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 hunting experiences from remote walk-in areas to accessible lands near roads. The choice is yours.
Be careful to keep back from oil and gas operations; they are private property and are 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.
Private land is interspersed with public land and you must obtain written permission from private landowners to hunt on their property. Use caution to ensure you don’t inadvertently stray off public land onto private.
Maps are available from any Wayne National Forest office. Maps of 1/2 inch to the mile scale are sold, but we recommend 2.5 inch to the mile topographic maps. Grids are available to assist you in knowing which areas you need to order. Maps may also be ordered by mail or from our website.
You may park in designated trailheads or parking areas if available. Where these are not available, do not block roads or gates with your vehicle. Leave room for passing traffic, and avoid parking in blind spots.
Most lands on the Wayne are open to hunting EXCEPT in developed recreation areas (which includes campgrounds, picnic areas, parking areas, designated swimming areas, and trailheads) or areas where otherwise posted. United States Code of Federal Regulations 36 CFR 261.10(d) prohibits discharging a firearm or any other implement capable of taking human life, causing injury, or damaging property as follows:
• In or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site or occupied area, or
• Across or on a Forest road or 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 a cave.
• No target shooting is allowed
• ATVs, cars, and trucks must stay on designated travel ways, no cross-country travel is permitted. ATV riders must have state and federal permits and remain on designated trails.
Either a resident or nonresident hunting license is required. All national forest lands except for designated recreation areas or other areas as designated are available for hunting and primitive camping.
Contact your local ODNR office, call 1-800-WILDLIFE, or visit http://www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife for hunting laws, regulations, and seasons.
Camping is allowed in designated camp-grounds, trailheads (do not block roads or trails), or you may set up a primitive camp anywhere in the Forest except in a day-use facility (i.e. picnic area), or a closure area. For deer gun season only, the following campgrounds will be open on a first come-first serve basis (vault toilets only, no water): Burr Oak Cove, Stone Church, Lane Farm, Haught Run, Hune Bridge, Ring Mill, and Lamping Homestead. Reservations may be made for the Iron Ridge Campground by calling 877-444-6777 or by internet (http://www.reserveusa.com).
When camping, burn only dead wood picked up from the forest floor. Due to concerns about emerald ash borer and other forest pests please do not bring in firewood. 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.
ATVs (all terrain vehicle) are not to be unloaded from your vehicle or trailer, unless you are within a designated ATV area. Hunters wishing to use an ATV (50 inches or less in width) to access a hunting spot or area are required to use designated ATV trails.
ATV trails are provided on the Athens and Ironton units only. Trail users must purchase and display state and federal permits 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.
Remember, do not discharge firearms within 150 yards of the trailhead to ensure the safety of other Forest visitors. While on the ATV, 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 16th through April 14th.
Any open road on the Wayne is available for other licensed vehicle use. Forest Service roads which are gated, mounded, or signed may not be used.
The Wayne does not allow target practice at any time of the year. Consider visiting one of the shooting ranges managed by the Ohio Division of Wildlife
Wildlife Habitat - Food/Cover
The oak-hickory forest in southeast Ohio offers shelter and a superb food source for the white tailed deer, turkey, and other game species. According to Ohio Division of Wildlife data, where the Wayne National Forest has land, the deer population averages about 21 deer per square mile.
The Forest Service continues to manage the Wayne in various ways to ensure their is ample food and cover for deer and other wildlife species. Timber harvest, brush hogging, and prescribed fire are common methods employed to regenerate oaks and maintain food and cover for these animals
Information contained in this post is courtesy of the Ohio Department Of Natural Resources located at http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/ And the US Forest Service Located at http://www.fs.fed.us/ Information is posted as public use in accordance with their Copyright agreements notice of public information located here http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/tabid/11684/Default.aspx AND http://www.fs.fed.us/privacy.shtml