Ohio deer hunters have had a really good season.
In fact, white-tailed deer hunting season – beginning last year on Sept. 26 and ending on Sunday, Feb. 7 – was the state’s best since the 2012-2013 season, eight years ago.
On Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife released the deer harvest numbers.
Over the 2020-2021 seasons – which includes archery, gun, muzzleloader and youth hunting seasons – 197,735 white-tailed deer were harvested. That’s 21,175 fewer deer than the 2012-2013 seasons, when 218,910 deer were harvested overall.
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“We are pleased to see an increased number of deer taken this season as Ohio’s hunters spent more time in the woods during the fall and winter,” Kendra Wecker, the ODNR Division of Wildlife chief said in a statement. “Hunting provides a great connection to the outdoors as well as a direct link to a healthy and natural food source.”
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Archery hunters brought in 94,691 deer during the 2020-2021 season, which was 48% of the season’s total deer harvest, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Ohio hunters harvested 197,735 white-tailed deer over the 2020-2021 season. (iStock)
Of the harvest, 33% of the deer were taken using a crossbow and 15% were taken using a vertical bow, the department said.
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During the weeklong and two-day gun seasons, hunters harvested 86,853 deer with firearms and 9,708 deer with muzzleloaders. Overall, guns made up 52% of the season’s overall harvest.
Muzzleloaders only made up 8% of the harvest, but 22% of the deer were taken with shotguns, 21% were taken with straight-walled cartridge rifles and less than 1% were taken with handguns.
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According to the department, youth hunters brought in 5,795 deer during the two-day youth season.
The ODNR estimates that 310,000 hunters participated during the state’s deer seasons.