Ohio Deer Harvest Declines

Hunters killed 27,000 fewer deer than last year. State attributes lower numbers to higher quality herd.

Published on: Feb 13, 2014

"This year's white-tailed deer harvest indicates we are on target to maintain a high-quality deer herd," says Scott Zody, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife Chief. "Ohio remains one of the best deer hunting states in the nation."

the Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio's deer populations through a combination of regulatory and programmatic changes, Zody says. 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. This ensures that Ohio's deer herd is maintained at a level that is both acceptable to most, and biologically sound.

Ohio Deer Harvest Declines
Ohio Deer Harvest Declines

Until recently, the populations in nearly all of Ohio's counties were above their target numbers.  In the last few years, through increased harvests, dramatic strides have been made in many counties to bring those populations closer toward their goal. Once a county's deer population is near goal, harvest regulations are adjusted to maintain the population near that goal.

The Ohio counties that reported the most checked deer for all implements during the 2013-2014 season: Coshocton (6,270), Tuscarawas (5,774), Licking (5,711), Muskingum (5,547), Guernsey (5,307), Ashtabula (4,981), Harrison (4,533), Knox (4,529), Carroll (4,203) and Athens (4,053). Coshocton County also reported the most deer harvested in 2012-2013 (7,413).

Hunters continue to utilize various methods to report deer kills. Since the deer season began on Sept. 28, 2013, 47% of hunters phoned in their report, 32% reported online, 11% traveled to a license agent's location, and 10% used the new mobile-friendly website.

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

A list of all white-tailed deer checked by hunters during Ohio's 2013-2014 hunting season is shown below. The first number following the county's name shows the harvest numbers for 2013-2014, and the 2012-2013 numbers are in parentheses.

Adams: 3,849 (4,111); Allen: 1,057 (1,110); Ashland: 2,931 (3,149); Ashtabula: 4,981 (4,974); Athens: 4,053 (4,387); Auglaize: 789 (986); Belmont: 3,953 (4,731); Brown: 2,526 (2,933); Butler: 1,503 (1,498); Carroll: 4,203 (4,825); Champaign: 1,243 (1,453); Clark: 779 (862); Clermont: 2,830 (3,141); Clinton: 883 (1,007); Columbiana: 3,669 (3,893); Coshocton: 6,270 (7,413); Crawford: 1,033 (1,236); Cuyahoga: 681 (713); Darke: 589 (1,004); Defiance: 1,576 (1,911); Delaware: 1,516 (1,901); Erie: 760 (719); Fairfield: 2,245 (2,608); Fayette: 292 (302); Franklin: 719 (879); Fulton: 859 (980); Gallia: 2,899 (3,370); Geauga: 1,849 (2,131); Greene: 956 (1,105); Guernsey: 5,307 (6,151); Hamilton: 2,069 (2,175); Hancock: 908 (1,338); Hardin: 1,207 (1,306); Harrison: 4,533 (5,365); Henry: 642 (750); Highland: 2,714 (3,250); Hocking: 3,514 (4,206); Holmes: 3,958 (4,565); Huron: 2,139 (2,298); Jackson: 2,769 (3,440); Jefferson: 3,286 (4,161); Knox: 4,529 (5,288); Lake: 793 (1,004); Lawrence: 2,238 (2,672); Licking: 5,711 (6,928); Logan: 1,917 (2,094); Lorain: 2,342 (2,460); Lucas: 736 (677); Madison: 451 (452); Mahoning: 2,207 (2,034); Marion: 833 (901); Medina: 1,937 (1,978); Meigs: 3,336 (3,832); Mercer: 625 (804); Miami: 881 (961); Monroe: 2,623 (3,478); Montgomery: 687 (804); Morgan: 3,080 (3,597); Morrow: 1,549 (1,936); Muskingum: 5,547 (6,457); Noble: 3,091 (3,513); Ottawa: 402 (379); Paulding: 1,047 (1,194); Perry: 2,731 (3,477); Pickaway: 804 (1,044); Pike: 2,096 (2,262); Portage: 2,005 (2,280); Preble: 1,070 (1,205); Putnam: 687 (786); Richland: 3,242 (3,878); Ross: 3,087 (3,559); Sandusky: 773 (794); Scioto: 2,705 (2,821); Seneca: 1,641 (1,923); Shelby: 1,103 (1,294); Stark: 2,578 (2,597); Summit: 1,428 (1,417); Trumbull: 3,592 (3,553); Tuscarawas: 5,774 (6,813); Union: 826 (961); Van Wert: 491 (638); Vinton: 3,133 (3,395); Warren: 1,344 (1,605); Washington: 3,298 (4,091); Wayne: 1,908 (2,108); Williams: 1,903 (2,096); Wood: 729 (863) and Wyandot: 1,410 (1,670). Total: 191,459 (218,910).

Source: ODNR