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Definitely but it is just not happening in Ohio, it is happening everywhere. And it is causing some challenges for whitetail deer managers because the majority of archery hunters are only killing antlered deer and then not hunting anymore after they succeed. This trait has always existed among archery hunters but has skyrocketed with the introduction/increased popularity of crossows.
The article below discusses the mid-west and north0east states, not just Ohio, I thought it was a great read.
 

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Definitely but it is just not happening in Ohio, it is happening everywhere. And it is causing some challenges for whitetail deer managers because the majority of archery hunters are only killing antlered deer and then not hunting anymore after they succeed. This trait has always existed among archery hunters but has skyrocketed with the introduction/increased popularity of crossows.
The article below discusses the mid-west and north0east states, not just Ohio, I thought it was a great read.
Interesting article/data. I think leasing could have an impact as well. In my area, large tracts of company land are leased to small groups of hunters. If those guys pass on does, certainly it could unbalance the local population. This year, Mother Nature sent us EHD to level the field somewhat.

I remember when gun season was introduced in my area (Gallia Co) sometime around the end of the 1980s. Dawn on opening day literally sounded like WWIII had begun. In recent years, I hear only a few gunshots all week. Times and methods have definitely changed.
 

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explosion of archery hunters in general . many like to point fingers at xbow hunters and there is no doubt there are a lot of us . But the Xbow has been legal in Ohio for many years . 30 years ago we had a hand full of archery hunters and a crap load of gun hunters and the xbow was legal back then along with vertical bows . In my opinion most of this has been brought on by TV shows . However , just mu opinion if xbows were not legal in this state I think you would still have 90 percent of the archery hunters out there they would just be shooting compound bows . People like the long archery season . Compound bows are supper easy to shoot today . They have came a long ways in the last 30 years . And xbows are lighter faster and also a lot easier to shoot than they were 30 years ago . Has there been a explosion of xbow hunters , yes has there been a explosion of vertical bow hunters also yes . over all archery explosion . Human nature is to take the easier way and the xbow is a bit easier . I have know idea how many xbows are out there compared to vertical bows . My guess is it's pretty close .
People use to talk about how the orange Army screwed up bow season and made the deer scared and turn nocturnal . Now the camo Army has them scared and nocturnal long before gun season .
 

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Maybe people are practicing restraint after the DNR handed out too many doe tags in certain areas resulting in way to many does being killed . People felt the sting of low deer numbers and now don't feel like they gotta kill every doe they see .

There is also a shift towards bow hunting like everyone said . .
But another shift is less land access and straight wall rifles as opposed to old smooth bore slug guns throwing rifked slugs .

Less deer drives due to less access , and also fewer shots heard because more people sit and make a single precise shot as opposed to emptying the tube of a slug gun at a deer bounding thru the trees .

Multiple factors at play .
 

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It’s the commies. That’s what is causing it. The growing popularity of bow season because guns and gun hunters are bad. It’s extreme but hear me out there’s a lot of truth to it. Any new hunters todays only hear about how gun season is: dangerous, scary, outlaw behavior, slovenly hunters everywhere. New hunters are taught to have fear and dislike for deer gun season.
Okay I went a little far but there’s some truth to it.
Also everyone just sits tight over bait or funnels and waits for deer. Not many people go after them like the old days.
Also in the old days it was no big deal to have a handful of people hunting a property on a handshake deal off of one guy’s permission slip. Those days are long gone. Many reasons factor this change: law enforcement, big buck envy, buck management. That alone cuts way down on the amount of people who gun hunt this week. The last time I hunted with a group of people (10 years ago) there were 5 of us on one piece that whole week. Now it’s just me because that’s all I’m allowed to bring: mostly due to big buck management agreement I have with the land manager.
 
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The times have definitely changed. Equipment has changed and tactics have changed. I don’t understand “overpopulated” description of crossbow hunters. Guys and gals take advantage of our very long archery season. Gun season isn’t the old orange army chasing deer like rabbits with slugs. Ohio limits everyone to one buck, period. All these are factors in a changing dynamic. I enjoy hunting with my crossbows and I put in a lot of work geared toward archery season. I also enjoy hunting with firearms but it’s hard to get up and head out into the cold knowing I can only shoot a doe. Especially when the freezer is full. To cure this I hunted WV rifle season with some new friends I met this year. Shot a really nice buck with a real rifle. Something I’ll never get to do in my home state due to really strange and misguided laws. He only asked I take him along on some Ohio waterfowl hunts in return. You see in WV deer aren’t treated like a hot commodity and hoarded like they are in Ohio. Too many guys in ohio think they are Lee Lakosky without the trophy wife.
 

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More effective Crossbows have made it easier for every day hunters to use and many have embraced it here in Ohio. Long Liberal archery seasons has also helped that aspect. That is called increased opportunity. Keep in mind some states like Kentucky still have many gun hunters but many states have more bow and crossbow hunters today. It depends on demographics. Of the 11 million hunters, about 32% are bow hunters and over 55% of those are 56 years old or older.

