Ohio DNR Releases Deer Harvest Numbers

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Ohio deer hunters took a record 237,316 deer during the 2006-07 hunting season and for the third year in a row the harvest surpassed 200,000, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The total number of deer taken was 13 percent above last year's season total of 209,513.

"We are very satisfied with this year's record harvest," said Steven A. Gray, chief of the Division of Wildlife. "Ohio's deer management program is a model for the country. The challenge now becomes maintaining a healthy deer herd into the future."

Counties reporting the highest number of whitetails killed during the deer hunting season included:

  • Coshocton - 8,657
  • Guernsey - 7,512
  • Tuscarawas - 7,478
  • Muskingum - 7,386
  • Licking - 7,004
  • Knox - 6,739
  • Harrison - 6,171
  • Jefferson - 5,743
  • Holmes - 5,732
  • Washington - 5,645

Deer-gun season produced the greatest portion of the harvest, with 112,260 deer killed. Archery hunters took a total of 67,912 deer. The early muzzleloader season (336), special hunts at Ravenna and NASA (640), youth-gun season (8,315), the first-ever bonus deer-gun weekend (24,982), and the statewide muzzleloader season (22,871), accounted for the remainder.

The 2006-07 season also produced many trophy deer, including two notable ones from Adams County harvested in the archery season. Taken on the 2006 opening day, Johnathan Schmucker's 34-point non-typical white-tailed deer scored 291 2/8, making it the fourth largest non-typical white-tailed deer harvested in the world. Justin Metzner's 12-point typical whitetail arrowed on October 21, scored 196 6/8, positioning it to be the fourth largest typical deer killed in Ohio.

Deer hunting contributes an estimated $266 million to Ohio's economy each year and helps to support thousands of jobs. Venison is delicious and nutritious meat, low in fat and cholesterol. It is the number one wild game served by hunters in Ohio. Deer hunters also contribute thousands of pounds of venison to organizations that help feed less-fortunate Ohio residents through special programs.

Ohio's first modern day deer-gun season opened in 1943 in three counties, where hunters harvested 168 deer. In 1956, deer hunting was allowed in all 88 counties and hunters killed 3,911 deer during that one-week season.

The 2007-08 deer season proposals will be the subject of a vote at the Ohio Wildlife Council meeting scheduled for April 4 in Columbus.