Ohio’s hunters are eagerly anticipating the chance to take to the woods and fields in November when gun seasons begin for white-tailed deer. Youth hunters younger than 18 years old have their own weekend to hunt Ohio’s favorite big-game animal on Nov. 21-22. All hunters have the chance to hunt the traditional gun season from Monday, Nov. 30 to Sunday, Dec. 6, and again during the bonus weekend on Dec. 19-20.
The Buckeye State’s deer-gun hunting seasons have spanned generations of Ohioans and are a time many friends and families gather to celebrate the moment. In 2019, Ohio hunters harvested 63,567 deer during the weeklong deer-gun season, as well as an additional 13,703 deer during the two-day bonus weekend. Young hunters harvested 6,249 deer during the two-day youth weekend.
Check the 2020-2021 Ohio Hunting Regulations handbook for county-specific bag limits, updates on permits, hunting on public lands, and precautions to take if you hunt out of state. Youth hunters are required to be accompanied by a non hunting adult. Legal hunting equipment for all deer-gun seasons includes specific shotguns, muzzleloaders, handguns, straight-walled cartridge rifles, and archery equipment. More information is available at wildohio.gov.
2020 Deer-Gun Season Dates: Youth weekend: Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22. This weekend is open to hunters with a youth hunting license and deer permit. Deer-gun week: Monday, Nov. 30 to Sunday, Dec. 6. Bonus weekend: Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20.
The free HuntFish OH mobile app provides outdoor enthusiasts with convenient resources while out in the field. HuntFish OH is available for Android and iOS users and can be found in the app store. Deer hunters can use the app to check in their harvest, even without a WiFi connection. When a hunter checks game without a clear signal, harvest information is recorded and stored until the hunter moves to a location with better reception. Users can also purchase licenses and permits and view wildlife area maps through the app. Tech-savvy hunters are encouraged to help others use the app to check their game and access other areas of content.
Hunters have the option of contacting the Division of Wildlife’s toll-free hotline at 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) with questions about hunting. In addition to normal business hours, special call center hours include 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 30 to Friday, Dec. 4, for the deer-gun season.
You can report any violations to the division’s Turn-In-a-Poacher hotline by calling 800-POACHER (762-2437). All reports remain anonymous and tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward.
• Ohio’s white-tailed deer archery hunters have taken 53,922 white-tailed deer through Sunday, Nov. 8, according to the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Ohio’s archery season opened in September, and bow hunters are taking advantage of excellent hunting conditions, including fantastic weather. Ohio’s deer-archery season is open until Feb. 7, 2021.
The top 10 counties for deer taken by archery hunters so far in Ohio include: Coshocton (2,000); Licking (1,629); Tuscarawas (1,600); Ashtabula (1,558); Knox (1,430); Holmes (1,424); Trumbull (1,407); Muskingum (1,267); Guernsey (1,163), and Richland (1,101).
Deer tend to be highly active during the first two weeks of November because of the breeding season, making this period popular for many Ohio bowhunters. Hunters in the 2020 season have so far taken a nearly identical number of deer when compared to the average of the past three years, which is 53,384. Deer permit sales have increased by 3% in 2020 when compared to this same time last year (245,739 permits in 2020; 238,552 permits in 2019).
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!
Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.