As one of the most thrilling experiences a hunter can encounter, white-tailed deer hunting season is a time of excitement and anticipation. AimHi Family Firearms Center, a leading supplier of hunting firearms and accessories in central Ohio, is dedicated to helping hunters make the most out of our statewide deer gun season, beginning Nov. 27.
To help increase your chances of a successful, lawful hunt, we’ve compiled a list of statewide rules and regulations, tips and techniques for taking down a trophy buck, as well as common mistakes to avoid in the bush. Read on to learn what to know before you go.
Understand State Regulations
With the 2023-2024 white-tailed deer hunting season quickly nearing, it’s important for all Ohio hunters to familiarize themselves with the regulations specific to our state.
- Youth deer gun: Nov. 18-19, 2023
- Deer gun: Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2023 & Dec. 16-17, 2023
- Muzzleloader deer: Jan. 6-9, 2024
- Hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
- Ohio hunters are limited to bagging only one antlered deer, with a statewide deer limit of six. If you plan to hunt in multiple counties, hunters may combine individual harvests to reach the statewide limit.
- In addition to a valid Ohio hunting license, hunters are required to purchase an either-sex deer permit or a deer management permit to hunt deer in Ohio, unless exempt.
- The either-sex deer permit may be used to hunt an antlered or antlerless deer. This permit may be used during any of the deer hunting seasons and controlled hunts. This permit may be purchased individually throughout the entire deer season.
- Hunters are required to complete the game check process following the harvest of a white-tailed deer.
- No more than one antlerless deer may be taken from all public hunting areas per license year.
- A list of public hunting areas is available at wildohio.gov.
- It is illegal to hunt over bait on any public hunting area.
- Hunting any wild animal (except waterfowl) from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset during the youth deer gun season, deer gun seasons and the deer muzzleloader season is unlawful unless the hunter is visibly wearing a vest, coat, jacket or coveralls that are either solid hunter orange or camouflage hunter orange.
- Shotgun: 10 gauge or smaller shotgun using one ball or one rifled slug per barrel (rifled shotgun barrels are permitted when using shotgun slug ammunition).
Familiarizing yourself with these guidelines is crucial for a successful and lawful hunting season. Review a comprehensive collection of Ohio hunting dates, rules and regulations here.
Approaches to Hunting White-Tailed Deer
There are a few different approaches to hunting white-tailed deer. Some hunters prefer to sit in a tree stand, while others prefer to stalk their prey through the woods. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to the individual hunter to decide which approach works best for them.
When hunting from a tree stand, it is important to position yourself in an area that is likely to see high deer traffic.This could be near a food source, such as an apple orchard or corn field, or along a deer trail. It is also important to practice scent control and remain as quiet as possible to avoid alerting the deer to your presence. Try to position yourself downwind of where you believe the deer will be coming from.
If you prefer to stalk your prey, it’s critical to move slowly and quietly through the woods. Look for signs of deer activity, such as tracks, droppings and rubs, and move in the direction of the deer. Make use of wind direction to your advantage and try to stay on the downside of downwind from your prey to avoid detection.
Mistakes to Avoid
1. One of the most common mistakes hunters make in the field is failing to thoroughly prepare their hunting equipment. This includes choosing the right firearm for your hunting style and preferences. Our team can help guide you through the selection process to find the perfect firearm for your needs.
Firearms permitted for Ohio deer gun season include:
- Shotgun: 10 gauge or smaller shotgun using one ball or one rifled slug per barrel (rifled shotgun barrels are permitted when using shotgun slug ammunition)
- Straight-walled cartridge rifles: All straight-walled cartridge calibers from a minimum of .357 to a maximum of .50 (includes .350 Legend)
- Muzzleloading rifle: .38 caliber or larger
- Muzzleloading shotgun: 10 gauge or smaller using one ball per barrel
- Handgun: With a 5-inch minimum length barrel, using straight-walled cartridges .357 caliber or larger (the barrel is measured from the front of the cylinder or chamber to the end of the barrel)
2. Make sure your firearms are properly cleaned and sighted in before heading out into the field.
3. Dress appropriately for the weather conditions. You’ll want to wear durable, comfortable clothing that will keep you warm and dry, but also allow for flexibility and range of motion.
4. Another mistake hunters often make is being too quick to take a shot. Practice patience and wait for the deer to present a good shot opportunity. Taking a shot when the deer is moving, obscured by brush or at an awkward angle can result in a missed shot or a non-lethal hit, leading to a wounded animal.
Increase Your Chances of Bagging a Trophy Buck
There are several ways to increase your chances of taking down a trophy buck. One important factor is to properly scout the hunting area prior to the start of the season. Look for signs of deer activity, such as rubs and scrapes, and identify potential food sources and bedding areas. This will help you identify the best areas to set up your tree stand or stalk your prey.
Using a deer attractant, such as a deer scent or deer call, can also increase your chances of attracting a big buck. Be sure to use the attractant properly and at the appropriate distance from your location to avoid alerting the deer to your presence.
Lastly, practice your shooting skills and aim for the vitals. A well-placed shot in the heart or lungs is more likely to result in a quick and ethical kill, while a shot in a non-vital area could result in a wounded animal.
How AimHi Family Firearms Center Can Help
As you prepare for the upcoming deer hunting season, consider visiting AimHi Family Firearms Center for all of your hunting equipment and gear needs. Our expert staff can help you find the right firearms, ammunition and accessories to ensure a successful and safe hunting trip.
We’re also happy to answer any questions you may have about hunting regulations in Ohio so that you can hunt with confidence and peace of mind. With our extensive selection of firearms and hunting gear, we can help you find the equipment you need to make the most of your hunting experience.
Contact us today or visit the shop to learn more!