COLUMBUS – Hunters took 22,413 deer during Ohio’s four-day muzzleloader season, Dec. 27-30, with Tuscarawas County again leading the state with 949 deer checked.
Last year, a preliminary total of 23,056 deer were taken during muzzleloader season.
“With the muzzleloader season results, Ohio will easily exceed the all-time deer harvest record of 216,443 set in 2004,” said Steven A. Gray, chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. “Ohio’s deer management program has become a model of excellence in the United States. Fortunately, our deer herd is in great condition and the challenge is to keep that quality through research and management.”
During the last two decades, Ohio’s muzzleloader season has consistently grown in popularity. Twenty years ago, the statewide muzzleloader season accounted for 5 percent of the total deer kill, and today it constitutes 12 percent of the total annual deer harvest.
Highest numbers. Counties reporting the highest number of deer checked during the muzzleloader season included:
Tuscarawas – 949
Harrison – 834
Washington – 792
Guernsey – 724
Monroe – 612
Jefferson – 601
Totals. Hunters have killed a preliminary total of 214,337 deer across the state since Ohio’s deer hunting seasons opened Sept. 30. Archery hunters took 45,733 deer during the first six weeks of the statewide archery season, which continues through Feb. 4. The youth season resulted in 8,811 deer bagged.
Hunters checked 111,672 deer during the statewide deer-gun season, with another 25,390 taken during the extra gun-hunting weekend.
Another 318 deer were taken during the early muzzleloader deer season in late October on three specific hunting areas.
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