Ohio's White-tailed Deer Hunters Have a Successful Season
Hunters kill over 250,000 deer for the first time
COLUMBUS, OH - A total of 252,017 deer were killed during Ohio's 2008-09 hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. This season's total surpasses the 2006-07 record total of 237,316.
The final number for deer killed in the 2007-08 season was 232,854.
"I was very pleased with the season. Hunters continued to put heavy pressure on the antlerless deer," said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife. "In spite of a record harvest, work remains to lower the deer population, particularly in eastern Ohio."
Graham adds, the solution is not longer seasons or larger bag limits, but access to growing deer herds. It is not realistic to rely on a limited number of hunters to hunt and harvest more deer. The Division of Wildlife along with local and state landowner organizations needs to work with landowners to find places for people to hunt. This will continue to be a priority for the Division of Wildlife and its partners in 2009.
Counties reporting the highest number of deer checked during the season were: Coshocton-9,564; Tuscarawas-8,814; Licking-7,967; Guernsey-7,916; Harrison-7,454; Muskingum-7,245; Knox-7,223; Ashtabula-6,448; Holmes-6,320 and Carroll-5,997.
The deer-gun season resulted in the greatest portion of the overall harvest with 117,468 deer taken. Archery hunters took a total of 85,856 deer. Deer killed during the early muzzleloader season (566), youth-gun season (9,699), the extra deer-gun weekend (16,744), and the statewide muzzleloader season (20,966) added to the overall total.
Ohio ranks sixth nationally in annual hunting-related retail sales and fourth in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Each year, hunting has a $1.5 billion economic impact in Ohio. Deer hunting accounts for 90 percent of all hunting that occurs in the state.
Hunters were encouraged to kill more does this season and donate extra venison to organizations assisting Ohioans in need. The Division of Wildlife collaborated with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who gave their deer to food banks were not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer were taken to participating processors. Counties being served by this program can be found online at http://fhfh.org/. Anyone interested in forming a chapter in an area not served should contact FHFH.
Ohio's first modern day deer-gun season opened in 1943 in three counties, where hunters killed 168 deer. In 1956, deer hunting was allowed in all 88 counties and hunters killed 3,911 deer during a one-week season.
Open houses will be held on Sunday, March 1 in each of the state's five wildlife districts to provide the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed hunting and trapping regulations with state wildlife officials. Directions to the open houses can be obtained by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE or visiting wildohio.com on the Internet.
A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at 9 a.m., Thursday, March 5 at the wildlife division's District One Office, located at 1500 Dublin Road in Columbus. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its April 2 meeting.