COLUMBUS – Hunters now have their first opportunity to pursue white-tailed deer during the 2020-2021 archery season since it opened on Saturday, Sept. 26, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Approximately 375,000 people hunt deer in Ohio, making it the most sought-after animal in the state.
“Ohio hunters can expect another fantastic year of deer hunting,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “We have some additional public land hunting opportunities and welcome all hunters. In addition, the new HuntFish OH mobile app provides hunters more flexibility to report their harvest, and offers additional resources while people are in the field. We are looking forward to another safe and successful season.”
Ohio’s 2020-2021 deer seasons include:
Archery: Sept. 26, 2020 — Feb. 7, 2021
Youth gun: Nov. 21-22, 2020
Gun: Nov. 30 — Dec. 6, 2020, and Dec. 19-20, 2020
Muzzleloader: Jan. 2-5, 2021
Archery hunting continues to be a popular activity for Ohio’s hunters. Last season, 48% of the total deer harvest (88,106) resulted from archery hunts. For the seventh year in a row, more deer were harvested during the archery season than the weeklong gun season. By comparison, just 15 years ago the archery season accounted for less than 30% of the annual harvest.
During the 2019-2020 deer season, 184,468 deer were reported harvested by hunters, including 80,138 bucks. The 10 counties in Ohio with the highest deer harvest last season were: Coshocton (6,715), Tuscarawas (5,781), Ashtabula (4,949), Muskingum (4,929), Licking (4,878), Knox (4,746), Guernsey (4,524), Holmes (4,507), Carroll (3,843), and Trumbull (3,668).
During the 2019-2020 season, landowners reported harvesting 51,924 deer, about 28% of the total harvest. The proportion of the landowner harvest has increased substantially from 1995, when it was 19%, and has remained between 26-28% of the total harvest since 2005.
In Ohio, hunters may take only one antlered deer regardless of location or method of take. Deer limits are determined by county, and hunters cannot exceed a county limit. Deer hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes past sunset for all deer seasons. Additional details and requirements for deer hunting are contained in the 2020-2021 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet, available where licenses are sold or at wildohio.gov.
Hunters are reminded that only one antlerless deer may be taken from Ohio’s public hunting areas per license year. In addition, from Dec. 7, 2020, through Feb. 7, 2021, no antlerless deer may be taken from public hunting areas in Ohio, excluding controlled hunts. A list of public hunting areas can be found at wildohio.gov.
The Division of Wildlife remains committed to carefully managing Ohio’s deer population through a combination of regulatory and programmatic changes. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.
For more information about hunting in Ohio download the HuntFish OH mobile app or visit wildohio.gov. Follow the Your Wild Ohio Hunter Facebook page for hunting tips and useful information as you get outside this season.
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.