Ohio Deer Population:  An estimated 660,000 deer in 2015, up from about 640,000 in 2014.  Hunting data indicates little change in 2016.  The state has been trying to slowly increase the population.  Estimated at about 725,000 prior to the hunting season in 2013 and 2012.  About 800,000 deer in 2001.  Herd analysis at right.  Proposed Ohio deer regulations for 2016-17.  Historical Ohio deer hunting data and news archive.

Ohio Deer News

Lyme Disease is on the rise in Ohio March 9, 2017 Fremont News Messenger
... Another misconception is that white-tailed deer are the main reservoir of the bacteria causing the disease... In particular, the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus, and its closely related cousin the deer mouse, P. maniculatus, seem uniquely well-suited to serve the tick’s (and the bacteria’s) needs...

... while no one portion of Ohio is seeing any “worrisome” decline in deer herd strength, the wildlife division is proposing some “adjustments” to all-seasons’ bag limits in northwest Ohio... most deer hunting license sales have either remained stagnant or else have declined ...

Will special deer hunts let Iowa prevent spread of fatal disease? Chronic Wasting Disease March 2, 2017 Iowa, DesMoinesRegister.com
... The hunt has sparked debate about how Iowa should battle the disease, discovered in 18 wild deer since 2013 ... "I don't see the reason to kill 250 to 300 deer," said Matt Stark, who lives in Coralville but hunts regularly in northeast Iowa.  "In southwestern Wisconsin, they killed any whitetail deer that walked. … And the disease is still there." ...

... "Part of that deer management plan includes having a good idea of the number of deer that you have within your municipality,"  ... Avon Lake does a deer survey in early March. So to facilitate economies of scale, when they do their flyover, we're going to go in with them and have them do Bay Village  ...

Views sought on hunting changes February 25, 2017 Ohio, Marietta Times
Ohio Division of Natural Resources released its 2017-2018 hunting season proposal ... One of the new proposals is increasing the bag limit from two deer to three. This proposed change is designed to slow the rate of growth but still allow the herds to increase...

... Bobcats hunt small mammals like rabbits, squirrels and mice; there have also been reports of bobcats killing a small deer ... Southeast Ohio has breeding pairs,  ... the population seems to be doing well and here to stay ...

... poaching and the illegal sales of wild game ... one of 22 suspects charged with 55 violations as part of Operation North Coast in northwest Ohio...

Final deer harvest numbers pretty underwhelming February 18, 2017 Ohio, New Philadelphia Times Reporter
...  from a strictly numbers standpoint, it was the second-worst season of the last eight ... the coyote population has exploded.  ... The bottom line is this: the herd is undoubtedly smaller than it was with similar factors working against it ever getting much bigger... 

Deer numbers drop, but not drastically February 11, 2017 Ohio, MyDaytonDailyNews
...Ohio Division of Wildlife biologists, who have been trying to slowly build up the state’s deer herd. 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.” ..,

     Hunters checked 182,169 white-tailed deer throughout Ohio’s 2016-2017 deer season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Last year, 188,329 deer were checked during the 2015-2016 season...

Will deer sterilization thin a local herd? January 31, 2017 Ohio, Cincinnati.com
... the second year of the Clifton Deer Fertility Control Pilot Program ... Last year, White Buffalo observed 24 to 28 fawns. This year they believe there were only four to eight... "We know there are people who will do it for free," Rack said. "But we have to absolutely make sure they get trained well enough." ...

Avon Lake, Changing faces on Avon Lake city council January 30, 2017 Ohio, cleveland.com
... Shondel said the deer problem began in 2005 and, though the city has eliminated several hundred deer, the problem remains. "I am most proud of the deer management program that I spearheaded as environmental chair," ...

Toledo council falls short in changing law for kill January 25, 2017 Ohio, Toledo Blade
... Toledo City Council narrowly failed to approve a proposal Tuesday that would allow the Metroparks of the Toledo Area to conduct deer kills in Swan Creek Preserve Metropark ...  many South Toledo residents oppose killing the deer, and some were shocked the city would allow high-powered rifles to be fired within the city limits...

... The number of deer sterilized:  Ten deer in January 2017 (all the team could find in the 1-mile area)   Forty-one deer in December 2015 ... CliftonDeer.org  names two obstacles: "migration might offset attrition," and "very low population goals might be impossible to achieve because of the difficulty to sterilize 100 percent of the does." ...

