Hunters checked 12,505 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s muzzleloader season, Jan. 9-12, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). During last year’s muzzleloader season 13,724 white-tailed deer were checked.
Hunters still have opportunities to pursue deer this winter, as archery season remains open through Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016.
Deer Management Goals
The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. 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.
Until recently, deer populations in nearly all of Ohio’s counties were well above goal. In the last few years, through increased antlerless harvests, most counties are now at or near goal. Therefore, to help stabilize deer populations, bag limits were reduced, and antlerless permit use has been eliminated in most counties for the 2015-2016 season.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife is in the process of revising Ohio’s population goals and is asking hunters that receive the survey to help by completing and returning their survey as soon as possible. Hunters for this year’s survey were randomly selected from the list of hunters who purchased a license and deer permit by Nov. 16. Landowner surveys have already been completed, and hunter surveys were mailed early in December. Public input is an important part of Ohio’s deer management program, and survey participants are asked to complete and return their surveys to ensure that hunters have a clear voice in helping to decide the direction of deer management in Ohio.
Hunting is the best and most effective management tool for maintaining Ohio’s healthy deer population. Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.
Find more information about deer hunting in the Ohio 2015-2016 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.gov. An updated deer harvest report is posted online each Wednesday at wildohio.gov/deerharvest.
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.