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Published: Tuesday, 12/9/2008

Ohio deer harvest numbers up 13 percent over last year

Ohio hunters took 116,798 white-tailed deer during last week's deer gun season, according to preliminary results released yesterday by the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

The total is 13 percent higher than in 2007, when hunters killed 103,195 deer during the same period, which included a rain-hampered opening day. This year's tally is slightly under the forecast of 120,000 to 125,000.

The week saw seven hunter shooting incidents, all non-fatal and one of them self-inflicted. Counties with incidents were Athens, Henry, Guernsey, Highland, Shelby, Putnam and Jefferson.

Counties reporting the highest numbers of deer killed, with 2007 figures in parentheses, included Tuscarawas 5,862 (4,266), Harrison 4,136 (3,389), Coshocton 4,043 (3,227), Guernsey 4,017 (3,765) and Washington 3,753 (3,067).

A total of 178,838 deer have been harvested so far this season when combining the adult (116,798)and youth gun seasons (9,852), early muzzleloader season (568) and the first six weeks of the archery season (51,620). That compares to a total of 167,965 killed last year during the same time period. Hunters took a total of 232,854 deer during all of last year's hunting seasons.

Hunters still have a weekend of deer gun hunting, Dec. 20-21, and nine weeks of archery hunting in Ohio. Archery season remains open until Feb. 1. The statewide muzzleloader season will be held Dec. 27-30.

The $15 antlerless deer permits are not valid for this extra weekend of the deer gun season, except within the designated urban deer zones located around Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Toledo, Dayton and Cincinnati, or at Division of Wildlife controlled hunts.

Only deer, coyote and waterfowl can be hunted during the extra deer gun weekend.

A detailed listing of deer hunting results may also be viewed online at wildohio.com. Following is a listing of the deer kill in the 18 counties of northwest Ohio, with corresponding 2007 tallies in parentheses:

Allen 431 (463), Defiance 1,027 (834), Erie 320 (303), Fulton 380 (342), Hancock 394 (461), Hardin 571 (642), Henry 299 (242), Huron 1,138 (1,133), Lucas 290 (289), Ottawa 55 (104), Paulding 424 (354), Putnam 542 (569), Sandusky 229 (230), Seneca 953 (963), Van Wert 251 (224), Williams 578 (548), Wood 391 (437) and Wyandot 606 (752).

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said an estimated 272,000 white-tailed deer were taken during the Nov. 15-30 firearm season, according to preliminary estimates.

The total included about 157,000 antlered bucks and about 115,000 antlerless deer, and compares with a 2007 estimated harvest of 273,000. However, significant shifts occurred in where deer were taken.

In the Upper Peninsula, the early estimate is that hunters took about 32,000 deer, down 22 percent from last year's harvest of 41,000.

"We anticipated a lower harvest in the UP due to the tougher winter there last year and that was a major factor, but lower hunter numbers and the change in rules for use of buck licenses probably contributed too," said Rod Clute, MDNR big-game specialist.

In the northern Lower Peninsula about 91,000 deer were taken, up from about 85,000 last year. The total included about 59,000 antlered bucks and 32,000 antlerless deer.

Southern Lower Michigan continued to dominate the deer harvest with an estimated 149,000 deer taken, about 75,000 of which were antlered bucks and about 74,000 were antlerless deer.

Final harvest figures, which are based on a mail survey of more than 50,000 deer hunters, along with surveys submitted by hunters who report on the MDNR's Web site, will not be available until July, 2009. Hunters wishing to report their harvest online can access it at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

The Michigan muzzleloading deer hunting season runs Dec. 5-14 in the Upper Peninsula, Dec. 12-21 in the northern Lower Peninsula, and Dec. 5-21 in the southern lower.

The archery season runs from Dec. 1-Jan. 1, and the late firearm antlerless-only deer season runs from Dec. 22-Jan. 1 on private lands in 36 deer management units in the Lower Peninsula.



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