From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
-- Ohio hunters had near ideal weather for the opening day of deer-gun season. Hunters took 37,805 white-tailed deer Nov. 29, according to the DNR. The deer gun season remains open through Dec. 5, and then reopens for two days Dec. 18 and 19.
Preliminary figures from deer check stations throughout the state show an increase of 12.5 percent from last year's opening day total of 33,607.
Counties reporting the highest numbers of deer checked Nov. 29 included Tuscarawas - 1,806; Coshocton - 1,536; Harrison - 1,439; Guernsey - 1,406; Holmes - 1,312; Licking - 1,259; Washington - 1,192; Ashtabula - 983; Muskingum - 930; and Athens - 886.
Combining the results of Monday's harvest with those from the early muzzleloader season, the first six weeks of archery season and the recent youth deer-gun season, a preliminary total of 97,371 deer have been killed so far this deer hunting season. That number compares to 97,371 harvested last year at this time.
In all, hunters took a total of 261,314 deer during all of last year's hunting seasons.
Approximately 420,000 hunters are expected to participate in the statewide deer-gun season. Ohio's deer population was estimated to be 750,000 prior to the start of the fall hunting seasons.
The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio ranks eighth nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with the hunting-related industry.
Each year, hunting has an $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.
The Division of Wildlife has labeled Dec. 4 as Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) Day. Last year, hunters and farmers donated nearly 467,000 meals to Ohioans in need.
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.