Wednesday, January 18, 2017

CMP left scrambling for help after NRA bolts from Camp Perry


Camp Perry’s National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches are looking for a few good men – and women.

 
Each summer the matches – held at the Ohio National Guard’s nine-thousand-acre Camp Perry just west of Port Clinton – employs a cadre of volunteers to perform yeoman’s work for a variety of necessary chores.

 
This annual competitive shooting effort was for many years conducted jointly by the Civilian Marksmanship Program and the National Rifle Association and called simply enough “The National Rifle and Pistol Matches.”

 
However, after being a Camp Perry fixture for more than a century, the NRA unexpectedly withdrew its rifle phase from there last November. The organization has since moved that portion of the shoots to Camp Atterbury, a large multi-purpose and multi-sited Indiana National Guard complex located in southeast Indiana.

 
The move did catch the CMP by surprise, forcing the federal government-charted organization to develop the management strategies for its own set of competitions. Coupled then with this effort was the need to recruit the all-important company of worker bees to assist in conducting the revamped and new shooting platforms.

 
Civilian Marksmanship Program’s Program Chief Christy Sewell says that for the past 20 years her organization “has been a leader in the marksmanship community.”

 
“The CMP is committed to Camp Perry, the permanent home of the National Matches. In 2017, the CMP will run our matches at Camp Perry in partnership with the Ohio Army National Guard,” Sewell said.

 
Even so, says Sewell, many hands make for light work and the CMP could use a lot of muscle power.

 
“Though our staff members have worked hard to provide unparalleled service for our competitors and guests over the last two decades, we still need more hands to help us facilitate the National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches,” Sewell says.

 
Thus, Sewell says also, “this is where the volunteers come in,” a recruitment task here-to-for performed by the NRA.

 
Consequently, the CMP – as the entity is commonly referred to - is in search of willing volunteers to help support the organization’ 2017 National Match series of CMP-associated events. This year those shooting disciplines are scheduled for June and July on the world’s largest shooting range and which recently underwent extensive renovation.

 
In their respective roles, volunteers will assist in conducting CMP match events only, and will be picked from a selection process through all received volunteer applications.

 

Sewell says volunteer duties may include - but won’t be limited to - firing line work as range officers, assistance with statistics and scorecards, or other tasks to be assigned as needed.

  
Chosen individuals will receive a per diem stipend and based on amount of time worked along with “exclusive benefits” that are offered only to those “who graciously donate their time to helping us provide an exceptional experience for all of our guests,” Sewell said as well.

 
Similarly, housing and lunch will be provided for each volunteer, said Seawell.

 
And all chosen volunteers will attend a specialized Range Officer training course, provided by the CMP. This training regimen is typically offered for $75 per person, but is being waived for volunteers.

 
“That’s a possible $150 value for those who volunteer for both rifle and pistol match programs,” Sewell said.

 
While past volunteer experience is not needed, knowledge of firearms, firearms safety, and shooting range procedures is a plus, says Sewell.

 
Sewell quickly added that volunteers with an itch to compete are not just welcome to participate but are encouraged to do so when they aren’t assigned a task.

 
“Becoming a CMP volunteer is a worthwhile opportunity for any competition-goer,” Sewell says. “Not only will volunteers earn behind-the-scenes access to the CMP competitions process, they're also destined to create unforgettable memories with staff members and participants along the way.”

 
To learn more or to sign up, prospect volunteers can visit the CMP’s web site at at  http://thecmp.org/competitions/competition-volunteers/ or contact Vera Snyder, volunteer specialist, at 419-635-2141 ext. 782 or volunteer@thecmp.org.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
JFrischk@Ameritech.net

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Good muzzleloading hunt helps - but does not entirely erase - Ohio's deer kill deficit


Nasty weather once again stalked Ohio’s deer-hunting community, though the state’s muzzle-loading sportsmen and sportswomen were more than up to the challenging conditions.

In all, during the four-day season January 7th through 10th the state’s muzzle-loading hunters killed 15,843 deer; up 3,338 animals from the 2016 muzzle-loading season total deer kill of 12,505 animals. That 15,843 figure is the most since the 2014 muzzle-loading season, by the way.

