The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Mar. 1, 2024

Final deer-gun hunting numbers released

VW independent staff/submitted information

COLUMBUS — Ohio’s weeklong white-tailed deer gun hunting season concluded on Sunday, December 3, with hunters taking 70,118 deer, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. Last year, hunters took 71,931 deer during the gun week. The three-year average for deer harvest during the seven-day gun season is 71,322. An additional weekend of deer gun hunting will happen on December 16-17.

During the deer gun week, hunters checked 25,044 antlered deer (36 percent of the harvest) and 45,074 antlerless deer (64 percent), a category which includes does and button bucks.

Hunters in Van Wert County bagged 300 deer during last week’s deer-gun season. ODNR photo

The top 10 counties for deer taken during the week of gun season were: Coshocton (2,441), Tuscarawas (2,260), Ashtabula (2,189), Muskingum (2,076), Knox (1,880), Carroll (1,864), Guernsey (1,798), Washington (1,582), Licking (1,570), and Harrison (1,533). Coshocton County also led the state in 2022 with 2,457 deer checked.

Hunters in Van Wert County took 300 deer, while Mercer County hunters bagged 400 deer. The number was 462 in Putnam County, 458 in Allen County and 563 in Paulding County. According to the ODNR Division of Wildlife, numbers in each of those counties increased from 2022.

State hunting officials said straight-walled cartridge rifles have become more popular since becoming legal for deer gun hunting in 2014. This year, straight-walled cartridge rifles were used to harvest 60 percent of the deer checked during the seven-day gun season. Shotguns accounted for 34 percent of the total. In addition, four percent were taken with a muzzleloader, one percent with archery equipment, and one percent with a handgun.

This year, 389,181 deer permits have been issued through Sunday, Dec. 3. Nonresidents have purchased 37,543 hunting licenses, many of them to enjoy Ohio’s terrific deer hunting opportunities. The most popular states that hunters traveled to Ohio from include Pennsylvania (7,078 nonresident licenses), Michigan (4,733), West Virginia (3,560), North Carolina (3,105), and New York (2,852).

In the 2023 deer season, archery and firearms hunters have taken a total of 167,732 deer through Sunday, December 3. Hunters have another opportunity to harvest a deer with a firearm during the bonus gun weekend, Saturday and Sunday, December 16-17. The muzzleloader season is January 6-9, 2024. The archery season remains open through Sunday, February 4, 2024.

A county list of all white-tailed deer checked by hunters during the 2023 deer gun hunting week is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the deer harvest numbers for 2023, and the three-year average from 2020, 2021, and 2022 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: 967 (1,037); Allen: 458 (399); Ashland: 1,420 (1,473); Ashtabula: 2,189 (2,064); Athens: 1,083 (1,277); Auglaize: 476 (440); Belmont: 1,345 (1,199); Brown: 832 (937); Butler: 276 (344); Carroll: 1,864 (1,777); Champaign: 487 (479); Clark: 232 (214); Clermont: 583 (689); Clinton: 307 (232); Columbiana: 1,464 (1,383); Coshocton: 2,441 (2,380); Crawford: 631 (653); Cuyahoga: 53 (46); Darke: 344 (343); Defiance: 907 (903); Delaware: 427 (426); Erie: 297 (317); Fairfield: 663 (774); Fayette: 144 (136); Franklin: 189 (169); Fulton: 435 (396); Gallia: 1,023 (1,136); Geauga: 753 (633); Greene: 216 (258); Guernsey: 1,798 (1,902); Hamilton: 114 (146); Hancock: 646 (644); Hardin: 540 (608); Harrison: 1,533 (1,365); Henry: 431 (462); Highland: 1,008 (1,119); Hocking: 1,004 (1,111); Holmes: 1,507 (1,605); Huron: 1,153 (1,168); Jackson: 937 (1,018); Jefferson: 1,088 (890); Knox: 1,880 (1,979); Lake: 203 (175); Lawrence: 655 (689); Licking: 1,570 (1,772); Logan: 740 (785); Lorain: 735 (730); Lucas: 114 (129); Madison: 159 (209); Mahoning: 621 (589); Marion: 344 (395); Medina: 683 (727); Meigs: 1,049 (1,221); Mercer: 400 (406); Miami: 261 (255); Monroe: 1,184 (1,145); Montgomery: 163 (197); Morgan: 1,294 (1,333); Morrow: 746 (697); Muskingum: 2,076 (2,173); Noble: 1,215 (1,288); Ottawa: 191 (180); Paulding: 563 (564); Perry: 1,046 (1,130); Pickaway: 335 (267); Pike: 647 (677); Portage: 685 (694); Preble: 323 (327); Putnam: 462 (406); Richland: 1,357 (1,378); Ross: 959 (1,090); Sandusky: 322 (336); Scioto: 718 (761); Seneca: 970 (908); Shelby: 452 (429); Stark: 1,040 (970); Summit: 210 (207); Trumbull: 1,446 (1,202); Tuscarawas: 2,260 (2,240); Union: 398 (390); Van Wert: 300 (277); Vinton: 590 (854); Warren: 259 (325); Washington: 1,582 (1,491); Wayne: 917 (882); Williams: 733 (739); Wood: 413 (370); Wyandot: 583 (782).

POSTED: 12/06/23 at 4:38 am. FILED UNDER: News