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ACTIVE PARK ALERTS & CLOSURES
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Bow Hunting

Bow Hunting

Great Parks’ mission is to preserve and protect natural resources. One threat to the local species and their habitats is the overpopulation of deer. For the past 20 years, we have studied how white-tailed deer impact the parks, and in response to large increases in deer and the severe ecological damage that occurred, we began a Deer Management Program in January of 2003. This management includes continued monitoring of the population, vegetation surveys, culling and a lottery bow hunt, which began in 2005. Since implementing this plan, several years of data have shown more growth and flowering of native plants, as well as a less-visible browse line (Klein & Conover 2010). This plan also benefits the health of deer populations by reducing their competition for food and their risk of transmitting diseases, such as chronic wasting disease. Learn more about participating in the lottery bow hunt and helping our conservation efforts below.
Become a Bow Hunter
For those interested in participating in the Controlled Bow Hunting program, the online applications are posted to this site in early May and close by July each year. At that time, please familiarize yourself with the information on this page, any updates and the program rules in the document below. There is a non-refundable $15 application fee and once you are registered, you will be entered into a lottery that will chose the date and time you must qualify. Previous hunters in the program who have been successful are given priority in the lottery.

Qualification usually occur on the first Saturday or Sunday in August each year (depending on your order of draw). When you arrive to qualify, you must first show proof of completing a hunter education course. You can contact 1-800-WILDLIFE about taking the course beforehand. After signing in you will have to place four out of five arrows within a 10-inch circle at 20 yards and receive instruction on the program's rules and a safety briefing. Those who pass qualifications will be able to choose their your hunting area and hunting session from the remaining available sites and dates. The four-week session and location is yours but you may also borrow hunting time from any of the remaining locations and dates in either of your two chosen parks. Any changes that occur before the next season will be posted during the application period.

Resources for hunters:

For more information, contact Natural Resource Specialist Jessica Spencer by phone at 513-521-7275, ext. 275, or by email.
Field Coordinators
Coordinators are experienced bow hunters who are able to give advice on hunting. They can help locate hunting areas and help resolve issues or concerns that you may have. Once you pass qualifications and before hunting season begins, you must contact and meet with the field coordinator for the park where you will be hunting. If you met with a coordinator in a previous season for the same hunting area, you don’t have to meet with them again unless there is a change in boundaries or you have another issue that needs to be addressed.

Bow Hunting Coordinators
Maps
The park maps below have been updated and several parks will likely be affected by honeysuckle spraying including:
  • ​Embshoff Woods Nature Preserve 
  • Miami Whitewater Forest 
  • Mitchell Memorial Forest 
  • Richardson Forest Preserve 
  • Sharon Woods 
  • Shawnee Lookout 
  • Triple Creek 
  • Withrow Nature Preserve 

All information on the maps provided is subject to change.

Area Maps
Embshoff Woods Nature Preserve

Glenwood Gardens and Trillium Trails

Kroger Hills

Little Miami Golf Center

Miami Whitewater Forest

Mitchell Memorial Forest

Newberry Wildlife Sanctuary

Oak Glen Nature Preserve

Richardson Forest Preserve

Shawnee Lookout

Sharon Woods

Summe
Triple Creek

Withrow Nature Preserve

Winton Woods

Woodland Mound