Ohio Hunters Checked 15,469 Deer During Extra Gun Weekend


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Hunters across Ohio harvested 15,469 white-tailed deer during the extra weekend of deer gun hunting on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 16-17, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. During the two-day gun weekend over the last three years, hunters checked an average of 13,329 deer. In 2022, the weekend total was 15,164.

The top 10 counties for deer taken during the 2023 two-day gun season were: Coshocton (534), Tuscarawas (505), Ashtabula (470), Carroll (414), Knox (412), Muskingum (410), Licking (392), Holmes (359), Ashland (359), and Guernsey (348). Coshocton County led the state last year with 517 deer taken during the extra gun weekend.

Ohio hunters checked 15,469 deer during an extra weekend of gun hunting on Dec. 16-17.

During the gun weekend, hunters checked 4,408 bucks (29% of the harvest), 9,130 does (59%), and 1,639 button bucks (11%). Bucks with shed antlers and bucks with antlers less than 3 inches long accounted for 1% of the harvest or 292 deer.

Straight-walled cartridge rifles have become increasingly popular since becoming legal for Ohio deer hunting in 2014. Over the weekend, 9,586 deer were taken with straight-walled cartridge rifles or 62% of the total. Additionally, 30% of the weekend’s successful hunters used a shotgun, 5% used a muzzleloader, 2% used archery equipment, and less than 1% used a handgun.

Following the weekend, gun hunters have checked a total of 96,136 deer this year, including 10,039 deer checked by youth hunters Nov. 18-19. Archery hunters have harvested 89,823 deer through Sunday, Dec. 17, bringing the season total for all implements to 185,959 deer.

Ohio’s reputation as an excellent deer hunting state has motivated 402,389 hunters to obtain deer permits for this season as of Sunday, Dec. 17. Out-of-state hunters from Pennsylvania (7,373 licenses sold), Michigan (5,104), West Virginia (3,699), North Carolina (3,239), New York (2,942), and other states boost local economies as they travel to Ohio for a chance at harvesting a Buckeye State whitetail.

Hunters still looking to harvest a deer can take part in the ongoing archery season, which continues until Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, or the state’s muzzleloader season, Jan. 6-9, 2024. Check the 2022-23 Hunting and Trapping Regulations for more information about deer hunting. Weekly reports and yearly summaries can be found on the Deer Harvest Summary page at wildohio.gov.

The free HuntFish OH app is available for deer hunters to buy licenses and permits, view wildlife area maps, check sunrise and sunset times, and more. Hunters can check the game even without a cell signal and display licenses and permits digitally via the app.

Last year, hunters generated $1.9 billion in economic spending in Ohio, according to a recent report released by the Wildlife Management Institute, Responsive Management, and Southwick Associates. The research found that 5% of Ohio’s adults, about 500,000 individuals, participate in hunting, with 91% of those hunters taking part in deer hunting.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.