Ohio hunters take over 70,000 deer in 2023 gun week

Ohio’s weeklong white-tailed deer gun hunting season concluded Dec. 3, with hunters harvesting 70,118 deer, according to a Dec. 4 news release from Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Last year, hunters took 71,931 deer during the gun week. The three-year average for deer harvest during the seven-day gun season is 71,322, according to the news release. An additional weekend of deer gun hunting will happen on Dec. 16-17.

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During the deer gun week that ran Nov. 27-Dec. 3, hunters checked 25,044 antlered deer (36% of the harvest) and 45,074 antlerless deer (64%), a category that includes does and button bucks, according to the release.

The top 10 counties for deer taken during the week of gun season were as follows:

  1. Coshocton (2,441)
  2. Tuscarawas (2,260)
  3. Ashtabula (2,189)
  4. Muskingum (2,076)
  5. Knox (1,880)
  6. Carroll (1,864)
  7. Guernsey (1,798)
  8. Washington (1,582)
  9. Licking (1,570)
  10. Harrison (1,533)

Coshocton County also led the state in 2022 with 2,457 deer checked.

Straight-walled cartridge rifles, which have become more popular since becoming legal for deer gun hunting in 2014, were used to harvest 60% of the deer checked during the seven-day gun season, according to the release. Shotguns accounted for 34% of the total. In addition, 4% were taken with a muzzleloader, 1% with archery equipment, and 1% with a handgun.

This year, 389,181 deer permits have been issued through Dec. 3. Nonresidents have purchased 37,543 hunting licenses, according to the release. The most popular states that hunters traveled to Ohio from include Pennsylvania (7,078 nonresident licenses), Michigan (4,733), West Virginia (3,560), North Carolina (3,105), and New York (2,852).

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