Information for Hunters

Deer Bow Hunter Information 2023-24 Season

  • Hunting will only be allowed between the hours of 5:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Nov. 18, 2023 through Feb. 4, 2024, as further limited by Ohio regulations. This season will be further divided into three assigned hunting periods, of 3-4 weeks each.
    • Slot A: Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023 – Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023
    • Slot B: Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023 – Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024
    • Slot C: Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024 – Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024
  • Scouting and selection of requested tree stand sites by all selected hunters may occur from November 1-16. Additional scouting during another hunter’s assigned hunt period may only occur with permission of the active hunter. Hunters in the Miami University Natural Areas (MUNA) MUST use tree stands; stands are OPTIONAL for those hunting in the Ecology Research Center (ERC). Tree stand locations should not be within 50 yards of trails or property boundaries; location must be approved by Natural Areas or ERC Manager. Only two stands may be present in an area at any given time, but alternate sites may be selected, if desired. Locations should be submitted on maps, or screen shots of location, and/or using GPS coordinates. Stands must be marked with the Hunter’s name and state hunting license number. Hunters must remove stands at end of season. Miami University is not responsible for any equipment left unattended.
  • Hunters will be selected by lottery drawing from completed applications received by the Natural Areas Manager on or before September 30. Incomplete applications may not be considered – be sure to attach a copy of your current hunting license. Forty-five hunter applications will be selected, with a pool of alternates also identified. Applications received after September 30 will only be considered, at the discretion of the MUNA Manager, if additional hunters are needed.
  • Hunters may apply with a partner for hunting within the MUNA and coordinate sharing use of a stand to encourage continuous stand occupancy throughout the designated season, but only individual hunters will be eligible to hunt within the ERC, (no partners in the ERC). Hunters may only be listed on one application, (you cannot apply as the applicant on one application and also as a partner on another application in order to increase your chances of being drawn). Hunters who killed two does last season will automatically be selected, if they apply.
  • Hunters will be approved by the MUNA and ERC Managers, in consultation with the Chair of the Natural Areas Committee. Selected hunters will receive written authorization for marked locations only. Hunting is permitted only within these marked areas. It is the responsibility of each hunter to know the Natural Area and Hunting Area boundaries, and to stay within them.
  • Hunters need to comply with State of Ohio archery regulations and pass the written portion of the Ohio Hunter Education course. Those selected hunters whose license says “attest” instead of “certified” have until the day of their accuracy test to submit proof that they have completed the course.
  • Equipment must comply with Ohio archery equipment requirements.
  • Selected hunters and alternates will need to pass an accuracy test prior to being authorized to hunt, which will be administered by the MUNA and ERC Managers. Potential hunters must hit a paper plate target with a minimum of 4/5 arrows from a tree stand (or comparable elevated position) at 20 yards. Individuals may test with both bows and crossbows, but will only be allowed to hunt with the type of equipment that they passed the test with. Applicants may practice at the test site prior to scoring but the test will only be administered once per year per applicant with a given equipment type. Testing will be held at the Hueston Woods Archery Area, on two scheduled dates in October.
  • Each hunter must complete and sign the standard Ohio ‘Permission to Enter Private Land for Recreational Activities’ form at the time of accuracy testing. Be aware that by signing this form, and according to the Ohio Recreational Users Statute, Miami University has no responsibility for, nor incurs liability for, any injury or property loss caused by the acts of a hunter.
  • Each applicant will indicate at the time of testing whether s/he will use the meat. If not, the hunter is expected to either donate the meat to a charitable organization or donate the carcass to the Myaamia Center. The Myaamia Center will take up to three deer and up to six additional hides and skulls; in these cases hunters will contact the Myaamia Center directly.
  • Approved Natural Areas hunters will only hunt with archery equipment from tree stands, so that arrows missing target go into ground. Hunters must wear safety harness when in a tree or tree stand. Hunters cannot use steps that will damage trees, and must remove or block the tree stand steps and loosen the straps when the stand is not in use.
  • Each hunter must notify the MUNA Manager (or the Ecology Research Center station manager for ERC) at least one day before s/he intends to hunt, so that the Manager can inform Miami Police Dispatch.
  • Permission letter from MUNA or ERC Manager and ID must be carried by hunter when engaged in hunting activities. Hunters must use blaze orange when hunting.
  • White-tailed deer are the only animal that will be permitted for hunting.
  • Hunters are required to remove carcasses and report kills to MUNA (or ERC) Manager as well as to State deer check station (or online or over phone, as per current State rules). Hunters may remove carcasses by non-motorized cart with tarp cover, if desired. If field dressed, entrails/gut piles must be left at least 50’ from all trails and live streams.
  • All hunters must strictly abide by the bag limit and tagging procedures established or managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Hunters are encouraged to take only antlerless deer (does). The bag limit for Butler County is 2 deer (maximum 1 antlered).
  • Information to be supplied to Manager: location of kill, deer’s sex and age (adult or yearling), date, and State tag number.
  • Hunters successfully harvesting at least one antlerless deer will be given preference in next year’s lottery; those harvesting two will automatically be selected if they submit a complete application within the application period.
  • Persons wishing to support the Miami University Natural Areas and their maintenance can donate electronically at Support the Natural Areas. Or mail a check made out to Miami University, noting "Natural Areas" on the memo line to:
    • Miami University Department of Biology
      Natural Areas, 212 Pearson Hall
      700 East Chestnut St.
      Oxford, OH 45056

Deer Management Bow Hunting Application

Deer Management Map

Figure 1. Map of the Miami University Natural Areas, plus the Ecology Research Center (ERC) with hatched blocks indicating this year’s deer management areas.

Miami University Natural Areas Map, as described above