According to ODNR, Ohio’s annual deer gun hunting week started off in a big way with 21,754 deer checked on Monday, Nov. 29, the opening day of the season. During the past three years, hunters took an average of 13,349 deer on opening day. Ohio’s gun season is open until Sunday, Dec. 5, and again for two days on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18-19.
Ohio’s weather for this year’s opening day was perfect for deer hunting: mostly to partly sunny and cool temperatures. In 2020, during a snowy and rainy gun opener, hunters bagged 10,905 deer.
In Adams County, 288 deer were checked in, up from an average of 187.
“This fall has reaffirmed once again that Ohio is a top deer hunting state, thanks to decades of stable deer management practices,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “This year’s weather cooperated for an outstanding opening day harvest, generating about 1 million pounds of venison and feeding Ohio’s families.”
The top 10 counties for deer harvest on the opening day of Ohio’s gun season include: Coshocton (850), Tuscarawas (729), Ashtabula (725), Knox (679), Muskingum (677), Holmes (650), Guernsey (642), Carroll (607), Licking (572), and Ashland (504). In 2020, Coshocton County also led the state on opening day with 356 deer taken.
Ohio archery hunters have taken 79,538 deer through Monday, Nov. 29. Plus, Ohio’s young hunters checked 7,634 deer during the 2021 youth gun season, Nov. 20-21.
According to the division, Ohio deer hunting has come a long way from the first gun hunting season in 1943, when 168 deer were taken. 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 (6,994 licenses sold), Michigan (4,801), West Virginia (3,595), North Carolina (3,050), and New York (3,009). Deer hunting participation remains high for all hunters, with 339,991 deer hunting permits sold or issued through Sunday, Nov. 28.