COLUMBUS – Ohio hunters took 104,442 white-tailed deer during the state’s popular, week-long deer-gun season, which ran November 29 through December 5, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. In 2009, hunters killed a preliminary total of 114,633 deer during the same time period.
Counties reporting the highest numbers of deer brought to Ohio check stations last week included Tuscarawas-5,513, Harrison-3,721, Guernsey-3,455, Licking-3,351, Coshocton-3,320, Washington-2,935, Knox- 2,843, Holmes-2,800, Muskingum 2,447 and Athens-2,395.
A total of 163,362 deer have been harvested so far this season when combining the adult and youth gun seasons, early muzzleloader season, and the first six weeks of the archery season. That compares to a total of 178,397 killed last year during the same time period. Hunters took a record total of 261,314 deer during all of last year’s hunting seasons.
The statewide deer population was estimated to be 750,000 in late September, prior to the start of the hunting season. Approximately 420,000 hunters were expected to participate in the statewide deer-gun season.
Hunters still have a weekend of deer-gun hunting, December 18-19, and nine weeks of archery hunting in Ohio. Archery season remains open until February 6, 2011. The statewide muzzleloader deer-hunting season will be held January 8 -11, 2011.
Donations of extra deer will be accepted through the entire deer season which ends on February 6, 2011. Hunters who give their deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer are taken to a participating processor and funding for the effort lasts. Counties being served by this program can be found online at www. fhfh.org.
The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio’s first modern day deer-gun season opened in 1943 in three counties, when hunters harvested 168 deer. In 1956, deer hunting was allowed in all 88 counties and hunters killed 3,911 deer during that one-week season.
Lake area deer harvests – with 2009 marked in ( ) – were: Fairfield County -1,605(1,964), Licking County -3,351(3,734) and Perry County -1,979 (2,046).