Muzzleloader hunters celebrate time-honored tradition


COLUMBUS – Ohio’s white-tailed deer hunters completed the muzzleloader season with 10,615 deer taken from Saturday, Jan. 4, to Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. During the 2019 season, 14,168 deer were taken during the same season.

“Hunting with a muzzleloader is a true American experience. This more traditional-style firearm provides a challenging and rewarding hunt that is rooted in history,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “Modern muzzleloaders have advanced with technology, while some hunters still use traditional muzzleloaders. Both apply the same techniques used during hunts for hundreds of years. We are happy to continue that tradition here in Ohio.”

Many Ohio hunters battled inclement weather, including heavy rain, during the first day of the muzzleloader season. However, thousands of Buckeye State hunters still took the opportunity to spend time outdoors and provide healthy, free-range venison for family and friends.

In Fulton County, 39 deer were checked during the season compared to 43 in 2019. Only nine deer were checked in Lucas County compared to 27 a year ago.

Top 10 counties for deer harvest during the muzzleloader season include: Coshocton (392), Muskingum (332), Licking (320), Tuscarawas (309), Guernsey (292), Meigs (280), Washington (268), Athens (267), Knox (267) and Carroll (264).

Through Jan. 7, 2020, Ohio archery hunters have taken 82,227 deer. Ohio’s youth hunters checked 6,234 white-tailed deer during the 2019 two-day youth gun season, Nov. 23-24. Plus, 77,187 deer were checked by Ohio hunters during the weeklong and two-day deer-gun seasons in December 2019.

Ohio offers more opportunities for hunters to pursue deer. Deer-archery season is open now until Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. Find complete details in the 2019-2020 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.gov. For summaries of past deer seasons, visit wildohio.gov/deerharvest.

Approximately 370,000 people have hunted deer in Ohio this year, and the Buckeye State is a popular hunting destination for many out-of-state hunters. More than 34,000 nonresident Ohio hunting licenses have been sold during the 2019-2020 season. The top five states for purchasing a nonresident hunting license in Ohio include: Pennsylvania (6,704), Michigan (4,465), West Virginia (3,806), North Carolina (2,908) and New York (2,446).