By 1812Blockhouse, Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Ohio’s 2022-23 white-tailed deer hunting season concluded Sunday, February 5, with 210,977 deer checked, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The final total represents all deer harvested during archery, gun, muzzleloader, and youth hunting seasons since Sept. 10, 2022.

“Ohio is consistently one of the nation’s best states for deer hunting, and this season reaffirmed that status,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “Ohio hunters have enjoyed a long season with many chances to get afield. This is the first time since 2012-13 that the number of deer taken surpassed 200,000.”

Ohio’s statewide deer harvest, by year:

  • 2022-23: 210,977
  • 2021-22: 196,988
  • 3-year average (2019-2021): 193,058

Ohio’s 2022-23 statewide deer harvest, by individual season:

  • Archery: 99,742
  • Weeklong and two-day gun seasons: 87,095
  • Four-day muzzleloader season: 13,617
  • Two-day youth season: 9,515
  • Controlled firearm hunts: 1,008

Top 10 counties for 2022-23 deer harvest:

  1. Coshocton (7,590). Last season, Coshocton County also led the state with 7,144 deer checked.
  2. Tuscarawas (7,028)
  3. Muskingum (5,982)
  4. Ashtabula (5,592)
  5. Knox (5,477)
  6. Licking (5,467)
  7. Holmes (5,183)
  8. Guernsey (5,073)
  9. Carroll (4,866)
  10. Trumbull (4,251)

Most popular hunting implements:

  1. Crossbow: 71,701 (34%)
  2. Straight-walled cartridge rifle: 56,437 (26%)
  3. Shotgun: 36,398 (17%)
  4. Vertical Bow: 28,041 (13%)
  5. Muzzleloader: 17,854 (9%)
  6. Handgun: 546 (1%)

Deer harvest, by type:

  • Bucks: 86,645; 41% of the total
  • Does: 101,141; 48%
  • Button bucks: 19,851; 9%
  • Bucks with shed antlers and bucks with antlers less than 3 inches: 3,340; 2%

Permit sales

Ohio hunters purchased 409,672 permits across all hunting seasons. Hunters from all 50 U.S. states purchased deer permits in Ohio for use in the 2022-23 seasons. States outside of Ohio with the highest nonresident permit sales include:

  1. Pennsylvania (9,365)
  2. Michigan (6,420)
  3. West Virginia (4,367)
  4. North Carolina (4,284)
  5. New York (3,878)

Hunting drives $866 million of spending in Ohio each year through the sale of food, equipment, fuel, lodging, and more, according to the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation’s Economic Impacts of Hunting and Target Shooting Technical Report. An estimated 479,000 hunters enjoy the state’s excellent outdoor recreation each year. The economic benefits of hunting-related industries translate to 15,500 jobs in Ohio, $68 million in state and local taxes, and $753 million of the state’s GDP.

All deer taken in Ohio are required to be checked in the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System. This mandatory reporting gives the Division of Wildlife a long-term dataset that aids wildlife biologists in monitoring deer health, distribution, and relative abundance. Weekly reports can be found on the Deer Harvest Summary page at wildohio.gov.

Check out the Wild Ohio Harvest Community for kitchen inspiration on how to prepare this season’s deer. The Wild Ohio Harvest Cookbook shares imaginative venison recipes, or join an upcoming venison preparation class for hands-on experience.

Keep up with the Division of Wildlife on Twitter and Facebook for instant news stories, outdoor recreation ideas, local wildlife information, and so much more. Visit wildohio.gov to find locations to hunt, fish, trap, and view wildlife. Follow the Division of Wildlife on Instagram to view the best of Ohio’s wildlife photography. In preparation for the 2023-24 hunting seasons, download the free HuntFish OH mobile app to purchase licenses and permits, check game, and view wildlife area maps.

Richland County registered 1,479 deer taken. This is an increase from the amount of 3,733, which represents the three year average between 2019 and 2021.

Source: ODNR

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