Young hunters gain invaluable experience during youth weekend

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s young hunters checked 5,795 white-tailed deer during the 2020 two-day youth gun season on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 21-22, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. All of Ohio’s youth hunting opportunities are available to anyone who is 17 years old or younger during the season dates.

“The Division of Wildlife is pleased to provide the chance for youth hunters to pursue white-tailed deer during their special weekend every November,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “Learning to hunt from an experienced mentor is a time-tested and valuable method for teaching the next generation.”

The top 10 counties for deer harvested during the youth season include: Coshocton (239); Holmes (223); Tuscarawas (206); Muskingum (172); Knox (168); Guernsey (148); Harrison (133); Washington (121); Morgan (118); and Ross (118).

Both Meigs and Gallia Counties reported 99 deer harvested during the youth hunt weekend.

The most deer taken during a two-day youth season was in 2007, when 10,059 deer were checked by young hunters. This year, 40,030 youth deer permits have been issued and can be used during any 2020-2021 deer season. This number does not include young hunters hunting on their family’s land that are not required to have a permit. The average deer harvest during the past three youth seasons is 5,909.

Ohio offers many more opportunities for hunters of all ages to pursue deer. The deer-gun season is Monday, Nov. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 6, as well as Dec. 19-20. Deer-muzzleloader season is Saturday, Jan. 2, through Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. Deer-archery season is open now through Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. Find complete details in the 2020-2021 Ohio Hunting Regulations or at More information on previous seasons can be found in the Deer Harvest Summary.

Youth hunters were required to be accompanied by a nonhunting adult during the weekend deer season. Youth hunting seasons are also available for small game, wild turkey, and waterfowl. Anyone interested in learning to hunt or becoming a mentor to a new hunter can visit the Wild Ohio Harvest Community Page for information on how to get started, hunting-related workshops, and special hunting opportunities for mentors and new hunters.

The Division of Wildlife can help you take advantage of all Ohio has to offer. Download the HuntFish OH app and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for instant news stories, outdoor recreation ideas, and local wildlife information. The Your Wild Ohio Hunter Facebook page provides hunting tips and useful information as you get outside this season.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit to find out more.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at