nutrition and security, and give you the best chance of shooting a Boone and Crockett or Pope and Young buck as possible. Depending on your specific goals, Ohio deer hunting outfitters could be a great option for you, which brings us to the last point…
Ohio Deer Hunting Outfitters
If you live to deer hunt or just want to try it for the first time, it’s clear why Ohio is such a good choice. And if you want to tag a record-worthy buck, choosing an outfitter is probably the way to go. There are many to choose from in the state. But before you blindly pick a hunting outfitter, it’s important to know more about them. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to compare outfitters. Here are a few things to find out before you decide:
- What kinds of properties are available and what is the habitat like on them?
- What is their success rate and the average deer size on their properties?
- Are accommodations included, and if so, what are they like? Is food included?
If you are hoping to harvest a truly giant buck, you should look into Ohio deer hunting preserves, as they offer the most control over the deer herd. But as for open range Ohio deer hunts, Briarwood Sporting Club has access to several private properties in Logan County, Ohio that are great for big deer. You stay on our property with access to some amazing amenities, and we provide a semi-guided deer hunt by pre-scouting the area and helping you decide where to hunt for the best chance of success. But you still get to hunt on your own in these areas. If that sounds good to you, reach out to us to reserve your spot.