Ohio hunters bagged 96,290 deer during one of the state's safest gun seasons on record, the Ohio Division of Wildlife said yesterday.
The total kill was up about 15 percent, or 12,535 deer, over the 1999 season preliminary tally of 83,755. The week-long shotgun season ended Sunday.
The wildlife division said that there were 11 shooting accidents, one of them fatal, during the week. Some 500,000 hunters were afield. Four of the shootings were self-inflicted; no accidents were reported in northwest Ohio.
In 1999, nine hunter shootings were reported, with five of them self-inflicted. In 1998 there were 14 shooting accidents, three of them fatal. “It was a safe season for 99.99 per cent of the people who were out there,” stressed John Wisse, a wildlife spokesman. “Overall it was a very safe season.”
The gun-week bag fell exactly within the range of 90,000 to 100,000 predicted by state deer biologists. The preseason herd was up 10 to 13 per cent over 1999 at 475,000 animals. Hunting conditions last week were regarded as ideal.
Top counties statewide were Athens, 3,823 deer checked; Washington, 3,475; Tuscarawas, 3,396; Muskingum, 3,268; Guernsey, 3,203; Coschocton, 3,048; Jackson, 3,042; Ross 2,879; Gallia, 2,835, and Licking, 2,822.
The northwest Ohio tallies by county, with 1999 totals in parentheses, follow:
Allen 322 (240); Defiance 391 (297); Erie 241 (142); Fulton 249 (238); Hancock 193 (183); Hardin 334 (347); Henry 219 (154); Huron 784 (546).
Lucas 307 (251); Ottawa 141 (78); Paulding 295 (247); Putnam 223 (155); Sandusky 192 (166); Seneca 623 (448); Van Wert 69 (55); Williams 822 (676); Wood 188 (140), and Wyandot 532 (346).
Archery season remains open daily through Jan. 31, and a statewide muzzleloading rifle season is set for Dec. 27 through 30.
Morning hunts only are planned, with drawings set for 5:15 a.m. for each hunt at the Magee check-station, 13229 West State Rt. 2, Oak Harbor. Permits will be available for 19 units, with each permit good for three hunters until noon daily.
Hunters must provide their own boats or canoes. Leftover permits will be issued first-come, first-served. For other details, call Magee, 419-898-0960, ext. 30.
The second half of the Ohio North Zone duck season runs Friday through Dec. 30. The late Lake Erie Zone goose season (east of I-280/I-75 and north of I-80 in northwest Ohio) runs Dec. 16 through 30, with the remainder of the North Zone for geese open Friday through Jan. 9.
Other sales are set for Jan. 13 and Feb. 10. For details call Sam Dewyer, 419-352-0171.
Thursday: Hike for health, 5:30 p.m., Countryside Park, Sandusky County Park District, U.S. 20 bypass, Fremont, call the park district, 419-334-4495 or 1-888-200-5577.
Thursday: Trapshoot, 6 p.m., Sandusky County Sportsmen's Club, State Rt. 600 east of Gibsonburg
Friday: Owl moon lecture and walk, Swan Creek Preserve Metropark, Yager Center, call for reservations and time, 535-3058 ext. 101; also, Saturday, walk-leader training, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Swan Creek, Yager Center, for improving nature-interpretive skills.; also, Saturday, night hike, 7 p.m., Secor Metropark; also, Monday, full-moon walk, 7:30 p.m., Oak Openings Preserve Metropark, Mallard Lake Area, groups register at 535-3058 ext. 101; also, Dec. 12, program for young people ages 6 to 8 about water, snow and ice, Pearson Metropark, call for reservations.
Friday: Naturalists' Camera Club of Toledo, 7:30 p.m., Secor Metropark Discovery Center, Central Avenue entrance, program on nature's jewelry, call Adele Shelton, 474-2911.
Saturday and Sunday: Gun show, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Williams County Fairgrounds, Gillette Building, Montpelier, call Duane and Kay Votaw, 419-737-2801.
Sunday: SKS, AK, and M-1 Carbine Shoot, practice noon, shoot 1 p.m., Sandusky County Sportsmen's Club, State Rt. 600 east of Gibsonburg; call Bob Caswall, 862-2861.
Sunday: Tough as Nails Shoot, register 10 a.m., shoot 11 a.m., Toledo Muzzle Loaders, Clinton Boothby Range, Schwamberger Road, call Jim Page, 474-5741.
Sunday: Book signing, The Great Black Swamp II, by Jim Mollenkopf, 1 p.m., Thackeray's Books, Westgate, call 537-9259.
Sunday: Bowshoot, Monroe County Rod and Gun Club, 6280 Lighthouse Rd., Monroe, Mich., 30 3-D targets, breakfast 9 to 11 a.m.,. lunch noon to 4 p.m., call Bob Millard, 734-654-2472.
Monday: Full-moon hike, 7:30 p.m., East Harbor State Park, Lakeside-Marblehead, meet at Lockwood Shelterhouse, call the park, 419-734-4424, ext. 2.
Monday: Public trapshoot, 6:30 p.m., Wolf Creek Sportsmen's Association, 349 Teachout Rd., north of State Rt. 2, Curtice, call Jeff Raczkowski, 836-2033.
Steve Pollick is The Blade's outdoor writer. E-mail him at email@example.com.