Fewer deer taken by Ohio hunters during 2021 muzzleloader season

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COLUMBUS — Ohio’s white-tailed deer hunters completed the 2021 muzzleloader season with 9,708 deer checked from Jan. 2 to Jan. 5, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Over the last three years, an average of 12,695 deer were taken during the same four-day period. During the weeklong and extra weekend of deer-gun season, 86,853 deer were checked by Ohio hunters. In total, 102,672 deer were harvested with a gun, including muzzleloaders, during the 2020-2021 gun hunting seasons.

Over the last three years, hunters harvested an average of 90,722 deer during the three gun hunting seasons. The total number of deer taken in Ohio during all 2020-2021 hunting seasons is 187,883, with one month remaining to hunt with archery equipment. That number has already surpassed last season’s final tally of 184,468.

The top 10 counties for deer harvested during the 2021 muzzleloader season include the following: Coshocton (367), Tuscarawas (344), Licking (290), Guernsey (279), Muskingum (263), Meigs (260), Knox (256), Carroll (249), Holmes (243), and Ashtabula (238).

Deer hunting occurs in all 88 counties and an estimated 310,000 hunters participated during Ohio’s deer-gun seasons. Ohio hunters have purchased 398,190 deer permits through Jan. 5.

There is still time to pursue deer in Ohio, as archery season remains open through Feb. 7. Hotspots for deer hunting are found mostly in the eastern regions, including Ashtabula, Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Muskingum, Guernsey, and Knox counties.

Each year, the number of deer taken with archery equipment continues to grow, while gun hunting also remains popular. Beginning in September, Ohio archery hunters have taken 85,211 deer, or 45% of the harvest. Muzzleloaders accounted for 9% of deer taken (15,973 deer for all gun seasons).

Ohio’s youth hunters checked 5,795 whitetails during the two-day youth season, Nov. 21-22, 2020.

Find more information about deer hunting in the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations and at wildohio.gov.

Muzzleloader hunting season results

A county list of all white-tailed deer checked by hunters during the 2021 deer muzzleloader hunting season is shown below.

The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2020, and the three-year average of deer harvested in 2017, 2018 and 2019 is in parentheses.

A three-year average provides a better overall comparison to this year’s harvest numbers, eliminating year-to-year variation because of weather, misaligned season dates, crop harvest, and other unavoidable factors. Harvest numbers below are raw data and subject to change.

Adams: 166 (220)
Allen: 39 (54)
Ashland: 195 (227)
Ashtabula: 238 (284)
Athens: 201 (326)
Auglaize: 34 (54)
Belmont: 223 (268)
Brown: 178 (189)
Butler: 79 (91)
Carroll: 249 (325)
Champaign: 89 (75)
Clark: 32 (47)
Clermont: 120 (141)
Clinton: 33 (58)
Columbiana: 169 (240)
Coshocton: 367 (455)
Crawford: 46 (68)
Cuyahoga: 3 (2);
Darke: 26 (42)
Defiance: 82 (104)
Delaware: 65 (66)
Erie: 41 (40)
Fairfield: 84 (136)
Fayette: 14 (27)
Franklin: 21 (37)
Fulton: 22 (41)
Gallia: 154 (165)
Geauga: 91 (89)
Greene: 41 (49)
Guernsey: 279 (397)
Hamilton: 17 (37)
Hancock: 52 (64)
Hardin: 71 (99)
Harrison: 215 (310)
Henry: 23 (32)
Highland: 179 (192)
Hocking: 135 (282)
Holmes: 243 (282)
Huron: 105 (131)
Jackson: 154 (222);
Jefferson: 136 (160)
Knox: 256 (331)
Lake: 27 (25)
Lawrence: 100 (97)
Licking: 290 (367)
Logan: 105 (132)
Lorain: 105 (127)
Lucas: 10 (21)
Madison: 33 (31)
Mahoning: 90 (121)
Marion: 29 (52)
Medina: 132 (130)
Meigs: 260 (309)
Mercer: 31 (36)
Miami: 25 (39)
Monroe: 174 (222)
Montgomery: 26 (29)
Morgan: 201 (292)
Morrow: 73 (107)
Muskingum: 263 (423)
Noble: 171 (247)
Ottawa: 22 (28);
Paulding: 41 (71)
Perry: 149 (222)
Pickaway: 37 (59)
Pike: 118 (153)
Portage: 80 (109)
Preble: 50 (68)
Putnam: 31 (23)
Richland: 187 (238)
Ross: 171 (231)
Sandusky: 53 (56)
Scioto: 103 (149)
Seneca: 106 (101)
Shelby: 50 (63)
Stark: 150 (178)
Summit: 24 (34)
Trumbull: 122 (178)
Tuscarawas: 344 (391)
Union: 46 (54)
Van Wert: 10 (24)
Vinton: 134 (218)
Warren: 42 (75)
Washington: 226 (317)
Wayne: 100 (158)
Williams: 86 (93)
Wood: 49 (50)
Wyandot: 65 (88)

2020 total: 9,708
Three-year average: (12,695)

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