Ohio’s young hunters braved less than ideal weather conditions over the weekend and checked 4,958 whitetail deer during the two-day youth gun season, Nov. 18-19, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). During last year’s youth gun season, 5,930 whitetail deer were checked.

Totals taken in local counties include (2016 in parentheses): Belmont, 143 (147); Coshocton, 225 (222); Guernsey, 155 (197); Harrison, 119 (116); Muskingum, 164 (162); Noble, 75 (118); Tuscarawas, 188 (178).

Youth hunters could pursue deer with a legal shotgun, muzzleloader, handgun or specific straight-walled cartridge rifle and were required to be accompanied by a non-hunting adult during the two-day season. The youth deer-gun season is one of four special youth-only hunting seasons designed to offer a dedicated hunting experience for young hunters. Youth hunting seasons are also available for small game, wild turkey and waterfowl.

Ohio offers many more opportunities for hunters of all ages to pursue deer. The deer-gun season is Monday, Nov. 27, through Sunday, Dec. 3, and Dec. 16-17. Deer-muzzleloader season is Saturday, Jan. 6, through Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. Deer-archery season is open now through Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. Find complete details in the 2017-2018 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.gov.

Youth hunters can commemorate their hunt with a First Harvest certificate, available at wildohio.gov. 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.

For summaries of past deer seasons, visit wildohio.gov/?deerharvest.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.

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