Bow Hunting


Bow Hunting Information

Apply Online

The 2014-2015 bow hunting application is now available and must be submitted by Friday July 4, 2014 by 3:00 pm.

The 2014-2015 Bow Hunting Qualifications will be August 2 or 3, 2014. You must have submitted an application prior to the deadline above and have received an emailed invitation to attend.

A third qualification day will be August 16, 2014 starting from 8:00 am for those who cannot make the main qualification weekend. You must make arrangement in advance of the August 16 qualification with Bob Mason at or 513-728-3551 ext 226 to attend. No other make up qualifications will be given.

If you know you cannot attend on any of the three dates above, please do not apply as the application fee is not refundable.

Changes for 2014-2015 season

The parks open to hunting are basically the same as last year and include: Richardson Forest Preserve (273 acres), Triple Creek (45 acres), Oak Glen off of Thompson Road (56 acres), Newberry Wildlife Sanctuary (100 acres), Mitchell Memorial Forest (501 Acres), Miami Whitewater Forest (1071 acres), Shawnee Lookout (309 acres), Sharon Woods (40 acres), Embshoff Woods & Nature Preserve (136 acres), Kroger Hills (68 acres), Little Miami Golf Center (44 acres), Withrow Nature Preserve (55 Acres), Winton Woods disabled hunting area (130 acres), Woodland Mound (413 acres).

The one change for 2014-15 is that the Oak Glen Rumpke tract (160 acres) off of East Miami River Road will not be open to hunting this year due to the ongoing crude oil spill cleanup.

In the 2011-2012 hunting season the Great Parks of Hamilton County enlisted the help of Bowhunting Field Coordinators to help facilitate the program and reduce possible hunter conflicts. These Coordinators are experienced bow hunters who are able to give advice on hunting as well as help in locating the hunting areas and help solve any issues or concerns hunters may have. Everyone will be required to meet with the coordinator in the park they will be hunting before hunting season begins or they will not be able to hunt. If you met with a coordinator in a previous season for a specific hunting area there is no need to get checked off again for the same area unless there is a change in boundaries or other issue that needs to be addressed. If you are a new hunter or you want to hunt somewhere new you will be required to meet with the coordinator prior to bow season. We are encouraging hunters to start scouting now to get a jump on it before the weather gets hot.

The following is a list of other changes for the 2014-2015 bow hunting season which we feel will help facilitate an increase in deer harvest and maintain a positive experience for the hunter.

  1. We are continuing with a minimum four-week hunting sessions per hunter.
  2. All hunting items left in the field by bow hunters must have the hunters name and contact number including but not limited to tree stands, trail cameras, blinds and feeders.
  3. Baits will be whole kernel corn and natural baits like acorns, apples etc. no powdery substance and salt or mineral blocks or compressed corn blocks.
  4. Successful antlerless deer hunters who harvest three antlerless deer or more from the previous year in our program can receive 8 weeks or two months of hunting time.
  5. Safety zone rules remain in affect
  6. Bow hunters will only be able to hunt and borrow time in parks where they have met with the Field Coordinator.
  7. Flagging of any kind by bow hunters is prohibited except reflective tacks.
  8. We will supply a tree stand and trail camera tag templates for your use. You will just add your contact information and print it out and laminate it. Or it can be written on all items with permanent marker.
  9. An alphabetical list of hunters and their qualifications day and time will be emailed instead of mailed. Make sure the email you supply is an active email.
  10. We will have an online computer calendar program which will require you to have an active email as well as a login password. You will be able to get a free email address through Yahoo or Google.
  11. Hunters are limited to hunting two parks.
  12. The buddy system is discontinued for this hunting season except for youth hunters (15 and younger) who must be accompanied by an adult in which case you must hunt together in the same time frame and hunting area. All others may still hunt with a friend who has qualified for this program by borrowing time from another hunter so long as he/she has met with the coordinator for that park.

For more information about the Great Parks of Hamilton County Controlled Bow Hunting Program please contact Bob Mason by email at or by phone at 513-728-3551 ext.226.


Bow Hunting Information Center (BIC)

Welcome Great Parks of Hamilton County Bow Hunters!

The Great Parks of Hamilton County Bow Hunting Information Center (BHIC) is a web-based tracking system where hunters can…

  • See who is hunting based on your assignments
  • Remove yourself from any schedule hunting days or half days you cannot hunt
  • Look for any open hunting time and take it. (only in your approved hunting locations)
  • Receive important news and information from the Great Parks of Hamilton County
  • Change their BHIC passwords
  • Click below to access your personal bow hunting profile

Bow Hunter Login

For help logging in, please refer to the VIC Reference Guide below:

VIC Reference Guide

Questions & Answers

Controlled Bow Hunt Questions and Answers - 2014-2015

How are bow hunters selected?