Ottawa Hills ends deer hunt January 23, 2017 Ohio, Toledo Blade
... The contested controlled hunt aimed at curbing the white-tailed deer population in Ottawa Hills ... bow hunters on Jan. 6 reached their 30-deer limit ... Hunters were selected from a random drawing and were required to complete a background check, a bow hunting proficiency test, pay $100 ...

Are coyotes affecting local fawn recruitment? January 22, 2017 Ohio, Sandusky Register
... hunters in Ohio and throughout the Midwest have seen deer populations decline over the past several years. Wildlife managers have been forced to reduce antlerless deer harvest ... An Ohio State University study done several years ago showed deer made up as much as 22 percent of coyote diets, but could not reveal the source of the prey, which could have included road killed animals..

Toledo, Council may change law to allow deer kill January 17, 2017 Ohio, Toledo Blade
... Toledo City Council reviewed legislation Tuesday that would allow the Metroparks of the Toledo Area to kill white-tailed deer in Swan Creek Preserve Metropark in South Toledo and Middlegrounds Metropark near downtown...

Mystery surrounds deer carcasses dumped in Summit County January 17, 2017 Ohio, WKYC-TV
... from Akron toward Clinton on Rex Hill Road ... In plain view on the side of the road, she saw four deer, bloody and partially butchered. “There was duct tape around parts of them and some parts of them were skinned,

Weather blamed for Ohio's lackluster deer season January 15, 2017 Columbus Dispatch
... the season total, including the bow kill, was at 175,832 deer, some 5,100 behind the total of a year ago. Tonkovich had forecast a 2016-17 harvest of about 200,000 whitetails, bettering last year’s total of 188,335 ...

Ohio Hunters Harvest Nearly 16,000 Deer during Ohio's Muzzleloader Season January 12, 2017 Ohio Department of Natural Resources
... Hunters checked 15,843 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s muzzleloader season, Jan. 7-10, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). During last year’s muzzleloader season, 12,503 white-tailed deer were checked...

Mentor, Deer culling starts in northeast Ohio, Mentor using sharpshooters January 11, 2017 NewsNet 5
... A mother deer and a baby come up to the fence and let me pet them on the head ...

Toledo, City fights Metroparks over planned deer kill January 5, 2017 Ohio, Toledo Blade
... Metroparks plans to kill as many as 50 white-tailed deer  ... Councilman Rob Ludeman said he opposed the idea, in part because the presence of deer at Swan Creek attracts people to the park. Mr. Ludeman said the kills should be prohibited based on city law and viewed the permit as an attack on home rule...
Toledo officials move to stop Metroparks deer cull January 4, 2017 Ohio, Toledo Blade
... The Hicks-Hudson administration plans to take “whatever steps it deems necessary” to stop a Metroparks of the Toledo Area plan to kill white-tailed deer in Swan Creek Preserve Metropark because the cull would violate city law prohibiting hunting and discharging a firearm...

Lyndhurst begins 2017 deer culling program January 4, 2017 Ohio, Cleveland Plain Dealer
... will again use the trap-and-bolt method that caused some residents, as well as those from surrounding communities, to protest in 2016... In 2016, the city was permitted to kill as many as 25, but stopped at 13 ...

Cleveland, Annual deer culling to resume in Cleveland Metroparks January 2, 2017 Ohio, cleveland.com
... sharpshooters are expected to begin culling deer in 11 reservations by mid-January ... Cleveland Metroparks began lethal culling in 1998 ...
   Deer population prompts plan for Metroparks kills January 2, 2017 Ohio, Toledo Blade 
... Metroparks of the Toledo Area plans to kill as many as 200 white-tailed deer in Oak Openings Preserve and Swan Creek Preserve metroparks over the next three months ...

8 Tiny Facts About Reindeer That Click December 22, 2016 Ohio, USAgNet
...  10,000 years ago ... reindeer lived in the area that became Ohio ... Based on DNA analysis, the study suggested that reindeer/caribou should be in two groups. One group is the caribou in southern Canada. The other group is the caribou in Alaska and northern Canada plus the reindeer in Europe and Asia. The scientists who did the study said the Ice Age split the two groups apart about 200,000 years ago ... 

Deer-gun harvest totals continue to decline December 10, 2016 Ohio, Columbus Dispatch
... Tonkovich ... had anticipated a kill of perhaps 80,000 ... the number of deer checked fell 6,580 from the 73,399 reported during the 2015 gun week... The decline in less than a decade has been dramatic, a drop of more than 40 percent  ... The wildlife division began curtailing the sale of antlerless permits in 2013...