In some cases the muzzle-loading season harvest increases were substantial. Ashtabula County saw a harvest increase of 193 deer (463 animals this past season verses 270 animals for the 2016 season); Belmont County saw a 108 animal increase (391 deer verses 283 deer); Coshocton County recorded a 166 deer harvest gain (591 animals verses 425 animals); Guernsey County noted a 147 animal harvest jump (490 deer verses 343 deer); Harrison County saw a harvest rise of 206 deer (499 animals verses 293 animals); Morgan County recorded a jump of 156 animals (429 deer verses 273 deer); Muskingum County reported a 218 deer kill increase (602 animals verses 384 animals); and Washington County saw a deer kill rise of 182 animals (472 deer verses 290 deer).

Of Ohio’s 88 counties, only 18 recorded muzzle-loading season-to-season declines while two - Champaign and Montgomery - posted identical muzzle-loading season-to-season kill figures.

“Out the gate, I am somewhat surprised, and I wouldn’t have guessed that but sometimes we over-think things,” said Geoffrey Westerfield, a wildlife biologist for the Wildlife Division’s Northeast Ohio office in Akron.

Westerfield did say that he’d like to examine the numbers more closely, especially looking at the daily figures. He suspects that perhaps the good weather on the Monday of the season enticed more hunters into the field since both the season’s Saturday and Sunday saw universally blustery conditions statewide.

“Maybe it’s just that stars all aligned just right,” Westerfield said. “We’ll know better when we have the opportunity to examine the data more closely.”

Even so, the current to-date total deer kill is still off by some 5,085 animals when the numbers are laid alongside the comparable 2016 to-date figures (175,832 deer currently to-date verses 180,917 deer to-date as of January 12, 2016).

And with only a few weeks left in Ohio’s archery deer-hunting season this deficit probably will not be made up. Last year between the January 12th weekly deer kill report and the end of the season Ohio hunters killed an additional 7,412 animals. Thus, hunters would need to shoot 12,497 deer just to match the 2015-2016 all-deer-hunting seasons total of 188,329 deer.

That being said, if any hunter wants to complain to the Ohio Division of Wildlife about the status of the state’s deer herd they won’t be able to voice their thoughts at any agency-sponsored “Deer Summit.” The reason is that the Wildlife Division has shelved the popular hunter-agency get-together for this year as officials map out the details of a 10-year deer management plan.

Sportsmen will have to “wait until 2018 when more information is available to share,” said John Windau, the Wildlife Division’s communications manager.

For now the focus on the current to-date deer kill, or “harvest” in the parlance of the Wildlife Division’s biologists and talking heads. That attention is especially directed at the recently concluded statewide muzzle-loading deer hunting season.

As for how muzzle-loading hunters have fared over the past several years, last year Ohio’s four-day muzzle-loading deer-hunting season produced a kill of 12,505 animals. Other previous and recent muzzle-loading season deer kills were: 2015 – 13,726 animals; 2014 – 16,464 animals; 2013 – 21,555 animals; 2012 – 19,251 animals; and 2011 – 17,375 animals.

Regarding the annual Ohio Deer Summits, Windau says that “since the plan is still in the early stages and stakeholder input has not been incorporated yet,” the division has decided not to hold deer summits in 2017, but will wait until 2018 when more information is available to share.

Based on input and discussions with attendees from past deer summits, the ODNR Division of Wildlife is taking steps to develop a comprehensive white-tailed deer management plan,” Windau said.

 
“The purpose of the plan is to provide a 10-year framework for how Ohio’s huntable deer populations will be managed based on historical perspectives, stakeholder interests, and science-based management.  “

 
Windau did say that anyone who has an interest in expressing his or her opinion on the state’s deer management objectives, goals, protocols – either currently or long-term -  can still do so at the agency’s yet-to-set district open houses, online at www.wildohio.gov, or directly by email to Wildinfo@dnr.state.oh.us.

