From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
-- Hunters took 24,078 deer during Ohio's four-day muzzleloader season, Jan.9-12, a 17% increase over last year. Tuscarawas County again led the state with 1,345 deer checked.
In 2008, a preliminary total of 20,659 deer was taken during muzzleloader season, according to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
Counties reporting the highest number of deer checked during the muzzleloader season included Harrison-1,025; Guernsey-1,000; Washington-937; Athens-816; Belmont-735; Coshocton-692; Licking-679; Meigs-645; and Jefferson-616.
A total of 251,826 deer have been harvested so far this season when combining the gun seasons, early and statewide muzzleloader seasons, and the first nine weeks of the archery season. Hunters took a total of 252,017 deer during all of last year's hunting seasons.
Hunters can continue to enjoy deer hunting through Feb. 7 as the archery season continues.
Hunters can still donate extra venison to organizations assisting Ohioans in need.
The division is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry to help pay for the processing of donated venison. 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.