Remember many complaining about the "war zone" shooting on opening day? Some Hunters worried about the slinging lead in every direction?

Hunters need to look at the positive side- it's a lot more quiet and less "lead slinging" out there on opening day and most of the gun season which has been rather nice and there is Bonus season and muzzleloader coming up. Many states out West are similar. You rarely hear many vollies of guns going off in every direction.
 

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Ohio was one of the first state to legalize crossbows, 1973 if memory serve me correctly. I agree more people are bowhunting and that's what we hear from the rangers at the SF we hunt. They say the campground is full during the rut, like it was during gun season when I started hunting this SF 22 years ago. The stats prove the same, more deer killed by archery than firearms during the past several years.
 

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I’m sure that the straight wall rifles with scopes have also changed hunters tactics. Well aimed shots vs hold the trigger and pump daddy’s smooth bore with pumpkin balls. I long for the day we see real rifles even if it’s just private ground or even if it’s just in the hill country. Time we catch up with the rest of the world. We already are handcuffed with one buck limit. How’s a real rifle going to really impact anything?
 

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Can you imagine the moans of grief among the “true owners” of Ohio’s deer herd if all calibers were allowed? They cry about everything from crossbows to buggy drivers!! I don’t think we could stand another slight to the deer puritans!!!!
I’m sure that the straight wall rifles with scopes have also changed hunters tactics. Well aimed shots vs hold the trigger and pump daddy’s smooth bore with pumpkin balls. I long for the day we see real rifles even if it’s just private ground or even if it’s just in the hill country. Time we catch up with the rest of the world. We already are handcuffed with one buck limit. How’s a real rifle going to really impact anything?
 

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That’s funny, Turk! Ironic thing is the hilltop I shot my WV buck from I literally could see Martins Ferry Ohio. One side of the river use a real rifle. Cross the river no such luck. If it’s gonna be one buck regardless I support full rifle inclusion. There’s no reason not to that I’ve heard that will convince me otherwise.
 

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As a relatively new hunter. I did go out for both rifle and bow so far this season. From my perspective, I find it a bit hard to believe the explosion of crossbow hunters has had an impact on rifle season. From my own experience, you can own one of the most advance and expensive crossbows out there, but it doesn't mean you are going to get a deer. Sure, it is a lot easier, I wont pretend that it is not. But, even with a crossbow people still miss. There are other factors that an expensive toy cannot take away, when out in the field. I have been out over a dozen times this year deer hunting, had a good shot on one decent doe and missed. But, wind, scent, sound, pressure, and hunters hunting other game on public lands still makes this difficult. Some of this get's better with experience.

What I am saying, just cause anyone can go buy a crossbow, even a ridiculous one (trust me y'all gave me **** about it) getting a deer isn't guaranteed and doesn't seem any easier. Because it is only taking one thing out of your control, there are plenty of other things in your control you need to mitigate and then deal with what isn't in your control.
 

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Necked cartridges? It really wouldn't bother me either way. Where I hunt in SW Ohio and my property you aren't shooting much more than 150 yards anyway so the SWC cartridge does just fine. In MO, all three of my deer were shot at less than 75 yards. Again, SWC would work just fine but I have a .308 so that's what I use.

Now the more than one buck thing, I would not support that at all. I personally think it would lead to people shooting any buck at the beginning of the season and then another "any buck" at the end so they don't eat a tag. So now we have two smaller bucks gone where one would have made it. That's just my opinion of course.
 

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I live in a heavily hunted large chuck of Wayne National and although pressure slows a little mid-week it is still like the "old days" down here. I hear hundreds of shots Monday and Tuesday without moving off my property. Obviously many don't plug guns as I heard 5 and 6 shot volleys as fast as they could pull it (likely shooting at tails) regularly. Fewer deer camps, but still many large camps with driving every day of the week going on somewhere nearby. There is a large local group that drives every single day of season usually 20-40 guys and they have a lack of respect for private land ownership. This year the weekend was slower for sure - I think a lot skipped Saturday and many out of state folks had packed up and went home. I hiked into a very large tract of public land Sunday mid-day that had been pounded all week and I was the only truck on a 700+ acre block. Had 2 does pass at 2pm and a nice fat 8 pointer stroll by at 10 till five with plenty of shooting light.

The first week of November the Calvary showed up and started pressuring the bow hunting hard. Prior to that, you had pretty light pressure and thousands of local acres to hunt. We were hunting two different bucks with no interference until after Halloween. We were still able to get away from others having several spots identified, but had to move around and there were no more "lazy" access spots to hunt without company. There is little doubt the # of bowhunters has blossomed. The first few weeks of November we have more folks roll in than most areas in the state during gun season (resident and non-resident alike). Heck my friend's parents built a tiny house rental just for all the hunters this year and have been mostly booked solid. It's good for business locally although it can be annoying to us that live here of course, but it goes with the territory.
 

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I’m not advocating for more than one buck. I know that will make people’s heads explode even though in Iowa residents can kill 3 bucks. Limiting it to one buck is fine just get rid of the antiquated rifle restrictions, at least on private property.
 
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