 
Regarding the current to-date numbers, 34 of Ohio’s 88 counties have posted deer kill increases while one – Putnam County – has posted an identical 2016 and 2017 deer kill to-date figure of 994 animals.

 
On the tally board, select counties with their current to-date kill figures, followed by their respective 2016 to-date numbers in parentheses, are: Adams – 3,186 (4,033); Ashtabula – 4,880 (4,638); Athens – 3,538 (3,854); Belmont – 3,150 (3,119); Brown – 2,347 (2,652); Carroll  – 3,469 (3,431); Clermont – 2,169 (2,596); Columbiana – 3,120 (3,190); Coshocton – 5,729 (5,504); Crawford – 1,101 (1,142); Cuyahoga – 940 (669); Defiance 1,624 (1,723); Delaware – 1,438 (1,570); Fayette - 306 (301); Franklin – 780 (736); Gallia – 2,679 (2,863); Geauga – 1,761 (1,714); Guernsey – 4,454 (4,274); Hamilton – 1,427 (1,801); Hancock – 1,147 (1,141); Harrison – 3,674 (3,686); Henry – 696 (675); Highland – 2,519 (2,837); Hocking – 3,153 (3,611); Holmes – 3,602 (3,621); Jackson – 2,772 (3,096); Jefferson – 2,725 (2,562); Knox – 4,370 (4,322); Lake – 886 (818); Licking – 4,739 (5,050); Lorain – 2,390 (2,267); Miami – 739 (800); Madison – 470 (473); Meigs – 3,361 (3,496); Mercer – 592); Monroe – 2,522 (2,533); Morgan – 2,929 (3,035); Muskingum – 4,982 (4,807); Noble – 2,781 (2,889); Perry – 2,722 (2,799); Portage – 2,105 (2,066); Richland – 3,138 (3,072); Ross – 2,941 (3,281); Scioto – 2,409 (2,930); Stark – 2,652 (2,626); Trumbull – 3,543 (3,172); Tuscarawas – 4,865 (4,722); Van Wert – 457 (487); Vinton – 2,619 (2,995); Washington – 3,320 (3,434); Wayne – 1,976 (1,906); Williams – 1,638 (1,792); Wyandot – 1,422 (1,459).

Also, here is the list of all white-tailed deer checked by hunters using muzzleloaders during the four-day deer-muzzleloader season is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for this year’s season, and last year’s numbers are in parentheses: Adams: 308 (274); Allen: 50 (45); Ashland: 239 (224); Ashtabula: 463 (270); Athens: 442 (357); Auglaize: 48 (49); Belmont: 391 (283); Brown: 230 (221); Butler: 75 (72); Carroll: 427 (277); Champaign: 72 (72); Clark: 42 (41); Clermont: 168 (173); Clinton: 59 (64); Columbiana: 293 (222); Coshocton: 591 (425); Crawford: 52 (50); Cuyahoga: 2 (3); Darke: 37 (34); Defiance: 84 (92); Delaware: 71 (81); Erie: 30 (18); Fairfield: 138 (111); Fayette: 14 (11); Franklin: 27 (23); Fulton: 33 (21); Gallia: 338 (204); Geauga: 132 (83); Greene: 47 (49); Guernsey: 490 (343); Hamilton: 39 (42); Hancock: 51 (49); Hardin: 111 (87); Harrison: 499 (293); Henry: 32 (19); Highland: 216 (214); Hocking: 366 (319); Holmes: 289 (259); Huron: 133 (127); Jackson: 324 (274); Jefferson: 359 (211); Knox: 340 (309); Lake: 48 (28); Lawrence: 194 (129); Licking: 440 (322); Logan: 136 (144); Lorain: 142 (104); Lucas: 14 (24); Madison: 32 (27); Mahoning: 135 (109); Marion: 57 (54); Medina: 126 (107); Meigs: 420 (355); Mercer: 29 (17); Miami: 41 (29); Monroe: 344 (256); Montgomery: 29 (29); Morgan: 429 (273); Morrow: 96 (88); Muskingum: 602 (384); Noble: 310 (270); Ottawa: 25 (28); Paulding: 42 (47); Perry: 301 (201); Pickaway: 60 (44); Pike: 172 (173); Portage: 129 (94); Preble: 63 (62); Putnam: 20 (17); Richland: 230 (204); Ross: 287 (284); Sandusky: 52 (56); Scioto: 229 (195); Seneca: 100 (77); Shelby: 67 (63); Stark: 215 (174); Summit: 36 (28); Trumbull: 256 (147); Tuscarawas: 514 (410); Union: 42 (43); Van Wert: 24 (20); Vinton: 305 (268); Warren: 63 (74); Washington: 472 (290); Wayne: 150 (119); Williams: 85 (95); Wood: 32 (31); Wyandot: 96 (115); Total: 15,843 (12,503).