Early on deer kill lagging in numbers December 8, 2016 Ohio, Outdoor News
... As of December 6th Ohio’s deer hunters have taken 143,602 animals...  the comparable 2015 to-date kill of 153,292 animals … last year hunters enjoyed higher than normal success due to a mast crop failure in most regions of the state.” ...

Rare white deer spotted in Youngstown December 8, 2016 Ohio, WFMJ-18 hours ago
... it is not considered to be an albino because early in the season when it should have had spots, it was more of a cream color...

Ohio deer firearm season totals drop December 6, 2016 Toledo Blade
... we’re just not seeing the deer numbers that we have in the past ... The decrease in the harvest was not a surprise, because the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ management practices in recent years have been focused on a gradual reduction in the overall herd size ...
... checked 66,759 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s 2016 deer-gun hunting season, Nov. 28-Dec. 4 ... Last year, hunters checked 73,392 deer ...
     Local deer numbers are down December 5, 2016 Ohio, Morrow County Sentinel
... Hunters checked 18,776 white-tailed deer on Monday, Nov. 28, the opening day of Ohio’s deer-gun hunting season ... In 2015, 22,253 deer were reported the first day of the deer-gun season ...

Deer management is a balancing act December 1, 2016 Ohio, Farm and Dairy
... In recent years, biologists have been using farmer and hunter surveys to help set goals for managing the herd  ... One thing is very clear. The huge number of deer that roamed the Ohio landscape a few years back will never be back. That’s a management fact ... 

Deer population stable in Ohio November 30, 2016 News-Herald.com
... a stable deer population in Ohio means the bag limits for 2016-2017 will remain the same as 2015-2016.  “The current regulations are designed to promote modest herd growth,” ... “We are seeing approximately 20 deer per square mile,”  ...


Ohio's Deer-Gun Season Opens with more than 18,000 Deer Harvested November 29, 2016 Ohio Department of Natural Resources
... Hunters checked 18,776 white-tailed deer on Monday, Nov. 28, the opening day of Ohio’s deer-gun hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). In 2015, 22,253 deer were reported the first day of the deer-gun season...

Timbering in state forests vital to wildlife and economy November 29, 2016 Ohio, Cincinnati.com
... The Ruffed Grouse Society ... strongly supports timber harvesting in Ohio’s publicly owned forests...  the creation of new growth, early successional forests or young brushy woods... supports populations of deer and wild turkey ...

... “When one area has noticeably less deer than it did in years past, I put some of the blame on the predators,” Vetell said. “I’m seeing a lot of coyotes ... Plus, we’re always pushing out into the country, building houses in what used to be habitat. It makes sense we would see less deer.” ...

Chronic wasting disease still an issue in Ohio November 26, 2016 Lancaster Eagle Gazette
... In October 2014, chronic wasting disease was found among the captive deer population at a hunting preserve and breeding facility in Holmes County, with 19 deer testing positive for the disease, according to the ODNR. Deer had escaped from the preserve into the surrounding area ...

... In 1971, 74,709 hunters bought deer permits and harvested 3,831 deer... Liberal hunting regulations allowed a half million hunters to set a record in 2010-11 with a harvest of 239,475 deer... 

... It's sickening hearing the guy who owns the vineyard accross the street, doesn't allow hunting because of the "liability" but is issued 30 deer permits, shoots them, cuts out the back straps lets the rest lay...

... During last year’s youth gun season, 7,223 white-tailed deer were checked...

... The legal deer hunting within the city limits has already produced a number of incidents with permitted hunters shooting the animal and the animal disappearing or dropping on property on which they have no permit to hunt...

Wildlife management may be determined by your perspective November 20, 2016 Ohio, Sandusky Register
... The last decade saw a disproportionate amount of change, largely due to a failure to respond to a rapidly growing deer population in the early 2000’s... the effort and decisions arrived by the DOW are geared toward keeping the deer population stable...

Weather could affect youth deer hunt this weekend November 19, 2016 Ohio, The Columbus Dispatch
... Most of the decrease in the deer harvest to date can be traced to antlerless deer. Through Monday, hunters checked 28,638 antlerless deer, fewer by 2,809 than the 31,447 checked during the same period a year ago. Some of that difference might be a function of hunter preference, but more likely the cause can be traced to restrictions on the use of antlerless permits...

Avon Lake renews agreement for deer cull; goal is 70 this year November 15, 2016 Ohio, Chronicle Telegram
... an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to hire sharpshooters to kill deer on public property.  City Council approved spending up to $43,966 ...

