Deer harvest shows increase from last year

Water and Wings by Ken Parrott

Ohio’s white-tailed deer hunters concluded the 2019-2020 hunting season by harvesting 184,465 deer, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. Deer hunting in Ohio began Sept. 28, and concluded Feb. 2. The final harvest total represents all deer taken during archery, gun, muzzleloader, and youth seasons. During the 2018-2019 deer hunting seasons, 172,670 deer were checked.

Top 10 counties for deer harvest during the 2019-2020 seasons include: Coshocton (6,715), Tuscarawas (5,781), Ashtabula (4,949), Muskingum (4,929), Licking (4,878), Knox (4,746), Guernsey (4,524), Holmes (4,507), Carroll (3,843) and Trumbull (3,668).

Ohio’s youth hunters harvested 6,234 on Nov. 23-24, 2019. During the 2019 weeklong and two-day deer-gun seasons, hunters checked in 77,187 deer. Muzzleloader hunters added an additional 10,615 deer from Jan. 4-7, 2020. On Feb. 2, archery hunters concluded their season with 88,860 deer taken. Archery hunters accounted for 48% of deer checked in 2019-2020. Ohio’s record deer harvest was in 2009-2010, when 261,260 were checked.

Ohio is a popular hunting destination for many out-of-state hunters. During the 2019-2020 hunting seasons, more than 34,000 nonresident Ohio hunting licenses were sold. The top five states for purchasing a nonresident hunting license in Ohio include: Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, North Carolina and New York.

Each year, Ohioans take an estimated 171 million outdoor recreation trips and contribute $5.9 billion to the Buckeye State’s economy, according to a report titled Economic Valuation of Natural Areas in Ohio recently released by The Ohio State University.

Anyone interested in learning to hunt or becoming a mentor to a new hunter can visit the Wild Ohio Harvest Community page on their website for information on how to get started, hunting-related workshops as well as special hunting opportunities for mentors and new hunters.

The Division of Wildlife can help you take advantage of all the hunting opportunities Ohio has to offer. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook for instant news stories, outdoor recreation ideas, local wildlife information and so much more. The Facebook page provides hunting tips and useful information as you get outside this season. Visit to find locations to hunt, fish, trap and view wildlife. And don’t forget to follow them on Instagram to view the best of Ohio’s wildlife photography.

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 to find out more.

• Go undercover into a secretive world at the 36th annual Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference on March 4 in Columbus, where you can learn more about unnoticed and misunderstood wildlife here in the Buckeye State. Sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, registration is now open to the public for UNDERCOVER: THE UNSEEN WORLD OF WILDLIFE at the Ohio Union on The Ohio State University campus.

Representatives from a multitude of conservation and natural resource organizations, including ODNR, will offer displays and be available to answer questions. From the reclusive whip-poor-will to the mysterious world of bats, this conference will decipher the encrypted lives of Ohio’s undercover wildlife.

This year’s keynote speaker is Jim McCormac, who will present “Mysterious Moths: The Darker Side of Butterflies.” A well-known Ohio author and photographer, McCormac has spent decades studying Ohio’s wildlife.

The event is Wednesday, March 4. Doors open at 8 a.m. and runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Ohio Union, 1739 North High Street, Columbus, 43210. Conference attendees should park in the Ohio Union South parking garage for $10. Pre-registration is encouraged and can be completed at or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). Registration is available at the following rates: Discounted rate (register by March 1): $25; Rate after March 1 and at the door: $35; Student rate: $10. Those who preregister by March 1 will have the option of signing up for lunch.

Conference attendees who pre-register may also purchase the 2020 Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp and pin featuring an Io moth caterpillar at the discounted price of $12 — a 20% discount. Stamps and pins will also be available for purchase at the conference for the regular price of $15. Proceeds from the sale of the Wildlife Legacy Stamp are used to support endangered and threatened native species, habitat restoration, land purchases, conservation easements, and educational products for students and wildlife enthusiasts. More information can be found at

Ohio’s event is the largest single-day wildlife diversity conference in the country. The first Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference was held at The Ohio State University in 1985 with 40 people in attendance. In 2019, approximately 1,000 people attended the daylong event.

Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!

Water and Wings by Ken Parrott

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS