ODNR file photo

Ohio’s deer muzzleloader hunting season concluded on Tuesday. Hunters harvested 12,141 deer during the four-day season.

COLUMBUS — Ohio hunters completed the 2022 muzzleloader season with 12,141 deer checked from Jan. 8-11, 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 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.

“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 three 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 Feb. 6.

Deer hunting occurs in all 88 counties and Ohio hunters have purchased 394,059 deer permits through 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.

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