COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – There was nearly double the number of deer checked on opening day of gun deer hunting season in Ohio this year compared to 2019.

On Monday, Nov. 29, 21,754 deer were checked. That’s up from 10,905 last year. During the past three years, hunters took an average of 13,349 deer on opening day.

Ohio’s gun season is open until Sunday, Dec. 5, and again for two days on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18-19.

The big numbers this year could be because of the great weather. It was mostly sunny with cool temperatures on opening day. Last year, hunters were met with snow and rain.

“This fall has reaffirmed once again that Ohio is a top deer hunting state, thanks to decades of stable deer management practices,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “This year’s weather cooperated for an outstanding opening day harvest, generating about 1 million pounds of venison and feeding Ohio’s families.”

Deer processing centers are also getting slammed because of the big numbers this year. Cars were lined up early Wednesday at Butch’r Holl’r in Hubbard. By 10 a.m. they had to stop accepting any more processing customers.

“This is unreal. I’ve been coming here for over eight years, and I’ve never seen this many deer coming in here and how they’ve been doing it,’ said Richard Harker.

Ohio archery hunters have taken 79,538 deer through Monday, Nov. 29. Plus, Ohio’s young hunters checked 7,634 deer during the 2021 youth gun season, Nov. 20-21.