- By Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
JFrischk@Ameritech.net
 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Don't look to Ohio's upcoming blackpowder deer hunt to improve kill numbers


To use a baseball analogy, Ohio’s deer hunting harvest is rounding third and is headed for home.

Thing is, it appears that the catcher has the ball and is ready to tag the runner out at home plate, especially given the steady decline in the number of deer being checked in during the statewide four-day muzzle-loading deer-hunting season.

On the eve of this black-powder deer-hunting season – set for January 7th through 10th - the total to-date deer kill stands at 158,949 animals, including 89,050 antlerless deer. These statistics are good for the period through January 3rd and with the figures being supplied on a weekly basis by the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

For the comparable 2015-2016 to-date period ending January 5th, 2016, the total deer kill was 167,541 animals, among which included 96,332 antlerless deer.

Thus, we see that the current to-date deer kill has fallen by some 8,592 animals while the harvest on does has shrunk by 7,282 animals; both when laid side-by-side to their respective to-date 2016 numbers. The antlerless figures are given because of the intense debate among Ohio’s deer hunters that the Wildlife Division is being too liberal in allowing participants to kill does.

For what it’s worth, too, the gap between the December 27th to-date deer kill and the latest deer kill figure (that 8,592 number) has widen in the past week. For the December 27th reporting period, the total to-date kill number was some 8,004 animals smaller than its 2016 counterpart.

In any event, we are witnessing what may prove a watershed moment in Ohio’s deer harvest make-up. The long-touted reputation of southwest Ohio being the state’s go-to destination for trophy bucks continues to show signs of wear.

In Adams County the gap between the to-date 2016 and the current to-date 2017 numbers are staggering. For 2016 the total to-date deer kill was 3,742 while the current to-date number is 2,858. That’s a drop of 884 animals.

Declines are noted in other heralded go-to Ohio trophy deer counties as well. In Scioto County the to-date separation stands at 558 deer (2,723 animals to-date in 2016 compared to 2,165 animals to-date currently); Brown County – 314 deer (2,418 animals to-date in 2016 compared to 2,104 animals to-date currently);  Clermont County – 423 deer (2,394 animals to-date in 2016 compared to 1,971 animals to-date currently); Highland County – 318 deer (2,613 animals to-date in 2016 compared to 2,295 animals to-date currently);  and Ross County – 343 deer (2,978 animals to-date in 2016 compared to 2,635 animals to-date currently).

Not all is doom and gloom, of course. There is that marked decline in the number of does being shot, which might help quell talk by hunters of applying tar and feathers to the Wildlife Division’s deer management biologists.

There is also any number of counties where the deer kill (or “harvest” in wildlife biologist-speak) has increased. In fact, of Ohio’s 88 counties some 30 have posted to-date gains when placed alongside their respective 2016 to-date counterparts. Modest gains to be sure, but gains just the same.

That being said, the several counties in extreme Northeast Ohio are perhaps faring the best in posting to-date increases. These counties include (with their 2017 to-date numbers first and their respective 2016 to-date numbers in parenthesis): Ashtabula County – 4,394 (4,347, a harvest increase of 47 deer); Lake County – 821 (780, a harvest gain of 41 animals); Geauga County – 1,618 (1,609, a harvest increase of nine deer); Cuyahoga County – 905 (653, a harvest gain of 252 deer with the notation that several communities here saw recent voter-approved allowances of archery-only deer hunting); Trumbull County – 3,270 (3,005, a harvest gain of 265 deer); Lorain County – 2,233 (2,141, a harvest gain of 92 deer); and Medina County – 1,838 (1,636, a harvest gain of 202 deer).

