COLUMBUS — Ohio hunters completed the 2022 muzzleloader season last month with 12,141 deer checked from Saturday, Jan. 8 to Tuesday, Jan. 11, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Over the past three years, an average of 11,501 deer were taken with a muzzleloader during the same four-day period.
Top 10 counties for deer harvested during the 2022 muzzleloader season include: Coshocton (467), Tuscarawas (455), Guernsey (386), Ashtabula (363), Muskingum (356), Knox (344), Meigs (338), Carroll (322), Licking (316), and Harrison (301). Coshocton County was tops in the state during the 2021 muzzleloader season with 367 deer checked, while hunters took 9,708 deer statewide.
Locally, 38 deer were checked in Fulton County and 17 in Lucas County.
“Ohio offers many opportunities for deer hunters to get into the field, and that includes the recently concluded muzzleloader season,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “It’s been a successful season for many hunters. All deer harvested in Ohio are required to be entered into the Division of Wildlife’s game check system. The data collected in the system is used to manage Ohio’s deer herd for sustainable populations into the future.”
Harvest records show that during the 2022 muzzleloader season, hunters took 3,333 bucks (27% of deer taken), 7,239 does (60%), and 1,282 button bucks (11%). Bucks with shed antlers and bucks with antlers less than 3 inches long accounted for 287 deer or 2% of the harvest.
During the nine days of gun hunting, 79,805 deer were taken. In addition, young hunters harvested 7,634 deer during the two-day youth gun season. With about a month remaining to hunt with archery equipment, Ohio hunters have checked 186,426 deer across all seasons. Ohio’s archery season is open until Sunday, Feb. 6.
Deer hunting occurs in all 88 counties and Ohio hunters have purchased 394,059 deer permits through Tuesday, Jan. 11. Hotspots for deer hunting are found mostly in the eastern regions, including Ashtabula, Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Muskingum, Guernsey, and Knox counties.
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.
Deer hunters are reminded to download the HuntFish OH mobile app, which allows hunters to check in their deer while in the field, even without a Wi-Fi connection. When a hunter checks game without a clear signal, entered information is recorded and stored until the hunter moves to a location with better reception. Users can also purchase licenses and permits and view wildlife area maps through the app. HuntFish OH is free and available for Android and iOS users through the app store.
Find more information about deer hunting in the 2021-22 Ohio hunting regulations booklet, found at wildohio.gov and on the HuntFish OH mobile app. Previous season summaries and weekly updated reports can be found on the Deer Harvest Summary page.