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ODNR Offers Special Deer Hunts on Nine State Nature Preserves

Posted on 7/31/2018 by State Nature Preserves

Permits to participate in controlled hunts will be awarded by lottery


In a continuing effort to control deer populations, specifically those affecting native plant communities, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will coordinate special deer hunts at nine state nature preserves across the state.

Ohio’s nature preserve system protects some of the state’s rarest and highest quality ecology. Deer continue to exert a negative impact on many sensitive habitats at several state nature preserves. The primary impact is from the browsing of native vegetation by deer. Additional impacts can be seen as the rapid spread of various non-native invasive plants displaces many native Ohio plant species.

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:

  • Hunters must possess a valid 2018-2019 hunting license to purchase tickets.
  • Names will be randomly drawn, and those selected will be assigned a specific time to hunt. 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.

These hunts are “doe first” hunts, meaning a buck can be taken only after an antlerless deer is harvested. The harvest of does helps manage the deer population. Other special regulations will be addressed at the orientation meetings following the drawings.

Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve will again provide both archery and gun hunting opportunities. The Lake Katharine archery hunt will offer hunters two-week blocks of time to hunt. For the Lake Katharine gun hunt, hunters will be drawn for one of the two-day hunts, either Nov. 26-27 or Nov. 29–30, all during the regular statewide gun season. Because of the success of the 2017-18 season, an additional muzzleloader hunt will be offered the first two days of muzzleloader season, Jan. 5-6, 2019.

Hunts at Blackhand Gorge, Davey Woods, Gallagher Fen, Goll Woods, Gott Fen, Lawrence Woods, McCracken Fen and Old Woman Creek state nature preserves will be archery-only hunts. Successful lottery winners of these hunts will be offered two-week blocks of time to hunt.

Hunters may apply for hunts at multiple sites, but they must attend the meeting for each hunt to enter the drawing. Do not mail entry forms.

Hunt locations and meeting dates are as follows:

  • Lake Katharine (Jackson County) The archery, gun and muzzleloader drawings will be held on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 10 a.m. at the Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve office located at 1703 Lake Katharine Road, Jackson 45640. Contact Josh Deemer at 740-285-5971 or joshwa.deemer@dnr.state.oh.us for more information.
  • Old Woman Creek (Erie County) The archery hunt drawing will be held on Saturday, Aug. 25, at 10 a.m. at the Old Woman Creek Visitors Center located at 2514 Cleveland Road East, Huron 44839. Contact Ryan Schroeder at 419-445-1775 or ryan.schroeder@dnr.state.oh.us for more information.
  • Goll Woods (Fulton County) The archery hunt drawing will be held on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 9 a.m. at the Goll Woods State Nature Preserve office located at 26093 County Road F, Archbold 43502. Contact Ryan Schroeder at 419-445-1775 or ryan.schroeder@dnr.state.oh.us for more information.
  • McCracken Fen (Logan County) The archery hunt drawing will be held on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 10 a.m. at the McCracken Fen State Nature Preserve parking area located at 4140 Township Road 32 South, Bellefontaine 43311. Contact Michelle Comer at 937-537-6173 or michelle.comer@dnr.state.oh.us for more information.
  • Davey Woods (Champaign County) The archery hunt drawing will be held on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 1 p.m. at the Davey Woods State Nature Preserve parking area located at 7661 Lonesome Road, St. Paris 43072. Contact Michelle Comer at 937-537-6173 or michelle.comer@dnr.state.oh.us for more information.
  • Lawrence Woods (Hardin County) The archery hunt drawing will be held on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 1 p.m. at the Lawrence Woods State Nature Preserve parking area located at 13278 County Road 190, Kenton 43226. Contact Ryan Schroeder at 419-445-1775 or ryan.schroeder@dnr.state.oh.us for more information.
  • Blackhand Gorge (Licking County) The archery hunt drawing will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m. at the Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve office located at 5213 Rock Haven Road, Newark 43055. Contact Charlotte McCurdy at 330-607-3566 or charlotte.mccurdy@dnr.state.oh.us for more information.
  • Gallagher Fen (Clark County) The archery hunt drawing will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m. at the Buck Creek State Park office located at 1976 Buck Creek Lane, Springfield 45502. Contact Michelle Comer at 937-537-6173 or michelle.comer@dnr.state.oh.us for more information.
  • Gott Fen (Portage County) The archery hunt drawing will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 10 a.m. at the Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve office located at 11027 Hopkins Road, Garrettsville 44231. Contact Adam Wohlever at 330-527-5118 or adam.wohlever@dnr.state.oh.us for more information.