For the first time in the so-far 10 to-date weekly Ohio Deer kill figures the ones for 2017 have exceeded those for its comparable 2016 to-date numbers.
As of December 5th a total of 145,358 deer have been shot. That number is 1,756 more animals than were taken during the equivalent 2016 to-date (December 6th) figure of 143,602 deer.
In each to-date case, their seven-day firearms deer-hunting season totals are enfolded into the respective figures.
The current to-date tallies include eight of Ohio’s 88 counties with kills of at least three thousand animals, including one with a to-date deer kill of more than five thousand animals. Thee members of the Three Thousand-Plus Club (with their respective 2016 to-date numbers in parentheses) in alphabetical order are: Ashtabula – 3,952 (3,796); Coschocton – 5,130 (4,749); Guernsey – 3,651 (3,535); Holmes – 3,260 (3,095); Knox 3,673 (3,749); Licking – 3,874 (3,875); Muskingum 4,153 (3,978); Tuscarawas – 4,369 (3,914).
Even so, while the total 2017 to-date number is higher than it comparative 2016 to-date rival, 31 of the state’s 88 counties have posted current to-date declines when stacked up against their 2016 counterparts. Another three counties have identical 2016 and 2017 to-date numbers.
The big flashing red light continues to shine above Jefferson County. Its current to-date deer kill is given at 1,427 animals while its 2016 to-date number was 2,114 animals. It is widely believed that Jefferson County’s deer herd suffered extensively from epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, a fatal viral disease transmitted by the bite of a midge.
Also, a number of Ohio’s urban counties – where generous bag limits allowing for the multiple taking of antlerless animals exist – are showing to-date deer kill declines. This may suggest that such liberal allowances are having an impact on reducing the deer herds in these counties, a long-sought management objective. Among the urban counties that are seeing continued to-date deer kill declines are Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Franklin, Lucas and Summit.
Some urban counties are still seeing to-date deer kill increases, however. Among them are Hamilton, Montgomery, Geauga, and Portage.
Only four counties have current to-date deer kills of fewer than 500 animals each. In alphabetical order (with their respective 2016 to-date numbers in parentheses) are: Fayette County – 289 (257); Madison County – 410 (399); Ottawa County – 335 (328); Van Wert County – 411 (399).
- By Jeffrey L. Frischkorn