What Are Antlers Worth? November 14, 2016 Ohio, Outdoor Life Magazine
...Ohio sets the minimum replacement value of an antlerless deer at $500. At that valuation, the state’s whitetail herd, which is estimated at 750,000 head, would be worth more than $400 million. Adjusting for the value of bucks, the actual figure is in the billions, making wildlife one of Ohio’s most valuable resources, at least on paper...

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Hunters are setting up kill zones in Cincinnati Parks, part of a program to thin deer populations. But many people, including mothers, nannies and children, have no idea their children are playing near sites where arrows are flying in the forests. - October 10, 2016 Ohio


Deer-gun season opens Nov. 28 November 9, 2016 Ohio, Putnam County Sentinel
... The statewide bag limit is six deer. Hunters may harvest only one buck in Ohio, regardless of method of take or location... Hunters harvesting deer within DSA 2015-01 are required to bring their deer to a carcass inspection station for disease testing...

Disease Surveillance Area remains for deer season November 7, 2016 Ohio, Outdoor News
... Portions of Holmes and Wayne counties will retain their designation as Disease Surveillance Area ... Since October 2014, 19 captive white-tailed deer have tested positive for CWD at a shooting preserve and a breeding facility in Holmes County... CWD has not been detected in the nearly 1,000 wild deer tested ...

Ohio Data:   About 660,000 deer in 2015 and 640,000 in 2014 estimated from harvest data and deer-vehicle collisions. The goal for 2017 is to increase the population.  Also in 2016 when there was a significant reduction in antlerless permits and reduced deer limits which contributed to the decline in the 2016 hunt results.  About 20 deer per square mile in 2016.  A lower than average mast crop, early harvest of farm crops, and good weather contributed to the 7 percent decline in the 2015 deer kill. Ohio also issued fewer deer permits in 2015 as hunters complained that deer have been over harvested. 
     The Ohio deer population was estimated at 700,000 to 750,000 prior to the hunting season in 2013 and 2012.  About 515,000 resident deer hunters.  Although ODNR no longer makes a formal estimate, they agree that the deer population declined into 2014 as a result of a hard winter, following a general decline since about 2008.  Coyote predation is also becoming an issue.  About 800,000 deer in 2001. Hunters requested reduced bag limits after the Ohio deer harvest fell by 12.5% in 2013.  Down about 27% from 2009.  The eastern and southeastern forests have matured, reducing deer habitat.  Read the ODNR analysis of deer trends.  About 25,000 captive white-tail deer in over 500 deer breeding farms, 2016.
      The state has been testing for chronic wasting disease since 2002, the first positive case discovered in a Holmes County hunting preserve in 2014.  When the owner violated a quarantine order by moving deer from the facility, ODA ordered that all 300 deer should be destroyed.  A second deer from the hunting preserve, Wold Class Whitetails, tested positive in March, 2015.
      White-tail deer were plentiful when Ohio became a state in 1803, but were nearly wiped out by 1904 as a result of uncontrolled hunting and clearing of forests for farmland.  In 1857 Ohio’s government set a season lasting about a month, but without bag limits. Deer were declared extinct in 1909. From 1897 until 1942, there was no deer season in Ohio.  Restocking efforts in the 1920s and 1930s brought deer back to 28 counties by 1937. Hunting resumed in 1943 when 164 bucks were killed.  The deer population was estimated at 17,000 in the early 1970's. By the early 1990's, the herd was thought to be too large so hunting limits were increased, resulting in "fewer deer than we thought" by 1997 when hunting limits were reduced. The herd expanded into the early 2000's reaching about 750,000.  Restrictions were lifted again beginning in 2007, the population has been declining since.  Population estimated at 650,000 in 2005, down from 700,000 in 2004. In 2014 the state moved to a more. county based management.  Around 1980, shotgun hunters took about 90 percent of the deer.  In 2014 about half were taken by bow hunters, including crossbows.  Peak of the rut is November 11 to November 17.  In 2016 about 25,000 white-tail deer on 500 deer farms.
     Elk  The last Elk in Ohio was reportedly killed in 1840 in Ashtabula County.
     Coyotes first arrived in 1919.
     Bobcats a small breeding population mostly in the southeast.

Other useful links: 
SolonDeer: information about deer management in the city of Solon
AvonLakeDeer.com: information about deer management in the city of Avon Lake
- Compassionate Ohio, facebook page of group supporting rehab of deer 
- An Update on the Status of Ohio's Deer Herd
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Ohio Division of Wildlife

Ohio Deer Management Strategy: " The goal of Ohio's deer program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunity including viewing, photographing, and hunting while minimizing conflicts with agriculture, motor travel, and other areas of human endeavor. This has been our goal for over 40 years."