Random to-date tallies in the rest of Ohio (with their respective 2016 to-date numbers in parentheses) are:  Carroll County – 3,028 (3,141); Coshocton County – 5,110 (5,065); Fayette County – 286 (288); Franklin County – 740 (699); Gallia County – 2,331 (2,653); Guernsey County – 3,945 (3,909); Harrison County – 3,160 (3,389); Knox County – 4,007 (4,004); Licking County – 4,264 (4,697); Meigs County – 2,916 (3,133); Muskingum County – 4,355 (4,414); Putnam County – 673 (identical 673); Tuscarawas County 4,326 (4,293); Van Wert County – 431 (467); Vinton County – 2,303 (2,719); Washington County – 2,831 (3,128); Williams County – 1,551 (1,694); and Wyandot County – 1,321 (1,337).

As for the up-coming four-day muzzle-loading season, the weather forecast is anything but inviting anywhere in the state for a stump-sitting morning. Bitterly cold weather with well below average temperatures are in the works along with the likelihood of snow showers pretty much everywhere.

Not until Monday, January 9,th is the weather expected to break with the temperature on Tuesday, January 10,th forecast to rise to comfortable – even above average – levels.

As for how muzzle-loading hunters have fared over the past several years, a general decline in the deer kill has appeared. Last year Ohio’s four-day muzzle-loading deer-hunting season produced a kill of 12,505 animals. Other previous and recent muzzle-loading season deer kills were: 2015 – 13,726 animals; 2014 – 16,464 animals; 2013 – 21,555 animals; 2012 – 19,251 animals; and 2011 – 17,375 animals.
 
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ohio's to-date deer kill sputtering; crashing in trophy deer country


After trailing all season in the weekly to-date deer kill tally, Ohio saw the last 2016 installment creep nearly 700 animals ahead for the equivalent 2015 to-date head count.

However, that dash sputtered pretty poorly with the release of the current to-date numbers through December 27th. In fact, the decline from the to-date 2016 figure and the equivalent 2015 was a fall of 8,004 animals.

Worse for more than a few hunters, is that mind-boggling steep declines are occurring in some of Ohio’s most fabled trophy deer counties.

The current to-date kill for the 2016-2017season is 157,357 animals while the comparable to-date statistic for the 2015-2016 season was 165,361 animals.

For each year the totals from the two-day so-named “bonus” firearms deer season are included in the respective statistics.

Still not factored in yet for either running scores are the numbers from their respective four-day muzzle-loader seasons. And though hunters may yet enjoy a stellar blackpowder hunt January 7th through 10th the odds of not only equaling the 12,505 deer taken during the January 9th through 12th, 2015 muzzleloading season but adding another 10,000 animals to that figure is, well, about as impossible as derailing Donald Trump’s inauguration.

What we do see, however, are still some impressive county-by-county numbers; even if they are not as large as the ones that hunters complied one year ago. There are still twelve counties with to-date deer kills of at least three thousand animals each, including five with four thousand or more deer killed to-date each. In 2015, those totals were fifteen and also five, respectively.

And 31 of Ohio’s 88 counties are showing to-date deer harvest gains when compared to their 2015 – season statistics. While many of these gains are relatively small – number just a few deer – several others are showing increases that might beg a questioning response by hunters.

For instance: Lorain County shows a 107 deer kill increase (2,207 deer to-date this season compared to 2,100 deer to-date in 2015); Mahoning County shows a 111 deer kill increase (1,690 deer to-date this season compared to 1,579 to-date in 2015); and Trumbull County with a whopping increase of 270 animals (3,239 to-date this season and 2,969 to-date in 2015).

