Youth hunter Charlie Bailey of New Madison gets his first buck during 2012’s youth deer-gun season.
COLUMBUS — The 10th annual youth deer-gun season proved successful for many hunters across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ 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,” ODNR Director James Zehringer said. “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 were Tuscarawas (317), Coshocton (295), Muskingum (280), Licking (262), Knox (247), Holmes (235), Belmont (234), Guernsey (232), Harrison (225) and Washington (196). These also were the top 10 counties in 2011, although the order was different.
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 also can 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 also are 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 Nov. 26 through 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.