Home News Ohio Hunters Fuel 12 Million Pound Venison Bounty, Booming $1.9 Billion Economy

Ohio Hunters Fuel 12 Million Pound Venison Bounty, Booming $1.9 Billion Economy


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Deer hunting season has brought cheer to Ohio’s freezers and wallets, with harvests exceeding 200,000 for the second time in a decade. As of January 9, 2024, hunters have bagged a whopping 203,608 deer, translating to an estimated 12 million pounds of delicious venison filling Ohio homes.

This bounty follows a similar surge in 2022-23, highlighting the resurgence of deer hunting in the state. Each harvested deer yields roughly 60 pounds of meat, and with this season’s haul, hunters have contributed significantly to local food security and enjoyed the fruits of their labor.

But the impact extends beyond individual plates. Hunting generates significant economic activity, pumping $1.9 billion into Ohio’s economy last year, according to a recent report by the Wildlife Management Institute, Responsive Management, and Southwick Associates. This vital contribution underscores the crucial role hunters play in supporting rural communities and businesses.

The report further reveals that approximately 500,000 Ohio adults, or 5% of the state’s adult population, actively participate in hunting. Among these, deer hunting reigns supreme, with a staggering 91% taking part in the pursuit of white-tailed deer.

The current season’s success is evident in the breakdown of harvest methods. Hunters bagged 108,529 deer with firearms, including 10,039 during the youth season and 70,118 in the seven-day gun season. The two-day gun weekend contributed another 15,469 deer to the tally. Meanwhile, skilled archers accounted for 95,079 deer, with the archery season still open until February 4, 2024.

“Ohio’s deer hunting tradition is not just about recreation,” said John Johnson, Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. “It’s about food security, economic benefits, and responsible wildlife management. We commend our dedicated hunters for their role in contributing to the state’s well-being.”

With the archery season still ongoing, the final harvest numbers for 2023-24 are yet to be written. However, one thing is clear: Ohio’s deer hunters are making their mark, both on the dining table and in the state’s economic landscape.