OHIO – Hunting season with a bow is more popular than ever, and in 2020 it helped break records.
According to the Ohio Department of Wildlife last season, Ohio archery hunters harvested more than 93,500 deer, the highest total on record. Deer harvested with archery equipment made up 47% of all deer taken during 2020-21, marking the eighth year in a row that more deer were harvested with a bow than during the weeklong gun season (71,651).
Ohio’s extremely popular deer archery hunting season opens on Saturday, Sept. 25
“White-tailed deer are highly active during October and November because of the breeding season, making these months popular for bowhunters,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “Ohio’s long-term management plan has led to quality deer hunting that is recognized as some of the best in the nation.”
Overall, hunters harvested 197,721 deer during 2020-21, 9% higher than the three-year average. The total includes 83,332 bucks, 94,763 does, and 19,626 button bucks.
Coshocton County once again led the state with 6,791 deer harvested. Other counties with a high deer harvest include: Tuscarawas (6,158), Ashtabula (5,662), Licking (5,549), Knox (5,247), Muskingum (5,171), Holmes (4,833), Guernsey (4,809), Carroll (4,123), and Trumbull (4,014).
Ohio is known nationwide for its trophy deer hunting, and a searchable list of the Buckeye Big Buck Club record book is available at wildohio.gov. The top nontypical buck scored 304⁶/⁸ and was harvested by Michael Beatty in Greene County in 2000. The two top typical bucks scored 201⅛, harvested by Brad Jerman (2004 in Warren County) and William Kontras (1986 in Clark County). All three deer were taken with archery equipment.
Landowners can now receive an incentive to allow hunters access during specific hunting seasons through the Ohio Landowner and Hunter Access Partnership Program. Visit the Ohio Landowner and Hunter Access Partnership Program page at wildohio.gov to sign up as a landowner or hunter. For those who want to try hunting Ohio’s public land, go to wildohio.gov for a list of locations.