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Deer kill totals down slightly from last year

February 8, 2008
By Sam Shawver,
Ohio’s four-month deer season officially ended Sunday with a total of 230,400 animals harvested statewide, according to preliminary reports to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

The numbers are down a bit from the 237,316 deer taken during the 2006-2007 season.

“This year was a great season for archery and all types of deer hunting,” said Susie Vance with ODNR’s District 4 Division of Wildlife in Athens. “In Washington County 1,079 deer were taken by bowhunters. And there was a total of 5,612 harvested in the county by both guns and archery.”

Washington County’s harvest numbers ranked eighth in the state.

The state deer season began Sept. 29 and ended Feb. 3.

Vance said this year for the first time a discount antlerless deer tag was sold to bowhunters at the beginning of the season at a price of $15 apiece and up to three per hunter.

Wildlife Division Chief David M. Graham noted the discounted antlerless permit helped reduce the state’s deer population by encouraging hunters to kill more does.

“Even though the overall deer harvest may be slightly lower than last year, the preliminary data suggest a greater percentage of does were killed this year, which helps reduce Ohio’s deer herd,” he said.

“The idea is to keep a good balance between does and bucks,” Vance said.

The highest portion of the overall state deer harvest, 103,195, was taken during deer-gun season. Archery hunters took 77,234 deer statewide.

The early muzzleloader season resulted in 273 deer kills. Youth-gun season ended with a harvest of 10,515. The extra deer-gun weekend total was 17,710, and the statewide muzzleloader season added 21,473 to the overall deer harvest.

Figures were not available Thursday from this year’s deer hunt within Marietta’s city limits. But Vance said the city hunt has been successful over the last couple of years.

Wildlife officials say at least 250 deer need to be harvested in order to keep the city’s herd of approximately 1,000 manageable.

Because of the city’s willingness to allow deer hunting within the municipal limits and the number of city hunters who want to donate their venison to the local food pantry, Vance said, the Division of Wildlife gave $2,000 this year to help process the meat.

Fact Box

Ohio’s top 10 deer harvest totals by county:
¯ Tuscarawas – 9,473
¯ Licking – 7,964
¯ Holmes – 7,585
¯ Guernsey – 7,416
¯ Harrison – 7,164
¯ Coshocton – 5,998
¯ Athens – 5,747
¯ Washington – 5,612
¯ Ashland – 5,047.
¯ Jefferson – 5,014.
Source: Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, District 4.



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