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Hunting Information

Hocking River Commission protects land representing diverse ecosystems in southeast Ohio with a full complement of species. In an effort to manage deer browsing on native plants, which can significantly impact plant diversity and abundance, Hocking River Commission calls upon the hunting community to help reduce the deer herd on specific properties within its preserve system. BOW HUNTING is by permit only. All Ohio Department of Natural Resources rules and regulations apply.

Hunting of any animal other than deer is strictly prohibited. Hunters may participate in archery hunting only. Target shooting is prohibited on all preserves.

There is no fee for this hunting program, though we do encourage hunters to become members of Hocking River Commission. All invited participants will be issued written permits. All hunters must complete and submit their permits to Hocking River Commission, including their contact information, a valid driver’s license, and a current State of Ohio hunting customer ID.

The Vice President will coordinate hunting at all preserves in accordance with our hunting policy. The Vice president is the main contact and schedules interested hunters, monitors deer harvests, and communicates with the Conservancy’s Board of Directors.  

During deer season, Hocking River Commission will coordinate hunting at the following preserves.  If you are interested in hunting on one of our preserves email us at: [email protected] with the subject Line: Hunting.

Hocking River Commission Controlled Deer Hunt Regulations
  1. Hunting privileges are assigned one month prior to deer season.  Hocking River Commission allows only one hunter for each preserve.  If more than one hunter requests permission then the hunter will be selected by a lottery pick.  Hunting privileges are not transferable to other people or other sites. Hunters may not bring hunting partners not carrying authorized permits.
  2. All hunters must review the Hunting Policy and be familiar with its contents.
  3. Hunters must carry provided Permit on his or her person at all times when hunting at the site, and present such permit upon request of any Hocking River Commission Board of Directors member or law enforcement officer.
  4. Hunters must abide by all ODNR hunting rules and regulations.
  5. Hunter must park his or her vehicle only at approved parking areas. A photocopy of the Permit must be visible on hunter’s dashboard.
  6. No motorized vehicles are permitted beyond parking areas unless specifically authorized.
  7. Baiting is NOT ALLOWED on Hocking River Commission Properties.
  8. HUNTING PRIORITY: Hunting on Hocking River Commission preserves is primarily for population control. With this in mind, we encourage hunters to prioritize the harvesting of does.
  9. Only deer are legal game on Hocking River Commission properties. Hunting of coyotes and other wildlife is prohibited on Hocking River Commission property.
  10. REPORTING REQUIREMENT. All harvested deer must be reported to Hocking River Commission within 48 hours of harvest, specifying sex, age if first-year, site, and tag number. This can be done by contacting the Vice president for the respective preserve.
  11. The Hocking River Commission’s preserves are protected natural areas. Other than the authorized deer hunt, no plants, animals or historical or natural features may be removed.
  12. Permission from the property owner must be obtained before pursuing a wounded deer onto, or retrieving a dead deer from, adjacent private property WITH THE EXCEPTION that hunters may follow wounded deer onto adjacent Hocking River Commission tracts or adjacent public land when applicable.
  13. Hunters may hunt only with the implements and during the dates specified in this permit package.
  14. Portable tree stands may be used, but must carry hunter’s name. No nails, screws, or screw-in steps or any other object may pierce the bark of the tree. Use straps and/or chains only. Tree stands may be erected only during the specified time period of your permit. Stands discovered before or after these dates will become the permanent property of Hocking River Commission.
  15. No deer may be hunted or field dressed within 150 feet of a road or building, unless specifically authorized.
  16. Failure to comply with the Hocking River Commission regulations, a site’s special conditions, or any Ohio Division of Wildlife regulations will result in the loss of current permit and future hunting privileges at Hocking River Commission sites.
  17. Future years’ hunts are at the invitation of the Lead Hunter and require a new signed permit. Usually, successful hunters who are regulation-abiding are invited back.
  18. We ask that hunters help us keep the preserves as pristine as possible by not leaving litter of any kind on our lands. As a courtesy to other preserve users, we also encourage hunters to pick up any litter they encounter.