Youth hunters harvest 7,634 deer during special weekend


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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s young hunters harvested 7,634 deer during the two-day youth gun season on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 20-21, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The weekend season was open to all hunters aged 17 and under who were also accompanied by a non-hunting adult.

The top 10 counties for deer taken during Ohio’s youth season include: Tuscarawas (322); Coshocton (307); Holmes (250); Knox (228); Guernsey (220); Muskingum (209); Ashland (179); Washington (179); Meigs (169); and Ashtabula (167).

In Fayette County, 26 white-tailed deer have been checked by youth hunters using a shotgun, muzzleloader, handgun, or straight-walled cartridge rifle during the 2021 youth deer gun hunting season. The three-year average harvested by Fayette County youth hunters in 2018, 2019 and 2020 is 15.

“The youth deer season is a special time when young people have the opportunity to learn from experienced hunters,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “Participation remains high for this weekend. This year, 38,356 youth deer permits have been issued, and those can be used during any of the upcoming hunting seasons.”

Of the deer taken during the 2021 youth weekend, 4,053 were bucks, 2,625 were does, and 956 were button bucks. In 2020, young hunters harvested 5,795 deer during the two-day youth only season. The average number of deer checked during the past three youth seasons is 6,210. The most deer taken during a two-day youth season was in 2007, when 10,059 deer were checked by young hunters.

All of Ohio’s youth hunting opportunities are available to anyone who is 17 years old or younger during the season dates. Youth hunting seasons are also available for small game, wild turkey, and waterfowl. Anyone interested in learning to hunt or becoming a mentor to a new hunter can visit the Wild Ohio Harvest Community Page for information on how to get started, hunting-related workshops, and special hunting opportunities for mentors and new hunters.

Ohio offers many opportunities for hunters to pursue deer. The deer gun season is Monday, Nov. 29, through Sunday, Dec. 5, and again on Dec. 18-19. Deer muzzleloader season is Saturday, Jan. 8, through Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. And, deer archery season remains open until Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. Find complete details in the 2021-22 Ohio hunting regulations.

The Division of Wildlife can help you take advantage of all Ohio has to offer. Download the HuntFish OH app and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for instant news stories, outdoor recreation ideas, and local wildlife information. The Your Wild Ohio Hunter Facebook page provides hunting tips and useful information as you get outside this season.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

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