The opposite is happening also where the to-date kill has slipped; and measurably so, too. Among them: Adams County with a massive 864 season-to-season to-date shortfall (3,692 to-date this season compared to 2,828 to-date in 2015. This drop, by-the-way is greater than the to-date kill in 24 of Ohio's 88 counties); Clermont County with a 411 season-to-season to-date drop (1,925 to-date this season compared to 2,336 to-date in 2015) and Brown County with a numbing 300 to-date deer decline (2,085 to-date this year compared to 2,385 to-date in 2015).
These last three counties were picked as illustrations because national hunting magazines have been touting southwest Ohio as the state’s go-to trophy deer hunting destination. Should their respective harvest declines continue through the rest of the season, however, then perhaps a reevaluation of their big deer status and possible over-harvesting of their respective deer herds might be in order.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
JFrischk@Ameritech.net

Thursday, December 22, 2016

UPDATED - Ohio's deer hunters have caught up to the 2015 to-date harvest numbers

Some 11,065 Ohio deer hunters received their respective Christmas bonuses early last week.



That’s the number of deer taken between December 13th and December 20th, and which includes the deer killed during the two-day so-named “bonus” firearms deer-hunting season.



Based on data supplied by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, the to-date total deer kill stands at 156,034 animals. That 156,034 figure, by the way, is 694 more animals than were shot for the comparable 2015 to-date figure of 155,340 animals.



This modest number is the first time so far this season where the current to-date deer harvest figure has exceeded its 2015 season to-date counterpart number, too.



However - and this is a big "however" - the harvest results of Ohio's 2016 bonus two-day gun deer hunt are now recorded in the season's history books. Last year this time that two-day hunt did not occur until later in December; and consequently it's figures were not tallied until January. Which means in all likelihood that a serious dip in the to-date kill will be seen sometime in early January.

Fully 57 of Ohio’s 88 counties have crossed over the to-date deer kill total of at least one thousand animals each, though. Broken down a bit more and the data shows that ten of these counties have thus far recorded to-date kills of three thousand animals or more each.



Going even further, five of the counties have to-date harvests of at least four thousand animals each; and one – Coshocton – has a thus-far deer harvest tally of at least five thousand animals, or 5,042 deer.



By comparison, the 2015 to-date harvest showed 59 of Ohio’s 88 counties had harvest-kills of at least one thousand animals. And a little deeper into the numbers shows that three counties had harvests of at least four thousand deer each but none with at least five thousand animals.



Here’s a sort of random list of selected counties with their current to-date deer harvest kills with their respective 2015 figures in parentheses: Adams – 2,806 (3,474); Ashtabula – 4,306 (3,986); Athens – 3,038 (3,207); Auglaize – 680 (706); Brown - 2,068 (2,221); Clark - 582 (647); Coshocton – 5,042 (4,644); Cuyahoga – 819 (611); Fayette – 283 (273); Franklin – 716 (647); Gallia – 2,300 (2,465); Geauga – 1,548 (1,488); Guernsey – 3,892 (3,591); Harrison – 3,121 (3,127); Highland – 2,263 (2,437); Hocking – 2,726 (3,027); Knox – 3,958 (3,717); Lake – 759 (721); Licking – 4,165 (4,367); Madison – 424 (412); Meigs – 2,880 (2,868); Muskingum – 4,293 (4,067); Portage – 1,906 (1,812); Richland – 2,831 (2,667); Trumbull – 3,201 (2,793); Tuscarawas – 4,260 (3,930); Vinton – 2,270 (2,482); Washington – 2,798 (2,874); Williams – 1,527 2,068 (2,221);(1,627); Wood – 777 (722).

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ohio's bonus gun deer hunt harvest excellent in spite of foul weather


Add an asterisk to the 9,228 total for Ohio’s just-concluded two-day so-named “bonus” firearms deer-hunting kill.

While the final figure for the two-day hunt is almost a mirror image of that for 2015 – which was 9,447animals - it must be remembered that the latter’s two-day hunt was held during the week on a Monday and Tuesday (December 28th and 29th) and following a Thursday-honored Christmas and when fewer hunters supposedly would be afield. (Ohio has an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 deer hunters; licensed, youths, senior citizens and landowners).

