Largest Deer Harvest Ever

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Hunters harvested 22,088 deer during the four-day primitive "blackpowder" season, making this year's total deer harvest the highest on record in the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Since Ohio's deer season opened in early October, more than 191,324 deer have been harvested across the state.

The statewide primitive weapons deer hunting season was open in all 88 Ohio counties from December 27 - 30. The season's results add to preliminary tallies for the state's deer gun season with 133,163 deer harvested and the first six weeks of archery season with more than 36,073 deer so far harvested. Archery season remains open through January 31.

The past overall record deer harvest was set in 1995 with a total harvest of more than 179,543 deer.

"Ohio hunters experienced great early archery, gun and primitive weapons seasons this year," said Mike Budzik, chief of the ODNR Division of Wildlife. "We are especially pleased that so many hunters were able to expand their time in the field thanks to Ohio?s new Sunday hunting options."

Counties reporting the highest number of deer checked during the primitive deer season included Washington - 862; Harrison - 831; Tuscarawas - 828; Athens - 749; and Monroe - 738.

Also referred to as the muzzleloader deer season, hunters were able to use muzzleloading rifles of .38 caliber or larger, muzzleloading shotguns using a single ball, crossbows, or longbows. An estimated 90 percent of the deer taken during the primitive season are by hunters using muzzleloaders.