Deer hunts help control population

white-tailed deer

COLUMBUS — In a continuing effort to control deer populations, specifically those affecting native plant communities, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is coordinating special deer hunts at 14 state nature preserves. 

Ohio’s nature preserve system protects some of the state’s rarest and highest quality ecology. By browsing native vegetation and introducing non-native plants, deer have negatively impacted many sensitive habitats at several state nature preserves. 

Requirements. Preserve managers will handle hunting applications at the local level. Hunters must attend individual meetings if they are interested in particular hunts. During those events, hunters can enter the drawing by purchasing a single ticket for $5. 

Other requirements include the following:

  Hunters must possess a valid 2022-2023 hunting license to purchase tickets. 

  Names will be randomly drawn, and those selected will be assigned a specific time to hunt. For archery hunts, an orientation will be conducted immediately following the drawing. 

  Hunters will be permitted to hunt with a partner; however, the partner is not required to attend the drawing or orientation. 

  Hunters interested in both the Lake Katharine gun and archery hunts will have to purchase separate lottery tickets for each event. 

Some of the hunts this year will be antlerless deer only while some will allow the taking of antlered deer but only after harvesting an antlerless deer first. The harvest of does helps manage the deer population.

Other special regulations will be addressed at the orientation meetings following the drawings. Hunters may apply for hunts at multiple sites, but they must attend the meeting for each hunt in order to enter the drawing. Do not mail entry forms. 

Meeting dates. Hunt locations and meeting dates are as follows: 

  Lake Katharine (Jackson County), Chaparral Prairie, Davis Memorial, Shoemaker, Johnson Ridge; Whipple (Adams County); Miller Nature Sanctuary (Highland County) — Aug. 20, 10 a.m., Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve Office, 1703 Lake Katharine Road, Jackson, Ohio; contact Josh Deemer at 740-285-5971 or 

  Caesar Creek (Warren County) — Sept. 10 at 1 p.m., Caesar Creek State Nature Preserve Parking Lot, 4080 Corwin Road, Oregonia, Ohio; contact Eric Sagasser at 937-418-8710 or 

  Goll Woods (Fulton County) — Aug. 20 at 9 a.m., Goll Woods State Nature Preserve Office, 26093 County Road F, Archbold, Ohio; contact Ryan Schroeder at 419-445-1775 or 

  Lawrence Woods (Hardin County) — Aug. 20 at 2 p.m., Lawrence Woods State Nature Preserve parking area, 13278 County Road 190, Kenton, Ohio; contact: Ryan Schroeder at 419-445-1775 or 

  Gallagher Fen (Clark County) — Sept. 10, at 9 a.m., Gallagher Fen SNP parking area, 4709 Old Columbus Road, Springfield, Ohio; contact Michelle Comer at 937-537-6173 or 

  Hueston Woods (Butler and Preble County) — Sept. 18 at 1 p.m., Hueston Woods State Park Conference Center, 6301 Park Office Road, College Corner, Ohio;  contact Eric Sagasser at 937-418-8710 or

  Eagle Creek (Portage County)  — Aug. 20 at 9 a.m., Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve Office, 11027 Hopkins Road, Garrettsville, Ohio; contact Adam Wohlever at 330-527-5118 or Emily Pellegrini at 330-527-0937 or 

  Blackhand Gorge (Licking County) — Sept. 10 at 11 a.m., Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve Toboso Parking Lot Cabin, 2200 Gratiot Road SE, Newark, Ohio; contact Charlotte Trolio at 330-607-3566 or 

A gun hunt will be offered this year at Caesar Creek State Nature Preserve and Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve will again provide both archery and gun hunting opportunities. The remaining hunts will be archery only. As in past years, an additional muzzleloader hunt will be offered the first two days of muzzleloader season at Lake Katharine.


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