Hunters checked 29,297 white-tailed deer on Monday, Nov. 26, the opening day of Ohio’s deer-gun season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Monday’s total represents a 24.1 percent increase from 2011, when rain-soaked hunters harvested 23,600 deer.
Counties reporting the highest numbers of deer checked in 2012: Coshocton (1,199), Muskingum (1,102), Tuscarawas (1,091), Guernsey (858), Harrison (845), Knox (830), Ashtabula (816), Licking (805), Carroll (776) and Washington (747). The top three counties were unchanged from 2011.
The deer-gun season remains open through Sunday, Dec. 2. It will reopen for an additional two days, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15-16. Approximately 420,000 hunters are expected to participate in this year’s season, including many out-of-state hunters. Find more information about deer hunting in Ohio’s 2012-2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.com.
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 hunting-related industries. Hunting has an $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.
Hunters are encouraged to donate any extra venison to organizations assisting Ohioans in need. ODNR Division of Wildlife is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who donate deer are not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer are taken to a participating processor. To see which counties are involved in this program, go to fhfh.org.
Image courtesy Ohio Department of Natural Resources