The one weekend-long Ohio muzzleloader season, which ran in from October 11th-12th, saw an 18 percent increase in total harvest over the previous year.
In 2013, the Ohio Division of Natural Resources (ODNR) introduced a new opportunity for Ohio hunters to harvest a deer during a two-day season to hunt antlerless deer with a muzzleloading weapon.
This season would take place much earlier than Ohio’s normal gun seasons and was introduced to encourage hunters to harvest an antlerless deer to help control the state’s deer population.
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The first year of the season saw 5,608 antlerless deer harvested during the short season. In 2014, hunters checked 6,613 antlerless deer during the same time period, a sharp increase of 18 percent.
An additional 1,313 antlerless deer were harvested with archery equipment during the early muzzleloader season as well. The weekend total for deer harvested during this season in 2014 was 7,926 which was a 21 percent increase over the total in 2013 (6,553).
The top county for deer checked during the early antlerless muzzleloader in 2014 was Ashtabula County in extreme northeast Ohio with 228 antlerless deer checked. Other top counties included Columbiana, Coshocton, and Licking.
If you missed out on the early Ohio hunting antlerless muzzleloading season, do not fear. There are still plenty of times to hunt with a gun in Ohio this season. “The youth gun season is Nov. 22-23, gun season is Dec. 1-7, muzzleloader season is Jan. 2-5, 2015, and archery season is open through Feb. 1, 2015,” according to the ODNR.
Ohio is one of the top whitetail deer hunting destinations in the Midwest and the ODNR is dedicated to offering hunters a wide variety of opportunities to enjoy the Buckeye State’s natural resources. The 2013-14 deer hunting season in Ohio saw a total of 191,459 deer harvested and Ohio ranks fifth in the nation in resident hunters.
For more information on the early antlerless muzzleloader season, including a full county by county breakdown of deer harvested, go here.