Ohio hunters checked 21,754 deer during the opening day of the 2021 gun hunting season Nov. 29. During the past three years, hunters took an average of 13,349 deer on opening day. Ohio’s gun season is open until Dec. 5, and again for two days, Dec. 18 and 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.
“This fall has reaffirmed once again that Ohio is a top deer hunting state, thanks to decades of stable deer management practices,” said Kendra Wecker, Division of Wildlife chief “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 Nov. 29. Plus, Ohio’s young hunters checked 7,634 deer during the 2021 youth gun season Nov. 20-21.
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 Nov. 28.
Deer muzzleloader season is Jan. 8, through Jan. 11, 2022. Bowhunting is open until Feb. 6, 2022. Find complete details in the 2021-22 Ohio hunting regulations.