Bow hunters who have harvested a deer in our program in past seasons will be selected first based on the total number of deer over the last three years. They are invited to qualify based on their total score depending on the deer type. The deer scores are as follows, harvested antlerless deer (either a doe or a button buck) count for one point and an antlered buck is half a point. The computer calculates your score and sets your order on the qualification list based on your total points. Next the computer will select Hamilton County residents, then out of county or out of the state. All hunters are required to pass or show proof they have passed a State Hunter Education course. Each hunter must be able to place at least four out of five arrows in a 10" diameter target from an elevated position at 20 yards.  Each hunter must also attend a brief meeting to ensure understanding of the safety regulations before going to the archery range. 


Will I need Hunter's Education before qualifications?

Yes, a bow hunter 21 years of age or older is be required to show proof of successful completion of the Hunter Safety Education Course before qualifying. Hunters can fulfill this requirement on line or by attending one of the courses as detailed at The hunter may also complete this requirement at the Saturday qualification site by arriving at least one hour before their qualification time to take the Hunter Safety Test. The test will only be offered on Saturday, August 2nd.


Where are the areas for bow hunting located?

  • Richardson Forest Preserve (273 acres) on Stonemill Road running north from Kemper Road east of US27.
  • Triple Creek (45 acres) on Buell Road,
  • Oak Glen (56 acres) on Thompson Road
  • Newberry Wildlife Sanctuary (136 acres) on Sheits Road
  • Mitchell Memorial Forest (501 acres) along Jordon Road and Buffalo Ridge road,
  • Kroger Hills (70 acres) on Wooster Pike in Terrace Park, 
  • Little Miami Golf Center (44 acres) on Newtown Road south of the Little Miami River.
  • Woodland Mound (413 acres) along Nine mile Road,
  • Withrow Nature Preserve (55 acres) along Five Mile road,
  • Miami Whitewater Forest (1071 acres) between Dry fork Road and Strimple road in Crosby and Whitewater Township,
  • Shawnee lookout (309 Acres) along Lawrenceburg road in Cleves, Ohio and
  • Embshoff Woods & Nature Preserve (137 acres) in Delhi.


How many hunters are allowed in each area?

The number of hunters varies depending on size and accessibility to the property. We are currently looking for approximately 400 hunters for the 2014-2015 deer season.


How long is each hunter allowed to hunt?

All qualifying hunters are eligible for one four-week session 2014-2015 Ohio Deer Archery season.  Hunters who have taken three antlerless deer the previous year are also eligible for a second, four-week session. All hunters are able to hunt beyond their assigned sessions by borrowing unused time from other bowhunters if they have met the requirements to hunt in that park.


Additional Bow Hunt Questions

Where can a hunter hunt within each area?

The hunting boundary of each area will be marked with orange tape with silver reflective stripes. Hunting is only permitted within each marked area. Any hunter found hunting outside the safety zone will be removed from the program.


What happens when a hunter harvests a deer?

Once a deer is harvested, the deer must be checked in by phone or your computer to ODNR.  In addition, the Park District must also be provided other information such as sex, age, date and time of kill by phone call to the hotline at 728-3551 ext. 450 or email to ASAP.


Can a hunter apply more than once?

Yes.  You may apply multiple times. Each application will cost and additional $15.00. Submitting more than one application may increase your chances of being selected.  But no name will be drawn more than once. This will not help hunters who have harvested deer in the past.


How many names will be drawn?

Everyone who enters will be part of the drawing. We anticipate needing approximately 400 hunters. Hunters who pass the qualification and do not receive hunting time will be able to borrow unused time from our online bow hunter calendar throughout the season.  Each year we have several hunters who have to cancel for various reasons throughout the season. With the reduction of the bag limit to four deer, we expect more hunters to tag out early opening sessions for others. Hunters who do not receive assigned hunting times are considered alternate hunters and will be contacted in the order drawn to fill any vacancies as they occur.


Will the hunter have a choice of their four-week session or hunting location?

Yes, based on the order in which you are drawn, and based on what is left over when you qualify, providing you have met all requirements.  First name chosen will have first choice and so on.


Will there be time for scouting and preparing your hunting location?

Yes, before and after the bow qualifications. Please go to look for bow hunting under “Activities” and look for the name and email address of the coordinator for the park you want to hunt and setup a time to meet with them so they can show you around. Two weeks prior to the hunting season all areas will be closed to scouting.


Is baiting allowed?

Yes.  Hunters will be able to bait anywhere using whole kernel corn, natural bait (acorns) and apples.


Are ATVs allowed?

No.  Motorized vehicles will not be permitted beyond the designated parking areas.


Can I qualify with one bow, and then use another for hunting?

No. You must hunt with the bow you used to qualify. However, you may qualify with up to two bows. To qualify with two bows you must qualify with the hardest bow first. You must pass with the first bow to have an opportunity to qualify with the second bow.


Will there be other opportunities to hunt more than the twenty eight day session?

Yes, but you must be willing to share your contact information with other hunters (details will be given at qualification day) and you must borrow time within the bow hunter online calendar in either of the two parks you chose.


