Hunting

Hunting opportunities abound on the Wayne National Forest. Ohio hunting laws are enforced on National Forest land, with a variety of species to be hunted and an array of hunting experiences from remote walk-in areas to easily accessible lands near roads. The choice is yours.

turkey and deer graphicGenerally hunting is allowed anywhere on NF land. An exception is recreation areas with designated boundaries (campgrounds, picnic areas, parking areas, designated swimming areas, and trailheads) or areas where otherwise posted. Private land is interspersed with public land and you must obtain written permission from the private landowner to hunt on their property. Use caution to ensure you don't inadvertently stray off public land onto private.

Keep away from oil/gas operations, they are private property and potentially dangerous. Do not use storage tanks for a platform. Pump-jacks may begin to operate without warning and any open flame, firearm discharge, or spark could cause an explosion.  Keep any campfires away from them.

State Law prohibits shooting and target practicing on all public lands (including the Wayne National Forest), except when legally pursuing game. United States 36 CFR 261.10(d) prohibits discharging of firearms on national forest land under the following situations:

  • In or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, trailhead, or other occupied areas;
  • Across or on a Forest Development road, or a body of water adjacent thereto, or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge; and
  • Into or within any cave.

Also Remember....

  • No target shooting is permitted on the Wayne NF
  • Dogs must be on a leash unless in the act of hunting.
  • Cars and trucks must stay on public roads; no cross-country travel is permitted.
  • ATVs (all-terrain-vehicles) must stay on designated trails, and riders must have state and federal permits. They may not be taken off trail even to recover game.

Steve Sapio with big buck

Maps are available from any Wayne National Forest office. Maps of 1/2 inch to the mile scale are sold as well as 2.5" to the mile topographicmaps. These maps are sold for all areas with National Forest ownership and grids are available to assist you in knowing which areas you need to order. Maps may also be ordered by mail.

Be aware of the threats of importing the emerald ash borer and do not bring firewood into the area. Click here for more information.

Wild Boar - Wild hogs have been expanding into parts of the Wayne and are even occasionally sited by hikers and OHV users. 

In support of effective control efforts to remove feral hogs, the Wayne does not provide range maps or local distribution information for feral hogs. Throughout the country, research and management efforts have shown that hunting does not control feral hog numbers. Specifically, hunting pressure causes hogs to go nocturnal and actually promotes their spread as they seek areas with less human disturbance. Successful control and removal efforts have very limited success when competing with concurrent pressure from recreational pig hunting. Instead, we are pursuing a cooperative strategy for intensive trapping and removal efforts on affected properties in and around the area to effectively remove the hogs.

The Ohio DNR has a map of known occurrences on their ODNR wildlife website.  Click on the ODNR hunting regulation website for the rules on hunting wild boar.

Whether it's a 400-pound boar with five-inch tusks or an enraged sow defending her litter, feral hogs are formidable and have been known to attack human beings. Feral hogs have excellent senses of smell and hearing and normally avoid contact with humans. There are occasions of hogs chasing hunters up trees, but these are rare, isolated instances. The vast majority of hogs flee from humans. However, should you find yourself nose-to-snout with an angry hog, the best defense is to climb the nearest tree. If the swine charges, sidestep quickly, taking care to avoid the swing of its tusks and promptly find a tree to scamper up.

Fact Sheet on Feral Swine in Ohio 

If you see any feral swine, or evidence of their "rooting around" contact the Forest Service or the Division of Wildlife. The Division is working on a proactive strategy for dealing with this animal since it now appears that populations are growing and expanding, and it can do a great deal of damage to the Forest.

2011 Deer Harvest Figures for Southeastern Ohio

Athens

2,059

Belmont

2,431

Carroll

2,252

Coshocton

3,690

Gallia

1,844

Guernsey

2,982

Harrison

2,772

Hocking

2,184

Jackson

1,515

Jefferson

2,044

Lawrence

1,574

Meigs

1,974

Monroe

1,960

Morgan

1,804

Muskingum

3,223

Noble

2,028

Perry

1,832

Pike

1,077

Scioto

1,224

Tuscarawas

3,180

Vinton

1,577

Washington

2,225

 

hunter with turkey

License Requirements

Either a resident or non-resident hunting licenseis required. All National Forest lands except for designated recreation areas are available for hunting and primitive camping.



hunter and kid with turkey

Camping and Parking
 

When camping, burn only dead wood picked up from the forest floor. Never leave your campfire unattended, and ensure it is out before leaving the area. Help us keep your forest clean by maintaining a clean campsite and taking your trash with you.

Park in designated trailheads or parking areas if available. Where they are not available, do not block roads or gates, leave room for passing traffic, and avoid parking in blind spots.

ATVs

Hunters wishing to use an ATV (all terrain vehicle 50 inches or less in width) to access a hunting spot or area are required to use designated ATV trails. Trail users must purchase and display a permit to ride trails in the Wayne National Forest. Daily permits and seasonal permits may be obtained from National Forest offices or several vendors in the area. Persons under 16 years of age are exempt from permit requirements. All guns must be unloaded and secured in a locked case. All National Forest designated trails are closed to all uses except for foot travel from December 15 through April 15th.

Any open road on the Wayne is available for other vehicle use. Forest Service roads which are gated, mounded, or signed may not be used.

Working Together 

The Forest Service and the Ohio Division of Wildlife have forged a strong partnership in order to provide you with the best hunting possible. The Forest Service works to improve and monitor wildlife habitat and constructs and maintains access points on the Wayne National Forest. The Ohio Division of Wildlife surveys wildlife populations and sets harvest regulations. Let us know how we are doing. Your comments and suggestions will be used to improve the Wayne National Forest's wildlife program.

If you have specific questions about the Wayne National Forest wildlife program, contact the Forest biologists at the Athens or Ironton offices.





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/wayne/landmanagement/resourcemanagement/?cid=fsm9_006087