Ohio hunters check 22,620 deer on opening day of gun season
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Hunters checked 22,620 white-tailed deer on Monday, Dec. 2, the opening day of Ohio’s deer-gun hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The deer-gun season remains open through Sunday, Dec. 8. Hunters are encouraged to take to the field to enjoy the six days remaining in the deer-gun season. Hunting is the best and most effective management tool for maintaining Ohio’s healthy deer population.
Approximately 420,000 hunters are expected to participate in this year’s season. Find more information about deer hunting in the Ohio 2013-2014 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.com.
So far this season, hunters have harvested 109,932 deer compared to 113,107 at the same point in the season last year, which represents a 3% difference.
Counties reporting the highest numbers of deer checked in 2013: Coshocton (940), Ashtabula (880), Tuscarawas (853), Muskingum (831), Guernsey (742), Harrison (738), Carroll (698), Knox (645), Columbiana (584) and Licking (572).
The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations through a combination of regulatory and programmatic changes. Progress toward reducing locally abundant herds closer to target levels is expected and strides have already been made in reducing deer herds in many counties that are above their targeted levels.
Hunters are encouraged to harvest more antlerless deer in some areas of Ohio this season to help the needy in their area and also manage deer populations. The ODNR Division of Wildlife is working with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who donate a deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as funding for the effort is available. More information about this program can be found online at fhfh.org.
Other opportunities for hunters to donate venison can be pursued through Safari Club International’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program. Information about this program can be found at safariclubfoundation.org. Whitetails Unlimited chapters also use local funds for programs such as venison donation. Go to whitetailsunlimited.com to find a local chapter and make a donation.
Deer hunting in Ohio continues to be a popular activity for many who enjoy the outdoors. Ohio hunters checked 218,910 deer during the 2012-2013 season. Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.
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.