Columbus, OH – Hunters harvested an additional 16,766 deer during the extra weekend of gun hunting, December 17-18, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The extra weekend was first offered in 2006 in response to hunters’ request for an increase in the amount of weekend days to pursue white-tailed deer, the state’s number one big game animal. In 2010, hunters took 20,916 deer during the additional two days.
Counties leading the state in deer killed over the weekend included: Coshocton – 593; Tuscarawas – 541; Muskingum – 499; Licking – 483; Harrison – 477; Guernsey – 446; Carroll – 442; Belmont – 416; Ashtabula – 387; and Knox – 373.
Hunters must still report their deer harvest, but are no longer required to take their deer to a check station for physical inspection. Instead, hunters have three options to complete the new automated game check:
- On the Internet at wildohio.com.
- By telephone at 1-877-TAG-ITOH (1-877-824-4864). This option is only available to those who are required to have a deer permit to hunt deer.
- At all license agents. A list of these agents can be found at wildohio.com or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.
Hunters are showing support for all three game-check methods. Since the beginning of deer season, 44 percent of hunters have used the phone method, another 36 percent are reporting their harvests over the Internet, and the final 20 percent are traveling to a license agent’s location to check their game.
The Division of Wildlife is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry to help pay the processing fees of donated venison. Donations of extra deer will be accepted throughout the entire deer season. Hunters who donate 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 while funding for the effort is available. 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 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 an $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.
A detailed listing of deer-hunting rules is contained in the 2011-2012 Ohio Hunting Regulations, available where licenses are sold. It may also be viewed online at wildohio.com.