COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s annual deer gun hunting week is underway with 21,754 deer checked on Monday, Nov. 29, the opening day of the season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
During the past three years, hunters took an average of 13,349 deer on opening day. Ohio’s gun season is open until Sunday, Dec. 5, and again for two days on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18-19.
Ohio’s weather for this year’s opening day was perfect for deer hunting: mostly to partly sunny and cool temperatures. In 2020, during a snowy and rainy gun opener, hunters bagged 10,905 deer.
“This fall has reaffirmed once again that Ohio is a top deer hunting state, thanks to decades of stable deer management practices,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “This year’s weather cooperated for an outstanding opening day harvest, generating about 1 million pounds of venison and feeding Ohio’s families.”
The top 10 counties for deer harvest on the opening day of Ohio’s gun season include: Coshocton (850), Tuscarawas (729), Ashtabula (725), Knox (679), Muskingum (677), Holmes (650), Guernsey (642), Carroll (607), Licking (572), and Ashland (504). In 2020, Coshocton County also led the state on opening day with 356 deer taken.
Ohio archery hunters have taken 79,538 deer through Monday, Nov. 29. Plus, Ohio’s young hunters checked 7,634 deer during the 2021 youth gun season, Nov. 20-21.
Ohio deer hunting has come a long way from the first gun hunting season in 1943, when 168 deer were taken. Because Ohio is known as a quality deer hunting state, many out-of-state hunters travel here during the season. The top five states for purchasing a nonresident hunting license in Ohio include: Pennsylvania (6,994 licenses sold), Michigan (4,801), West Virginia (3,595), North Carolina (3,050), and New York (3,009). Deer hunting participation remains high for all hunters, with 339,991 deer hunting permits sold or issued through Sunday, Nov. 28.
Ohio offers many more opportunities for hunters to pursue deer. The gun season continues until Sunday, Dec. 5, and opens again on Dec. 18-19. Deer muzzleloader season is Saturday, Jan. 8, through Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. Bowhunting is open until Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. Find complete details in the 2021-22 Ohio hunting regulations.
The free HuntFish OH mobile app can be downloaded to conveniently purchase fishing and hunting licenses, check game, view wildlife area maps, and much more. The HuntFish OH mobile app is available for Android and iOS users and can be found in the app store. Users can access the Division of Wildlife’s online system to check harvested deer while out in the field, even without a Wi-Fi connection.
The Division of Wildlife wants to help new and experienced hunters make the most of their outdoor adventures. Visit the Wild Ohio Harvest Community page at wildohio.gov for information on getting started, hunting opportunities, and delicious wild game recipes.
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.