Ohio deer gun hunters harvest 96,136 bucks, does

Dec 26, 2023 | Ottawa Outdoors | 0 comments

Ohio hunters checked 15,469 deer during extra weekend of gun hunting on Dec. 16-17. (Ohio Division of Wildlife)

Hunters across Ohio have harvested 96,136 bucks and does during the deer gun season, including 15,469 white-tailed deer during the recent extra weekend of deer gun hunting on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 16-17, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Hunters still looking to harvest a deer can take part in the ongoing archery season, which continues though Sunday, Feb. 4, as well as the state’s muzzleloader season on Saturday through Tuesday, Jan. 6-9.

In Ottawa County, there were 49 deer killed during the two-day deer gun season, an increase from 39 last year. The top 10 counties during the two-day gun season were: Coshocton (534), Tuscarawas (505), Ashtabula (470), Carroll (414), Knox (412), Muskingum (410), Licking (392), Holmes (359), Ashland (359), and Guernsey (348).

Straight-walled cartridge rifles have become increasingly popular since becoming legal for Ohio deer hunting in 2014. Over the weekend, 9,586 deer were taken with straight-walled cartridge rifles, or 62% of the total. Additionally, 30% of the weekend’s successful hunters used a shotgun, 5% used a muzzleloader,

2% used archery equipment, and less than 1% used a handgun.

Following the weekend, gun hunters have checked a total of 96,136 deer this year, including 10,039 deer checked by youth hunters on Nov. 18-19. Archery hunters have harvested 89,823 deer through Sunday, Dec. 17, bringing the season total for all implements to 185,959 deer.

Ohio’s reputation as an excellent deer hunting state has motivated 402,389 hunters to obtain deer permits for this season. Out-of-state hunters from Pennsylvania (7,373 licenses sold), Michigan (5,104), West Virginia (3,699), North Carolina (3,239), New York (2,942), and other states boost local economies as they travel to Ohio for a chance at harvesting a Buckeye State whitetail.

Last year, hunters generated $1.9 billion in economic spending in Ohio, according to a recent report released by the Wildlife Management Institute, Responsive Management, and Southwick Associates. The research found that 5% of Ohio’s adults, about 500,000 individuals, participate in hunting, with 91% of those hunters taking part in deer hunting.

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