There are over 9,200 acres of public land available for hunting in Hocking County, with the primary spot being Hocking State Forest, managed by the state under a multiple-use concept with special emphasis on maintaining forest cover. This approach has helped create a healthy habitat for our thriving population of White-Tailed Deer. Hunters come from all over the world to take a shot at the beautiful White Tail Deer that run thick in the forests of Hocking Hills.


Hocking State Forest is a vast, beautiful landscape. People come from all over the country to hike, climb, camp, fish, and, of course, hunt, in these lands. With 59 miles of hiking, bridle trails, and ziplining available, children and adults will enjoy all that Hocking has to offer. While some like the quiet serenity of exploring the forest, others come to hunt. For those looking to take home some big game, there are some things to keep in mind before venturing out.


Like anywhere else, hunting is regulated by the state wildlife and conservation federations. They develop rules around who, what, when, where, and how often wildlife can be hunted. A hunting license and permits are required by state law. Review the current Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations to keep up with the latest information. Hunting and trapping season dates vary year to year.


Wild Game Hunting

One of the biggest questions hunters in Hocking Hills ask is what they are allowed to hunt and when. Here are just some ideas:

  • White tailed deer: longbow and crossbow are allowed. Minimum draw weights apply. 10 gauge or smaller shotgun is allowed along with a .38 caliber or larger muzzleloading rifle, and handguns of various sizes
  • Wild turkey: 10 gauge or smaller shotgun allowed. Longbow and crossbow allowed with draw weight minimums with a bag limit of one turkey in season
  • Waterfowl and migratory birds: 10 gauge or smaller shotgun allowed using nontoxic shots. Dove and woodcock may be taken with lead shot. Longbows are allowed including compound and recurve bows. Other waterfowl that may be hunted include Canada geese, ducks (daily limit 6) and coots
  • Smaller animals include crow, grouse, rabbit, bobwhite quail, fox, raccoon, skunk, and coyote (no bag limits)

These are just some of the animals allowed to be hunted on public lands. There is also a reserve set aside specifically for hunting in Hocking Hills. Come and find out more about it below.

Heart Rate Ridge Hunting Preserve

Heart Rate Ridge Hunting Preserve is a hunting experience like no other. Join with like-minded people who want space to hunt in a calm, serene environment. The Hocking Hills boast caves, ravines, and an amazing landscape. Visit 313 acres surrounded by a high fence with fair chase hunts that include whitetail deer bucks, non-typical whitetail deer bucks and other exotic game animals. When people at Heart Rate Ridge, they discover:

  • Lots of challenges in the hunt
  • Tree stands and foot plants
  • Use of rifles, bows, or hand guns
  • Beautiful walking trails
  • Fire pits
  • Hot tub
  • Free range hunts for a fee
  • Animals including elk, deer, javelina, trophy hogs, and more

Guests are welcome to stay at newly renovated cabins on premise with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a living room, and full kitchen area. The cabin includes enough room for several guests including family members. More primal type cabins and varieties are available. Pricing and information is available from their website. This is one option for people who want to hunt although there are many options across Hocking Hills.

Visit Hocking Hills

The best way to explore the region and learn about hunting in Hocking Hills is to come take a look for yourself. People come from all over to hunt white tail deer, among other games. Guided hunts on private land are a great feature along with public hunting space across Hocking Hills and the entire region. Hunting is a pastime people enjoy with family and friends or even solo. The Hocking Hills are a destination for hunters to try their hand at securing the catch of their dreams.

HUNTING IN Hocking Hills FAQ's

A:  Hunting and fishing are permitted in Hocking State Forest. Shooting from or across any road or driveway and discharging a firearm during anything other than lawful hunting is not permitted. Shooting should be in permitted areas. Call the Division of Wildlife to find out specifics.

A: Annual hunting licenses and permits for shooting ranges are valid March-February. Spring turkey permits are available beginning the last week of February through the final day of the season. Deer and fall turkey permits go on sale July 1 through the final day of the season. Due to federal and state regulations, a valid Social Security Number is required for purchase of recreational licenses. All license holders are required to validate age at time of purchase with a valid ID.


A:  Depends on the type of hunting a person wants to do. Check with this list of places published by the Ohio DNR around where to hunt legally: