Ohio’s extra gun weekend delivers additional harvest

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Ohio hunters harvested 9,392 deer during the extra weekend of gun hunting Dec. 18 and Dec. 19. (Submitted photo)

COLUMBUS — Ohio hunters harvested 9,392 deer during the extra weekend of gun hunting Dec. 18 and Dec. 19, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

Over the past three years, hunters checked an average of 12,734 deer during the same two-day period.

The top 10 counties for deer taken during the 2021 two-day deer gun season include the following: Coshocton (307), Tuscarawas (287), Licking (256), Guernsey (236), Ashtabula (232), Knox (229), Carroll (220), Muskingum (219), Ashland (210) and Holmes (208).

Tuscarawas County was tops in the state during the 2020 extra gun hunting weekend with 598 deer checked, while hunters took 15,203 deer statewide.

After hunters checked 70,413 deer during the weeklong deer gun season Nov. 29-Dec. 5, the total harvest during the 2021 gun hunting season was 79,805 deer. Hunters harvested an average of 78,014 deer during the nine days of deer gun hunting over the past three years.

In addition, young hunters harvested 7,634 whitetails during the two-day youth gun season, Nov. 20-21, and archery hunters have checked 82,145 deer through Dec. 19.

Deer hunting occurs in all 88 counties and hotspots for deer hunting are found mostly in the eastern regions, including Ashtabula, Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Muskingum, Guernsey and Knox counties.

During the deer gun weekend, hunters harvested 2,867 bucks (31% of deer taken), 5,261 does (56%), and 1,097 button bucks (12%). Bucks with shed antlers and bucks with antlers less than 3 inches long accounted for 167 deer, or 1% of the harvest.

Straight-walled cartridge rifles became legal deer hunting implements in Ohio in 2014 and continue to grow in popularity. During the deer gun weekend, straight-walled cartridge rifles were used for 53% of checked deer. Shotguns accounted for 38% of the total. In addition, 6% were taken with a muzzleloader and 1% with a handgun.

Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting generates more than $853 million in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundations’ Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.

Ohio still offers more deer hunting opportunities, including muzzleloader season, open Jan. 8-11 and archery season, open through Feb. 6. Find more information about deer hunting in the 2021-22 Ohio hunting regulations guidebook and at wildohio.gov.

Deer harvested by county

A county list of all white-tailed deer harvested with a firearm during the 2021 two-day deer-gun hunting season is shown.

The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2021, and the three-year average of deer harvested in 2018, 2019, and 2020 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 are raw data and subject to change. The counts are as follows: Adams: 164 (171); Allen: 52 (79); Ashland: 210 (273); Ashtabula: 232 (488); Athens: 159 (205); Auglaize: 55 (70); Belmont: 153 (216); Brown: 130 (159); Butler: 90 (82); Carroll: 220 (337); Champaign: 79 (88); Clark: 36 (42); Clermont: 112 (136); Clinton: 38 (50); Columbiana: 161 (282); Coshocton: 307 (403); Crawford: 71 (92); Cuyahoga: 6 (4);

Darke: 47 (60); Defiance: 101 (175); Delaware: 69 (78); Erie: 47 (61); Fairfield: 110 (135); Fayette: 12 (20); Franklin: 29 (28); Fulton: 41 (52); Gallia: 132 (148); Geauga: 74 (144); Greene: 46 (60); Guernsey: 236 (303); Hamilton: 24 (33); Hancock: 76 (105); Hardin: 67 (122); Harrison: 156 (267); Henry: 47 (64); Highland: 147 (184); Hocking: 137 (166); Holmes: 208 (310); Huron: 113 (208);

Jackson: 150 (173); Jefferson: 115 (156); Knox: 229 (347); Lake: 25 (42); Lawrence: 89 (100); Licking: 256 (329); Logan: 132 (154); Lorain: 111 (167); Lucas: 21 (21); Madison: 38 (44); Mahoning: 106 (139); Marion: 55 (76); Medina: 165 (144); Meigs: 184 (214); Mercer: 49 (60); Miami: 47 (52); Monroe: 141 (170); Montgomery: 20 (36); Morgan: 157 (167); Morrow: 88 (114); Muskingum: 219 (288);

Noble: 160 (186); Ottawa: 25 (36); Paulding: 72 (104); Perry: 112 (162); Pickaway: 44 (48); Pike: 67 (101); Portage: 108 (152); Preble: 67 (76); Putnam: 32 (54); Richland: 172 (266); Ross: 150 (176); Sandusky: 45 (58); Scioto: 126 (138); Seneca: 111 (177); Shelby: 80 (81); Stark: 134 (212); Summit: 29 (46);

Trumbull: 161 (312); Tuscarawas: 287 (432); Union: 58 (61); Van Wert: 28 (45); Vinton: 120 (139); Warren: 69 (64); Washington: 162 (211); Wayne: 133 (164); Williams: 96 (154); Wood: 55 (72); Wyandot: 98 (112). 2021 Total: 9,392

The three-year average total was  12,734.

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