The Buckeye State boasts some serious deer hunting opportunities.
If you want to bag some of the biggest bucks in the nation, then the Midwest is the place to be. Ohio, in particular, is one of the best states in the nation for whitetail hunting season, with woods packed to the gills with the kind of trophy bucks you will raving about for the rest of your life.
Of course, Ohio is a big state, with numerous major cities and suburban areas, but it actually has quite a bit of public land available to deer hunters, much of which is home to big bucks.
Depending on where in the state you are living or visiting, we’ve outlined some of the best places to hunt in Ohio, regardless of whether you want to hunt with a rifle, a muzzleloader or archery tackle. And, only one of these parcels uses private land.
Woodbury Wildlife Area
If you ask a few Ohioans to point you in the direction of a good slab of public deer hunting land, few spots will come up in your conversations as often as the Woodbury Wildlife Area. Located in Coshocton County about an hour-and-a-half drive northeast of Columbus, the Woodbury Wildlife Area covers some 20,000 acres and is overflowing with trophy bucks.
Woodbury, and Coshocton in general, is a popular spot for hunters and other nature enthusiasts, so you may have to take the paths less traveled in order to find the prime deer areas. Still, Woodbury is a beautiful spot and the adventure is completely worth it.
Dillon Wilderness Area
If the wide-open expanses of Woodbury sound appealing, but the crowds turn you off, then the Dillon Wilderness Area is a similar whitetail deer hunting area that you might be interested in.
Make no mistake, the deer in this area are under a fair level of pressure from hunters–considering Ohio’s hunting reputation, public lands like Dillon and Woodbury are in high demand for destination hunters–but it’s not too difficult to find less-traveled spots and the deer herds that take refuge there.
The Dillon Wilderness area is located in Nashport, just a half hour jog from Woodbury, so you can easily try both out on the same trip.
Conesville Coal Lands
The northeast region of Ohio is a thriving deer habitat, loaded with great places to set up camp and hunt. If you are heading to Coshocton for the Woodbury or Dillon Wildlife areas, complete the hat trick with the Conesville Coal Lands.
The hunting pressure on this 12,000-acre piece of land is slightly lower than the Woodbury or Dillon areas, partially because you need a permit to hunt here. Don’t be scared away by that statement, though: permits are free and can be picked up at local bait shop or secured online.
Shawnee State Forest
If you are looking for public hunting land in Ohio, but need to get away from the northeast triangle, head to the southwest part of the state for the Shawnee State Forest area.
At 60,000 acres, Shawnee is the single biggest public forest area in Ohio, and is a prime deer hunting spot as a result.
The woods are thick and scattered with overgrown trees and plants, but if you are game for a more rugged hunting experience, there is little doubt that you can be successful here, especially during gun season right in the middle of the rut.
Ohio is a golden land for public deer hunting spots, but if you need something with a little less pressure, seek out one of the state’s many private deer hunt opportunities. One of the best is offered by WolfCreek Whitetails, a reputed hunting outfitter located in the southeast quadrant of the state.
Customer testimonials posit the “semi-guided” hunt–which features great land and pre-installed treestands–as a great opportunity to bag a major buck. Of course, there are private deer tours all over the state, so if your Ohio visit takes you to a different part of the state, look around on Google to see what you can find.
Don’t forget to buy your hunting license.
Be sure to visit walmart.com for all of your hunting needs.