From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
-- Ohio hunters took 114,633 white-tailed deer during the state's popular, weeklong deer-gun season, which ran Nov. 30 through Dec. 6, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. In 2008, hunters took a preliminary total of 116,798 deer during the same time period.
Counties reporting the highest numbers of deer brought to Ohio check stations last week included Tuscarawas-5,901; Harrison-4,310; Guernsey-4,289; Licking-3,734; Coshocton-3,680; Washington-3,589; Holmes-3,265; Belmont-3,238; Athens-3,049; and Knox-3,046.
A total of 178,397 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 179,194 killed last year during the same time period. Hunters took a total of 252,017 deer during all of last year's hunting seasons.
The statewide deer population was estimated to be 650,000 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, Dec. 19-20, and nine weeks of archery hunting in Ohio. Archery season remains open until Feb. 7, 2010. The statewide muzzleloader deer-hunting season will be held Jan. 9-12, 2010.
Saturday, Dec. 5 was designated as Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry Day. Totals for deer donated though the FHFH program will be available next week.
Donations of extra deer will be accepted through the entire deer season which ends on Feb. 7, 2010. 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.
Hunters who wish to share their success can submit a photo of themselves and the deer they killed this year to www.wildohio.com.
The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio ranks 8th nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with the hunting-related industry. Each year, hunting has a $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.
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.
A detailed listing of deer-hunting rules is contained in the 2009-2010 Ohio Hunting Regulations, available where licenses are sold. It may also be viewed online at www.wildohio.com