What if I harvest more deer than I can use?

The harvested deer will belong to the hunter; however, a field dressed deer from the program can be dropped off at a deer processor identified for that purpose at the qualification to be donated to the "Hunters for the Hungry" program at no expense to the hunter.


What kind of equipment is allowed?

All equipment must conform to the State of Ohio requirements.  Compound, recurve and crossbows are allowed.  Longbow:  minimum draw weight 40 lb.  Crossbow:  draw weight not less than 75 lb., or more than 200 lb.


Are tree stands allowed?

Yes, wearing of a safety harness is required with use of any tree stand.  Hunting on the ground is also permitted.  The harness must be worn while hunting off the ground.  Failure to do so will result in loss of hunting privileges.  Climbing, ladder, tripod stands and pop-up blinds are all allowed.  However, only limited clearing of shooting lanes is allowed.  Cutting of sticks, branches or bushes larger than ½" (unless it is bush honeysuckle) is prohibited.  It is unlawful to construct, place or use a permanent-type tree stand, or to place spikes, nails, wires or other metal objects into a tree to act as steps or to hold a tree stand on Park District property.


What hours are hunters allowed to hunt?

Archery season hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.  The official times for sunrise and sunset are found in the hunting digest.  Be sure to use the times for Western Ohio.


How many deer are participants allowed to take?

As many as are allowed by State Law using State of Ohio Urban and Regular Deer Hunting permits. For the 2014-15 season the limit in Hamilton County is four. Antlerless Deer permits are issued in addition to the Special Deer permits for regular hunting seasons.


Are there plans to allow hunting for other species?

No.  The controlled bow hunting program is an ecological management tool for white-tailed deer only.


How will hunters be monitored for compliance with Great Parks of Hamilton County Policy and State laws?

All harvested deer must be checked by phone or computer for permanent tagging.  Bow hunters may be checked periodically by Ohio Division of Wildlife Officers or Park District Rangers to ensure compliance.


Can hunters trade time with each other to help maximize their hunting opportunities?

Yes, hunters are allowed to trade time with other hunters in different sessions within the two parks chosen by the hunter at the time of qualification as long as it is one of the areas open for hunting and you have met with the coordinator for that park. We expect hunters who cannot hunt every day during their hunting session to make that time available through the online calendar for use by other hunters. You must borrow time using the online bow hunter calendar system only.


I passed the qualification process, but all of the hunting sessions are taken. Will I still be able to hunt?

Yes, but you will have to borrow time from the online bow hunting calendar. You will also be placed on an “alternate” list and will be contacted in the order of you draw as hunting areas and sessions open up. You must have already met with the coordinator for the park in which you hunt.


If I borrow time can it be in any park that has hunting or do I need to stay in the same park that I picked for my four weeks?

You can pick up to two parks at the time of qualification. You may hunt either of these two parks so long as you have met with each park’s coordinator.



FOR YOUTH HUNTERS ONLY (15 or younger)

How does Hunting with a buddy work?

You and your adult “buddy” must submit separate applications. On the youth’s application is a place for the name of the adult buddy. The adult buddy will fill out the same billing information on both applications which will be used to link the two applications together. An application fee of $15.00 for each application is required and an active email must be provided for each hunter. Each hunter’s name will be entered into the drawing; if one of the hunters is drawn the other is automatically drawn.


What happens if I pass the qualifications and my buddy does not?      

If the youth hunter fails to pass the qualification the adult hunter who passes will be hunting without a partner. If the youth hunter qualifies but the adult hunter does not, the adult may accompany the youth but may not hunt. The youth hunter must be accompanied by an adult.

Field Coordinators

Below is the list of Bow Hunter Field Coordinators for the 2014-2015 bow hunting season. Please contact them to set up a time to meet to fulfill your requirements if you plan to hunt on park district property.

Bow Hunter Coordinators by Park




Name Main Park Secondary Park Email Phone Number

Guy Adams

Woodland Mound 513-708-5630
Sean Russo Woodland Mound 513-365-8179

Jeff Curington

Withrow Nature Preserve

Woodland Mound

513- 460-4336






Jon Thompson

Kroger Hills

Woodland Mound







Chris Tepe

Triple Creek







Robert McIntyre

Newberry Wildlife Sanctuary







Matt Hasselbeck

Richardson Forest Preserve







Brad Box

Miami Whitewater Forest


Mike Logue


Miami Whitewater Forest


Sam Rudolf

Miami Whitewater Forest







Howard Ferguson

Mitchell Memorial Forest


Jim Thacker

Mitchell Memorial Forest







Mike McQueary

Oak Glen Nature Preserve







Marc Schmidt

Shawnee Lookout







Jerry McAdams

Embshoff Woods Nature Preserve



Vern Rolf

Shawnee Lookout

Mitchell Memorial Forest


Fred Herrmann Winton Woods Disabled Hunting Area 513-324-3088