The Monday following Thanksgiving will mark the start date of White-tailed Deer Gun Hunting Season in Ohio which runs November 26 through December 2, 2018. While the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has automated the licensing and tagging processes online for Ohio hunters, there are some sportsman that miss the in-person interaction from the old way of check-in. Local resident, John Ingersoll, owner of Buckeye Boat Repair & Mobile Service near Rocky Fork Lake in Hillsboro, is one of those avid deer hunters determined to make what is old, new again with the introduction of the inaugural Whitetails Unlimited South Central Ohio Buck Pole.
“My family and I moved to Hillsboro in 2015 from “that state up north”. I’ve always been a deer hunter and never missed a buck pole in my days of hunting in Indian River, Michigan. Contestants come from all over to witness the deer shot on the first day of gun season. In my talks with locals from southern Ohio, I found no event like this. Our area is home to some really nice sized deer and I’m excited to organize an event of this kind for the first time” said Ingersoll.
John has partnered with Randy Dyer, Director of the local chapter of Whitetails Unlimited and John Holt, owner of Holtfield Station to get this event kick-started.
“Hunting is a family tradition here in South Central Ohio, and we are looking forward to hosting this annual event to give hunters in this area a place to see some nice bucks, socialize and share hunting stories,” said John Holt of Holtfield Station. Holtfield Station has a variety of items on its menu including hot sandwiches, pizza, burgers, soups and more for purchase during the event. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating accommodations.
The way a buck pole works is as follows:
Hunters must be preregistered to enter the buck pole. Registration is FREE and open until Sunday, November 25, 2018. You must pre-register. The organizer has set up an online registration process through their Facebook page (by following ticket link through EventBrite) and is also offering in-person registration at Holtfield Station located at 620 South High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio. With just a name, phone number and address, you become officially registered in the South Central Ohio Buck Pole. Holtfield Station is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can sign up at any time from now until November 25th at 11:59 pm.
On Monday, November 26, 2018 opening day of gun season only, anyone that is preregistered, and shoots a buck anywhere in the state of Ohio, brings his/her buck to Holtfield to qualify for the buck pole.
Qualified entries must arrive at Holtfield completely field dressed between the hours of 8:00 am to 8:00 pm on November 26th. No entries will be accepted past 8:00 pm. Entries are photographed, given a tag, weighed and hung on a wooden scaffold for viewing by visitors to the contest with hunter’s permission and weather conditions permitting. Should weather conditions require removal of the deer, the hunter must still be present by 8:00 pm in order to be entered and receive any prizes.
Judging is based upon the weight of the buck. In this contest, the size of the rack is not considered. At this first annual event, prizes will be awarded to the top 3 heaviest bucks. Top prizes will include a rifle, muzzleloader, crossbow. Other prizes will include hunting gear, gift certificates and more. Only one prize will be awarded per deer.
You must be present during awards to win. An awards presentation will begin at 8:30 pm. The final decision of awarding prizes for a deer will be at the discretion of the Whitetails Unlimited local chapter committee. As of today, the event organizers have over $2000 in prizes for the contest winners. John Dyer with Whitetails Unlimited local chapter provided the following prize descriptions:
1st Prize – Rugar American 450 Bushmaster with flat dark earth synthetic stock topped with a 3x9x50 Redfield scope
2nd Prize – Parker Thunderhauk Pro crossbow 330 FPS topped with a 3x multi-reticle scope
3rd Prize – CVA Optima V2 26” stainless barrel muzzleloader topped with a 3x9x40 scope with gun case
“I really want to thank Ingersoll for coming to us with this idea. We have some really great prizes to giveaway and all you have to do is complete the FREE pre-registration and shoot a big buck on opening day to get into the contest and have a chance to win” said Randy Dyer. We are working hard to make this a success and hope to add more to the great prize list. If you are interested in making a donation or volunteering to work the buck pole please contact me at (937) 763-3328 John Ingersoll at (937) 661-4570 or visit and comment on the event Facebook page @1st Annual South Central Ohio Buck Pole.” added Randy.
Founded in 1982, Whitetails Unlimited (also referred to as “WTU”) is a national nonprofit conservation organization that has remained true to its mission and has made great strides in the field of conservation. Whitetails Unlimited mission is to raise funds in support of (1) education programs, (2) wildlife habitat enhancement and acquisition, and (3) preservation of the hunting tradition and shooting sports for future generations. We have gained the reputation of being the nation’s premier organization dedicating our resources to the betterment of the white-tailed deer and its environment.
On behalf of the 107,000-plus members, chapter volunteers, and corporate sponsors, WTU welcomes you to browse their website and learn more about WTU, our past accomplishments, and the organization’s commitment to caring for our priceless renewable natural resources at www.whitetailsunlimited.com. Whitetails Unlimited appreciates your interest and hopes that after reviewing the site, you will consider joining the whitetail team “Work for an American Tradition.”
Whitetails Unlimited local chapter Director, Randy Dyer, can be reached by phone at or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.