Yes, now is a good time, and you can take them throughout the winter right up until just before plants start back into growth in the spring. If you have space to allocate to them in a bed for 12 months and you have a lot of cuttings to take then you can put them there in the ground.
I usually put mine in large pots of gritty compost and keep them in the cold frame. Hardwood cuttings of deciduous shrubs will be losing/have lost their leaves anyway so I don't worry too much about them.
If you're taking cuttings that you wish to grow into a tree, or a bush on a single stem like gooseberries, then remove side buds from the top third of the cutting, leaving one bud at the tip; the bottom two thirds of the cutting will be below the ground.
I leave my cuttings until the following autumn before potting on, unless they're making a lot of growth when I do it sooner to avoid too much disturbance to the roots.
Lots of good advice here http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=387
My granny never used rooting hormone and her cuttings always seemed to strike. However, I use a rooting gel, and mine seem to work just as well, and there's just the chance that Granny didn't come clean about the ones that didin't take