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Controlled Bowhunting Program
Overview Rules FAQ    
Five Rivers MetroParks - Controlled Bowhunting Program
Rules and Regulations

Five Rivers MetroParks controlled bowhunting program Is NOT an Ohio Division of Wildlife controlled hunt.


A background check maybe conducted on all applicants for fish and wildlife violations in Ohio or any other state.

All applicable Ohio Division of Wildlife rules and regulations apply to hunting in Five Rivers MetroParks program

Shooting qualification
All hunters must pass the shooting qualification each year regardless of whether or not they participated in past programs.  The standard is 4 out of 5 consecutive arrows in a 8.5”x11” target from 20 yds.  Only one chance to qualify per weapon type is permitted per hunter per year. Hunters are encouraged to practice and tune weapons before attempting to qualify.

Hunters may qualify with up to three types of weapons (compound bow, crossbow, long/recurve bow) but may only hunt with weapons with which they have passed qualification. For example, if a hunter fails with a compound bow but passes with a crossbow, they may only hunt with a crossbow.

Hunter education
All hunters must possess a hunter safety certification (any state) or pass a MetroParks equivalent test.  MetroParks tests will be available at the shooting qualification.

Passing the MetroParks test does not replace the requirement to complete the Ohio Division of Wildlife hunter education requirement to purchase an Ohio hunting license. For more information on this requirement, contact the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Scouting is allowed only in the area that the hunter is selected for and only during designated dates.  Dates are August 31 at 8 a.m. to Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.. Scouting outside this time will result in removal from program. Hunters who are not selected are prohibited from scouting. Hunters who are selected are prohibited from scouting during months in which they are not hunting.

Hunters who are selected for Oct. MAY NOT set up stands (or “mark” trees in any way to “reserve” them) during the scouting period. Please report any stands observed in the hunting areas during scouting to 937-277-4109. All hunters must wait to set up stands until the start date and time for their month. This also prohibits placing any salt, bait, or other attractants in the hunting areas until the first day of the season.

Hunting Month
Each hunter is given access to one area for approximately one month (Oct., Nov., Dec., or Jan.). There are specific start and end times which do not correspond to the calendar month (Note these times differ from legal hunting hours. Check Ohio Division of Wildlife regulations for legal hunting hours)).  DO NOT ENTER UNTIL THE STATED START DATE AND TIME. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN REMOVAL FROM THE PROGRAM. All stands and equipment must be removed by the end date and time. Specifically prohibited is leaving a stand in place for use by a hunter during the next month. This rule is to allow equal access to all stand sites by all hunters. Each area will be checked and equipment removed by MetroPark staff if it is left on site. Failure to remove equipment will result in ineligibility for the next year’s program.

Start Date and Time End Date and Time
Sept. 28 6:00 a.m. Oct. 30- 8:00 p.m.
Nov. 1- 6:00 a.m. Dec. 2- 8:00 p.m.
Dec. 4- 6:00 a.m. Jan. 6- 8:00 p.m.
Jan. 8- 6:00 a.m. Feb. 2- 8:00 p.m.

Hunting Area
The hunting area in each location is marked off and stands can be placed anywhere within this area.  Do not set a stand outside the hunting area or leave the hunting area for any reason.  It is each hunter’s responsibility to make sure that they are within the hunting area.  Failure to follow this rule will result in immediate removal from the program.

Scouting cameras
Scouting cameras may only be used within each hunting area during the hunter’s permitted hunting month. No use of cameras outside the hunting areas or outside the hunting season is permitted expect with a written permit from MetroParks.

Follow-up after shot
All hunters are required to wait at least one hour to follow-up after a shot unless the deer falls within sight of the hunter.

Harvest and tagging
All Ohio Division of Wildlife tagging procedures must be followed.  Once a deer is harvested, the deer must be checked through the proper check-in procedure.  The deer is the property of the hunter.  Hunters must keep a daily log of number/sex of deer observed while hunting and any shots taken.

Blaze Orange Requirements
The Ohio Division of Wildlife requires archery hunters to wear blaze orange during the early muzzleloader season, youth gun season, gun season, and muzzleloader season. Check the Ohio Division of Wildlife website for specific dates and size requirements.

Transporting Weapons to Stand
All bows may not have an arrow nocked and crossbow must be uncocked with no bolt in the rail when moving from the parking area to a stand or blind or returning from hunting.

Donation of deer
Donation of harvested deer is not available this year through Five Rivers MetroParks.  Contact the Ohio Division of Wildlife for donation options.

Disposal issues
Hunters are responsible for disposing of deer entrails and/or carcasses recovered which have spoiled.  Entrails are not to be placed near trails, parking areas, or in any other place easily visible by other users.

Truck/ATV/snowmobile use
Park in designated areas only.  Failure to follow this rule will result in removal from the program.  No motorized vehicles are allowed in these areas.  A human-powered cart or aid from another individual is allowed.  If another individual helps to remove a deer, they must stay with the permitted hunter and the deer at all times.  If a hunter is hunting alone and requires assistance, contact the team leader for that area.

Wounded deer
If a hunter determines a deer was hit (blood or missing arrow) and does not locate the deer within ½ hour of searching, contact  the team leader for that area. In the event the deer is not recovered after substantial searching, contract a MetroParks ranger and file a deer non-recovery form.  This is especially important if the blood trail leaves the marked hunting area.  There is no penalty for reporting a wounded deer but failure to report a wounded deer will result in removal from the program.

