Ohio wraps up the 2021 deer gun hunting week

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Ohio hunters checked 70,413 deer during the weeklong gun season that ended Dec. 5. (Submitted photo)

COLUMBUS — Ohio hunters harvested 70,413 deer during the 2021 deer gun week that concluded Dec. 5, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. 

Over the past three years, hunters checked an average of 65,280 deer during the same weeklong period, which marks an 8% increase in 2021. Deer gun season is open again Dec. 18-19.

During the deer gun week, hunters harvested 25,263 bucks (36% of deer taken), 36,096 does (51%) and 8,021 button bucks (11%). Bucks with shed antlers and bucks with antlers less than 3 inches long accounted for 1,033 deer, or 1% of the harvest. 

The top 10 counties for deer taken during the gun week include the following: Coshocton (2,403), Tuscarawas (2,204), Muskingum (2,107), Ashtabula (2,039), Knox (2,023), Guernsey (1,968), Carroll (1,767), Licking (1,712), Holmes (1,645) and Washington (1,483). Coshocton County also led the state in 2020 with 2,281 deer checked. Statewide in 2020, hunters took 71,651 deer. 

Straight-walled cartridge rifles have become more popular each year since becoming legal for deer hunting in 2014. During deer gun hunting week, straight-walled cartridge rifles were used for 49% of checked deer. Shotguns accounted for 43% of the total. In addition, 6% were taken with a muzzleloader, 1% by archery equipment and less than 1% with a handgun. 

Through Dec. 5, 2021, 80,178 deer have been taken by Ohio archery hunters. Plus, Ohio’s youth hunters checked 7,634 deer during the two-day youth gun season, Nov. 20-21. 

While gun hunting remains a favorite season, the number of hunters pursuing deer with archery equipment is growing rapidly. For the eighth year in a row, more deer were harvested during the 2020-21 archery season than during the gun season. 

The number of hunters who hunt using multiple implements is also increasing. In 2020, nearly 75% of gun hunters also participated in the archery season. 

Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.

Deer checked during Ohio hunting week

A county list of all white tailed deer checked by hunters during the 2021 deer gun hunting week is shown. 

The first number following the county’s name shows the deer harvest numbers for 2021, and the three-year average from 2018, 2019, and 2020 is in parentheses. A three-year average provides a better overall comparison to this year’s numbers, eliminating year-to-year variation because of weather, misaligned season dates, timing of the crop harvest and other unavoidable factors. 

Numbers below are raw data and subject to change.

 Adams: 1,042 (973); Allen: 352 (338); Ashland: 1,444 (1,311); Ashtabula: 2,039 (2,032); Athens: 1,327 (1,281); Auglaize: 431 (332); Belmont: 1,154 (1,173); Brown: 887 (846); Butler: 352 (318); Carroll: 1,767 (1,530); Champaign: 469 (394); Clark: 209 (192); Clermont: 609 (638); Clinton: 208 (220); Columbiana: 1,362 (1,216); Coshocton: 2,403 (2,260); Crawford: 646 (568); Cuyahoga: 49 (44); Darke: 303 (275); Defiance: 802 (778); Delaware: 441 (383); Erie: 327 (261); Fairfield: 765 (681); Fayette: 117 (119); Franklin: 159 (147); Fulton: 407 (331); Gallia: 1,113 (1,048); Geauga: 700 (568); Greene: 246 (230); Guernsey: 1,968 (1,784);

 Hamilton: 140 (153); Hancock: 606 (520); Hardin: 640 (534); Harrison: 1,318 (1,371); Henry: 438 (351); Highland: 1,118 (933); Hocking: 1,102 (1,130); Holmes: 1,645 (1,468); Huron: 1,166 (1,008); Jackson: 986 (1,003); Jefferson: 866 (787); Knox: 2,023 (1,764); Lake: 164 (176); Lawrence: 677 (713); Licking: 1,712 (1,605); Logan: 780 (711); Lorain: 783 (646); Lucas: 103 (128); Madison: 234 (171); Mahoning: 614 (571); Marion: 446 (382); Medina: 682 (650); Meigs: 1,261 (1,148); Mercer: 422 (298); Miami: 256 (214); Monroe: 1,103 (1,092); Montgomery: 206 (153); Morgan: 1,298 (1,253); Morrow: 633 (620); Muskingum: 2,107 (1,993); 

Noble: 1,249 (1,240); Ottawa: 173 (141); Paulding: 598 (455); Perry: 1,112 (1,052); Pickaway: 259 (258); Pike: 623 (666); Portage: 719 (607); Preble: 334 (290); Putnam: 370 (308); Richland: 1,346 (1,270); Ross: 1,056 (1,024); Sandusky: 305 (278); Scioto: 683 (729); Seneca: 927 (800); Shelby: 400 (357); Stark: 929 (859); Summit: 206 (175); Trumbull: 1,241 (1,165); Tuscarawas: 2,204 (2,107); Union: 380 (331); Van Wert: 268 (229); Vinton: 930 (896); Warren: 317 (305); Washington: 1,483 (1,411); Wayne: 893 (798); Williams: 719 (633); Wood: 340 (339); Wyandot: 722 (739). 

The 2021 total is 70,413. The three-year average total is (65,280).

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