Ohio’s final 2023-24 deer harvest report


COLUMBUS – Ohio’s hunters checked 213,928 white-tailed deer during the 2023-24 deer hunting season that concluded on Feb. 4, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

The final total represents all deer taken during archery, gun, muzzleloader and youth seasons since Sept. 9, 2023.

During the Ohio deer seasons hunters took an estimated 12 million pounds of venison. This nutritious meat was enjoyed by their friends and families, and hunters donated some of this meat to food banks around Ohio.

This is the second year in a row that Ohio’s deer harvest has surpassed 200,000, and the 12th time overall (all since 2002). This season’s count was the highest in more than a decade (217,018 in 2012-13).

Ohio’s statewide deer harvest, by year:

2023-24: 213,928

2022-23: 210,973

3-year average (2020-2022): 201,890

Ohio’s 2023-24 statewide deer harvest, by individual season:

Archery: 100,951 (first season to exceed 100,000)

Weeklong and two-day gun seasons: 85,587

Four-day muzzleloader season: 12,712

Two-day youth season: 10,039

Controlled firearm hunts: 4,639

Top 10 Counties for 2023-24 Harvest:

Coshocton: 7,740. (Last season, Coshocton County also led the state with 7,590 deer checked.)

Tuscarawas: 7,023

Ashtabula: 5,887

Muskingum: 5,789

Knox: 5,625

Licking: 5,429

Holmes: 5,324

Guernsey: 5,220

Carroll: 5,038

Trumbull: 4,703

Most popular hunting implements:

Crossbow: 75,462 (35%)

Straight-walled cartridge rifle: 60,333 (28%)

Shotgun: 31,901 (15%)

Vertical bow: 29,696 (14%)

Muzzleloader: 16,010 (8%)

Handgun: 526 (less than 1%)

Deer harvest:

Does: 99,584 (46.5%)

Antlered bucks: 92,051 (43%)

Button bucks: 18,973 (9%)

Bucks with shed antlers or antlers shorter than 3 inches: 3,320 (1.5%)

Permit sales:

Ohio hunters were issued 415,710 deer permits across all hunting seasons. Hunters from all 50 U.S. states purchased deer permits for use during the 2023-24 seasons. States outside of Ohio with the highest nonresident permit sales include:

Pennsylvania (8,808)

Michigan (5,874)

North Carolina (4,029)

West Virginia (3,893)

New York (3,699)

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.

Check out the Wild Ohio Harvest Community for kitchen inspiration on how to prepare this season’s deer. The Wild Ohio Harvest Cookbook shares imaginative venison recipes, or join an upcoming venison preparation class for hands-on experience.

Keep up with the Division of Wildlife on Facebook and Instagram for instant news stories, outdoor recreation ideas, local wildlife information, wildlife photos, and so much more. Visit wildohio.gov to find locations to hunt, fish, trap, and view wildlife. In preparation for the 2023-24 hunting seasons, download the free HuntFish OH mobile app to purchase licenses and permits, check game, and view wildlife area maps.

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.

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