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Hunters have good start to deer season

From Staff Reports

COLUMBUS – Ohio hunters had a slightly bigger haul than average after the conclusion of the first portion of the deer gun season which ended on Sunday according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

Statewide hunters harvested 70,413 deer. Over the past three years, hunters checked an average of 65,280 deer during the same weeklong period, which marks an 8% increase in 2021. Deer gun season is open again on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18-19.

In Columbiana County, hunters took 1,362 deer which was up from the three-year average of 1,216 deer. In Mahoning County, hunters took 614 deer which was up over the three-year average of 571.

During the deer gun week, hunters harvested 25,263 bucks (36% of deer taken), 36,096 does (51%), and 8,021 button bucks (11%). Bucks with shed antlers and bucks with antlers less than 3 inches long accounted for 1,033 deer, or 1% of the harvest.

“All deer taken by hunters are required to be entered into Ohio’s game check system,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “The information collected during the game check process is critically important to the Division of Wildlife for planning quality deer management into the future.”

The top 10 counties for deer taken during the gun week include: Coshocton (2,403), Tuscarawas (2,204), Muskingum (2,107), Ashtabula (2,039), Knox (2,023), Guernsey (1,968), Carroll (1,767), Licking (1,712), Holmes (1,645) and Washington (1,483). Coshocton County also led the state in 2020 with 2,281 deer checked. Statewide in 2020, hunters took 71,651 deer.

Straight-walled cartridge rifles have become more popular each year since becoming legal for deer hunting in 2014. During deer gun hunting week, straight-walled cartridge rifles were used for 49% of checked deer. Shotguns accounted for 43% of the total. In addition, 6% were taken with a muzzleloader, 1% by archery equipment, and less than 1% with a handgun.

Through Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, 80,178 deer have been taken by Ohio archery hunters. Plus, Ohio’s youth hunters checked 7,634 deer during the two-day youth gun season, Nov. 20-21.

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 (7,929 licenses sold), Michigan (5,533), West Virginia (3,898), North Carolina (3,740), and New York (3,597). Deer hunting participation remains high for all hunters, with 383,770 deer hunting permits sold or issued through Sunday, Dec. 5.

Editor’s Note: A county list of all white-tailed deer checked by hunters during the 2021 deer gun hunting week is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the deer harvest numbers for 2021, and the three-year average from 2018, 2019, and 2020 is in parentheses. A three-year average provides a better overall comparison to this year’s numbers, eliminating year-to-year variation because of weather, misaligned season dates, timing of the crop harvest, and other unavoidable factors. Numbers below are raw data and subject to change.

Adams: 1,042 (973); Allen: 352 (338); Ashland: 1,444 (1,311); Ashtabula: 2,039 (2,032); Athens: 1,327 (1,281); Auglaize: 431 (332); Belmont: 1,154 (1,173); Brown: 887 (846); Butler: 352 (318); Carroll: 1,767 (1,530); Champaign: 469 (394); Clark: 209 (192); Clermont: 609 (638); Clinton: 208 (220); Columbiana: 1,362 (1,216); Coshocton: 2,403 (2,260); Crawford: 646 (568); Cuyahoga: 49 (44); Darke: 303 (275); Defiance: 802 (778); Delaware: 441 (383); Erie: 327 (261); Fairfield: 765 (681); Fayette: 117 (119); Franklin: 159 (147); Fulton: 407 (331); Gallia: 1,113 (1,048); Geauga: 700 (568); Greene: 246 (230); Guernsey: 1,968 (1,784); Hamilton: 140 (153); Hancock: 606 (520); Hardin: 640 (534); Harrison: 1,318 (1,371); Henry: 438 (351); Highland: 1,118 (933); Hocking: 1,102 (1,130); Holmes: 1,645 (1,468); Huron: 1,166 (1,008); Jackson: 986 (1,003); Jefferson: 866 (787); Knox: 2,023 (1,764); Lake: 164 (176); Lawrence: 677 (713); Licking: 1,712 (1,605); Logan: 780 (711); Lorain: 783 (646); Lucas: 103 (128); Madison: 234 (171); Mahoning: 614 (571); Marion: 446 (382); Medina: 682 (650); Meigs: 1,261 (1,148); Mercer: 422 (298); Miami: 256 (214); Monroe: 1,103 (1,092); Montgomery: 206 (153); Morgan: 1,298 (1,253); Morrow: 633 (620); Muskingum: 2,107 (1,993); Noble: 1,249 (1,240); Ottawa: 173 (141); Paulding: 598 (455); Perry: 1,112 (1,052); Pickaway: 259 (258); Pike: 623 (666); Portage: 719 (607); Preble: 334 (290); Putnam: 370 (308); Richland: 1,346 (1,270); Ross: 1,056 (1,024); Sandusky: 305 (278); Scioto: 683 (729); Seneca: 927 (800); Shelby: 400 (357); Stark: 929 (859); Summit: 206 (175); Trumbull: 1,241 (1,165); Tuscarawas: 2,204 (2,107); Union: 380 (331); Van Wert: 268 (229); Vinton: 930 (896); Warren: 317 (305); Washington: 1,483 (1,411); Wayne: 893 (798); Williams: 719 (633); Wood: 340 (339); Wyandot: 722 (739).

2021 total: 70,413

Three-year average total: (65,280)

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