Deer Hunting: Ohio Has Best Season in 8 Years

by Matthew Wilson
Deer Hunting: Ohio Has Best Season in 8 Years

Ohio hunters had their fill of venison this past year for sure. The state had the best deer hunting season in the past eight years.

The past year may have been rough for many, what with a global pandemic among many other issues. But it’s been a great time to be a hunter and explore the outdoors. Just take Ohio for instance. The state scored big during this past deer season, which runs from Sept. 26 to Feb. 7.

To get a better year, you would have to go all the way back to the 2012-2013 season, almost a decade ago. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife released the number of deer harvested this season. And business was booming. In total, hunters killed 197,735 white-tailed deer this past year. This total is below the number back in the 2012-2013 season. For that season, hunters harvested 218,910 deer. But this year’s numbers exceed the past couple of years.

“We are pleased to see an increased number of deer taken this season as Ohio’s hunters spent more time in the woods during the fall and winter,” Kendra Wecker, the ODNR Division of Wildlife chief said in a statement. “Hunting provides a great connection to the outdoors as well as a direct link to a healthy and natural food source.”

Ohio Deer Hunting by Numbers

This season’s deer harvest numbers account for archery, gun, youth hunting sessions, and muzzleloader. For instance, archery accounted for 48 percent of the season’s harvest. Hunters killed a total of 94,691 deer during the archery portion of the season. Breaking that number down further, hunters killed 33 percent with a crossbow and only 15 percent with a vertical bow.

Guns accounted for a little over half of the season’s total haul. Meanwhile, muzzleloaders only made up eight percent. For gun season, hunters killed 86,853 with rifles. They also killed 9,708 with muzzleloaders. Breaking down guns even further, hunters took down 22 percent with shotguns and 21 percent with a straight-walled cartridge rifle. For those skilled enough, only 1 percent of hunters took down a deer with a handgun.

The youth were out in droves as well, bagging 5,795 during their two-day season. It remains to be seen if Ohio can top this season later this year.