Video taping
Video taping a deer harvest in Five Rivers MetroParks is prohibited. Still pictures after the hunt are allowed as well as video of live deer as long as the harvest is not filmed.

Non-hunting minors
Non-hunting minors may accompany a permitted hunter but they may not carry a weapon or participate in the hunt.  They must remain with the permitted hunter at all times.

All equipment must conform to the State of Ohio requirements.  Compound, long, recurve, and crossbows are allowed. Longbow: minimum draw weight 40 lb. Crossbow: draw weight not less than 75 lb., nor more than 200 lb.

A tree stand and safety harness are required. Limit is 2 stands (or combination of stands and blinds if permitted) per hunter per area.  All shots must be downward into an earth backstop.  A harness must be worn while hunting.  Failure to do so will result in loss of hunting privileges.  All stands must be at least 60 yards from other stands unless an agreement is reached between the respective hunters. Climbing, ladder, and tripod stands are all allowed.  Hunters are encouraged to lock stands or remove them at the end of each day.

Hunting on the ground is specifically prohibited in all areas except Germantown Area A and B, Carriage Hill (all areas), and all conservation areas (Shiloh, Shoup Mill, Upper Twin, Medlar).  When hunting from a blind in these areas, no shots may be taken without an earth backstop.

Only limited clearing of shooting lanes is allowed.  Cutting of sticks, branches, or bushes larger that ½” is prohibited. Amur Honeysuckle and Autumn Olive may be removed regardless of size.  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 MetroParks property.

Hunters are required to place a durable name tag on stands or blinds left in the field and encouraged to lock stands or remove them daily after hunting.  Stands or blinds without name tags will be confiscated.

Hunting hours
Archery season hours are one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.  The official times for sunrise and sun set are found in the Ohio Division of Wildlife regulations. Be sure to use the times for Western Ohio.

Antlered deer harvest procedure
There is a limited antlered harvest in each area.  Hunters must harvest an antlerless deer first and then hunter will receive a permit from MetroParks to harvest an antlered deer.

Once the first antlerless deer is harvested, the successful hunter must contact a MetroParks employee (937-313-8727 or 937-308-4912 by phone or text) before leaving the MetroPark. The hunter will receive a text authorizing harvest of antlered deer and will receive a permit via email on the next business day. The hunter still must complete Ohio Division of Wildlife check-in procedures.

For additional antlerless or antlered deer harvests, hunters are required to call 937-277-4109 to report harvest and submit harvest report via email ( or FAX (937-898-7466) as soon as possible. 

Deer Harvest Requirements
All applicable Ohio Division of Wildlife rules and regulations apply to hunting in Five Rivers MetroParks program.  Only one antlered deer may be harvested in Ohio per license year regardless of hunting area. Five Rivers MetroParks controlled bowhunting program Is NOT an Ohio Division of Wildlife controlled hunt.

For the total number of deer which may be harvested per hunter, refer to the Ohio Division of Wildlife harvest limits . No more than one antlered deer may be harvested per year regardless of area.

All hunting areas, except Sugar Creek MetroPark (Greene), Huffman(Greene), Carriage Hill A and part of D (Miami), are located in Montgomery County.

It is each hunter’s responsibility to make sure they have the proper tags and know the harvest limits before harvesting a deer.

Other species
The controlled bowhunting program is an ecological management tool for white-tailed deer only.  All other animals, including coyotes and turkeys, are protected.  New - The only exception is feral pigs which may be harvested when observed while hunting according to program rules.  Report any feral pig sightings ASAP to 937-277-4109.

Bait is allowed during the hunter’s permitted month.  Both scattered bait and automatic feeders are allowed.  Stands must be at least 60 yds. from other hunter’s bait sites. Only one bait site per hunter is permitted. Any feeders must be marked with name of hunter.

Compliance with MetroParks policy and state laws-
All harvested deer must be checked according to State of Ohio procedures.  Bowhunters may be checked periodically by Ohio Division of Wildlife officers or MetroParks rangers to ensure compliance.  Selected hunters must have a copy of the MetroParks issued permit on their person while hunting.  Hunter must obey verbal commands from MetroParks staff.

Reporting violations
It is important to report violations immediately when they are observed or discovered. Contact a MetroParks ranger through Mont. Co. dispatch at 937-225-4357 with the location, time, and type of violation observed.  Note a description and license number.

Other reporting requirements
Hunter must return completed log sheets and harvest sheets at the end of their month. These may be emailed ( FAXed 937-898-7466 or returned to the black mailbox at the main access point.

In the event that a hunter cannot participate as planned, please contact the biologist office at 937-277-4109 so the space can be filled. For openings each month, hunters who are interested in extra time will be drawn in a lottery. To be placed on the list for extra time in a given month, contact the office above.



Name (Please Print):


Date Signed: __________________

I have read and understand the Five Rivers MetroParks 2013-2014 Controlled Bowhunting rules and regulations. I agree to abide by these rules and regulations while participating in this program. I understand that failure to follow MetroPark’s rules and/or Ohio Division of Wildlife laws may result in my removal from the controlled bowhunting program, prosecution for hunting without permission, and/or other legal action.



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