Crossbow Hunting / The State Of Ohio.
Ohio is one of the top crossbow hunting states in the country.
Ohio crossbow requirement – draw weight no less than 75 lbs. The arrow tip shall have a minimum of two cutting edges which may be exposed or unexposed minimum 3/4 inch width. Expandable and mechanical broadheads are legal.
With a statewide population estimated at around 700,000 white-tailed deer, long and varied hunting seasons with liberal limits, it is easy to understand why Ohio has become one of the top whitetail crossbow hunting states in the country.
Crossbows are not only legal in the State of Ohio, but can be used throughout the entire archery season. When crossbows were first legalized in Ohio in 1976, the number of hunters using crossbows and the number of deer killed with horizontal bows has steadily increased since then.
With 85 wildlife areas, state parks open to crossbow hunting and a national forest covering 178,000 acres, Ohio offers crossbow hunters many options with public land! There are also 20 state forests totaling 183,000 acres, providing even more public land open to hunting.
The size of white-tailed deer that reside in the public hunting areas of the eastern portion of the state have to be seen to be believed. While scouting for the 2009 crossbow deer season I have encountered numerous large bodied animals.
Excellent management of the herd size has been paramount in this region of Ohio. While you may think there would be small numbers of this sized animal, you would be very wrong, the terrain in these areas are a detering factor for over harvesting.
- Ohio Forestry Service
- Ohio Wildlife Service.
Crossbow hunting in eastern Ohio can be challenging in good deer population areas as there are many stream beds with sharp rising hills allowing the deer to make easy an escape from any hunter, good maps, compasses and or G.P.S. are a good thing to use in this area of Ohio to persue true quality trophy class animals.
Year 2000, Greene County, Ohio. The 304 6/8 non-typical is the largest non-typical every harvested by a hunter according to the Boone and Crockett Club. This buck is known as the Beatty Buck (taken by Mike Beatty).
Official, New, Pope & Young, World Record Book Buck.
Specimen: WHITETAIL DEER (Non-Typical)
Score: 294 0/8
Location: GREENE COUNTY, OHIO
Hunter: MICHAEL BEATTY
Year Taken: 2000
Year 2004, Warren County, Ohio. A 201 1/8 typical buck fell to a well placed shot from Brad Jermans crossbow and became the new Ohio record typical.
Year 2005, Mike Rex of Athens, Ohio killed his buck that had 17 points, 15” brow tines and scored 218 6/8.
Year 2006, Adams County, Ohio. A 291 2/8 buck fell to a well placed shot from John Schmucker's crossbow.
Year 2006, Adams County, Ohio. A 196 6/8 typical buck taken by Justin Metzner is the second largest buck ever taken by a bowhunter in Ohio.
Ohio has a lot more trophy class deer to offer and I certainly believe that new records will be set by Ohio bowhunters, crossbow hunters and muzzleloader hunters in the very near future as the deer herd has now increased several times over since the beginning of quality management with a long deer season for various hunters.
2009 - 2010 Deer season - September 26, 2009 - February 7, 2010.
The muzzleloader season has now been moved back into January which will certainly bring back a few hunters that were upset with the December season.
Some of us really do enjoy a good hunt on the ground when its almost guaranteed to have an excellent tracking snow which is very helpful for spot and stalk hunting.
Crossbow hunters and bowhunters get to enjoy a very lenghtly season in Ohio allowing for good hunt planning, the ability to adjust to the deer change of habits as the season progresses from just feeding deer to full rut deer back to wary feeding deer, offering even the best deer hunters with great challenges.