COLUMBUS — The 10th annual youth deer-gun season proved successful for many hunters across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
“This excellent youth deer-gun season is a tribute to our young hunters as well as the non-hunting adults who accompanied them this weekend,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “Offering special hunting seasons encourages families to spend time together outdoors, and we are glad so many young Ohioans participated this year.”
Youth hunters checked 9,178 white-tailed deer during the two-day season, Nov. 17-18. The harvest total represents a 5.7 percent increase from 2011 (8,681) and is the highest total since 2009 (9,269). Youth hunters have checked at least 8,300 deer every year since 2005.
Counties reporting the highest number of deer checked: Tuscarawas (317), Coshocton (295), Muskingum (280), Licking (262), Knox (247), Holmes (235), Belmont (234), Guernsey (232), Harrison (225) and Washington (196). These were also the top 10 counties in 2011, although the order was different.
Gallia County had 142 deer checked in, up from 121 last year, while Meigs County had 156 checked in, down from 167 last year.
Ohio’s youth deer-gun season was open in all 88 counties. All participants were required to wear hunter orange, possess a valid Ohio youth hunting license and youth deer permit and also be accompanied by a non-hunting adult.
Youth hunters may commemorate their achievement with a First Harvest certificate, available at wildohio.com. Participants can upload a photo and type in their information to personalize the certificate. Hunters can also share photos by clicking on the Photo Gallery tab online.
The youth deer-gun season is one of four special youth-only hunting seasons designed to offer a safe and excellent early hunting experience for young hunters. Special seasons are also set aside for upland game, wild turkey and waterfowl hunting.
All hunters will have a chance at bagging a white-tailed deer during the statewide deer-gun season, which is open Monday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Dec. 2 and an additional weekend, Dec. 15-16. More information can be found in the 2012-13 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations and at wildohio.com.