(PRESS RELEASE) COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s popular white-tailed deer gun hunting seasons begin in November, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Youth season, for hunters 17 and younger, is Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18-19. The weeklong gun season, open to all hunters, kicks off Monday, Nov. 27 and runs until Sunday, Dec. 3. The deer gun weekend is Dec. 16-17.
“Ohio’s deer gun hunting seasons are a valued tradition that create time outdoors with friends and family,” ODNR Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker said. “The gun seasons are an excellent opportunity to harvest venison before the holidays.”
Hunters harvested 96,610 deer during the 2022 gun season. That total includes 71,932 deer taken during the seven-day gun season, which traditionally begins the Monday after Thanksgiving.
There were 9,515 deer checked by hunters 17 and younger during last year’s youth weekend, and another 15,163 deer in the December gun weekend. The three-year average for deer harvested in the gun seasons is 92,108.
Deer gun harvest totals are typically highest in the eastern half of Ohio. Coshocton (2,457), Muskingum (2,326), Tuscarawas (2,321), Ashtabula (1,987), and Knox (1,909) counties led the state in harvests during the 2022 seven-day gun season.
Legal hunting implements during the gun seasons include shotguns, straight-walled cartridge rifles, muzzleloaders, handguns, and archery equipment.
Ohio’s deer muzzleloader hunting season is Jan. 6-9, 2024, when muzzleloaders and archery equipment are legal hunting implements.
During any of the gun seasons, all hunters, regardless of implement, are required to wear hunter orange. Check the 2023-24 Hunting and Trapping Regulations for more information.
The hunting and trapping regulations include information on county bag limits, licenses and permits, and the Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance area in Hardin, Marion, and Wyandot counties. As a reminder, deer management permits are valid only until Sunday, Nov. 26.
During the gun seasons, Ohio hunters will need an either-sex permit, unless exempted, available at wildohio.gov, on the HuntFish OH app, and at license vendors.
The free HuntFish OH mobile app can be downloaded from the app store to conveniently purchase fishing and hunting licenses, view wildlife area maps, check county bag limits, and much more.
Users can access the Division of Wildlife’s online system to check harvested deer while out in the field, even without a Wi-Fi connection.
All deer harvested in Ohio are required to be checked in the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System. This gives the Division of Wildlife a long-term data set that aids wildlife biologists in monitoring deer health, distribution, and relative abundance.
Hunters can check game by using the HuntFish OH mobile app, visiting ohiogamecheck.com, calling 1-877-TAG-IT-OH (1-877-824-4864), visiting a license sales agent, or calling 1-866-703-1298 (landowner operator-assisted; fees apply).
Hunters interested in tracking the season’s harvest can view weekly deer harvest reports at wildohio.gov. The Division of Wildlife posts deer harvest numbers each Wednesday throughout the hunting season. A final report is also posted after the conclusion of the archery season.
Help protect Ohio’s wildlife resources during the gun seasons and beyond. Report any violations to the division’s Turn-In-a-Poacher (TIP) hotline by calling 1-800-POACHER (762-2437). All reports remain anonymous, and tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward.
The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.
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.