COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s white-tailed deer hunters concluded the 2019-2020 hunting season by harvesting 184,465 deer, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Deer hunting in Ohio began Sept. 28, 2019, and concluded Feb. 2, 2020. The final harvest total represents all deer taken during archery, gun, muzzleloader, and youth seasons. During the 2018-2019 deer hunting seasons, 172,670 deer were checked.
“It was another productive season for Ohio’s deer hunters. Ohio has a world-class deer population and continues to offer one of the best hunting experiences in the nation,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “Even as this year’s deer season concludes, many are looking forward to spring wild turkey hunting and will begin preparations for the next deer season. Plan to take someone new with you this year to share your passion and knowledge of Ohio’s wildlife and hunting traditions.”
Top 10 counties for deer harvest during the 2019-2020 seasons include: Coshocton (6,715), Tuscarawas (5,781), Ashtabula (4,949), Muskingum (4,929), Licking (4,878), Knox (4,746), Guernsey (4,524), Holmes (4,507), Carroll (3,843) and Trumbull (3,668).
Ohio’s youth hunters harvested 6,234 on Nov. 23-24, 2019. During the 2019 weeklong and two-day deer-gun seasons, hunters checked in 77,187 deer. Muzzleloader hunters added an additional 10,615 deer from Jan. 4-7, 2020. On Feb. 2, archery hunters concluded their season with 88,860 deer taken. Archery hunters accounted for 48% of deer checked in 2019-2020. Ohio’s record deer harvest was in 2009-2010, when 261,260 were checked.
Ohio is a popular hunting destination for many out-of-state hunters. During the 2019-2020 hunting seasons, more than 34,000 nonresident Ohio hunting licenses were sold. The top five states for purchasing a nonresident hunting license in Ohio include: Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, North Carolina and New York.
The Division of Wildlife wants to hear from you. Each year, Division of Wildlife biologists present proposed hunting and fishing regulations to the Ohio Wildlife Council. Ohioans are encouraged to provide comments on the proposals and may do so in person or online. In-person comments can be submitted during the weeklong open house period from March 2-6, 2020, at any Division of Wildlife district office. Online submissions can be made at wildohio.gov beginning Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. A complete list of proposed changes can be found at wildohio.gov.
Each year, Ohioans take an estimated 171 million outdoor recreation trips and contribute $5.9 billion to the Buckeye State’s economy, according to a report titled Economic Valuation of Natural Areas in Ohio, recently released by The Ohio State University.
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 as well as special hunting opportunities for mentors and new hunters.
The Division of Wildlife can help you take advantage of all the hunting opportunities Ohio has to offer. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for instant news stories, outdoor recreation ideas, local wildlife information and so much more. The Your Wild Ohio Hunter Facebook page provides hunting tips and useful information as you get outside this season. Visit wildohio.gov to find locations to hunt, fish, trap and view wildlife. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to view the best of Ohio’s wildlife photography.