That was not the case this year, though, as the two-day season ran over a weekend and a full week prior to Christmas; a time frame that theoretically at least would increase opportunities for more deer hunters to be out and about.

Or not.

“Some people think that a post-Christmas weekday hunt provides more opportunity because more people are off work between the two holidays,” said Clint McCoy, the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s deer management biologist.

Even so, expectations were that the poor weather conditions that plagued virtually the entire state December 19th and 20th would put a damper on the overall kill. This was particularly true for Northeast Ohio which received up to four feet of snow in some locations.

In any event, the kill numbers ran very similar to one another as a serious drop in the deer harvest did not happen. Indeed, Ashtabula County’s 422 deer kill was way out in front of the two-day season’s second place holder, Guernsey County with 302 animals.

That surprised McCoy as well who said Ashtabula County “cranked out the numbers.”

Then again, the other Northeast Ohio/Snow Belt counties of Lake, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Trumbull all also recorded gains – in spite of heavy snows that were overlaid with ice on Saturday.

Thus the expectation by Wildlife Division officials that the two-day season would yield between 9,000 and 11,000 deer proved accurate. In spite of the point that the total was on the low end of the estimate and also in spite of the generally very poor weather virtually throughout the state, McCoy said.

Consequently a mid-December, two-day/weekend “bonus” firearms deer-hunting might be taking on something of a fixture status. This is particularly true, says McCoy also, given that an on-line deer hunter survey found at the Wildlife Division’s web site (www.wildohio.com) is showing that about 65 percent of the respondents support a two-day season while 70 percent of those respondents back a weekend – rather than a weekday – hunt.

“We’ll be looking at how this season falls into place with the other seasons when everything is completed and we have all of the harvest data and numbers,” McCoy said.

Here is the unofficial tally of deer checked by hunters using firearms during the 2016 two-day deer-gun hunting season December 19th and 20th. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2016, and the 2015 numbers are in parentheses:
 
Adams: 138 (209); Allen: 60 (21); Ashland: 138 (142); Ashtabula: 422 (305); Athens: 174 (212); Auglaize: 35 (38); Belmont: 226 (216); Brown: 124 (162); Butler: 29 (51); Carroll: 184 (211); Champaign: 39 (41); Clark: 24 (21); Clermont: 85 (95); Clinton: 36 (37); Columbiana: 194 (196); Coshocton: 210 (349); Crawford: 57 (59); Cuyahoga: 3 (1); Darke: 19 (19); Defiance: 118 (74); Delaware: 52 (60); Erie: 44 (21); Fairfield: 89 (85); Fayette: 17 (10); Franklin: 23 (24); Fulton: 56 (16); Gallia: 139 (165); Geauga: 105 (77); Greene: 35 (21); Guernsey: 302 (263); Hamilton: 29 (21); Hancock: 58 (34); Hardin: 53 (53); Harrison: 193 (228); Henry: 41 (25); Highland: 121 (147); Hocking: 153 (203); Holmes: 118 (209); Huron: 162 (107); Jackson: 149 (194); Jefferson: 168 (169); Knox: 146 (236); Lake: 32 (21); Lawrence: 113 (147); Licking: 195 (236); Logan: 60 (86); Lorain: 169 (98); Lucas: 27 (10); Madison: 18 (26); Mahoning: 131 (107); Marion: 43 (55); Medina: 147 (83); Meigs: 188 (229); Mercer: 32 (18); Miami: 26 (37); Monroe: 156 (156); Montgomery: 16 (14); Morgan: 146 (181); Morrow: 70 (71); Muskingum: 256 (284); Noble: 138 (202); Ottawa: 31 (7); Paulding: 64 (34); Perry: 173 (181); Pickaway: 42 (38); Pike: 104 (140); Portage: 136 (88); Preble: 50 (29); Putnam: 45 (19); Richland: 164 (150); Ross: 146 (185); Sandusky: 66 (29); Scioto: 137 (164); Seneca: 100 (84); Shelby: 44 (34); Stark: 153 (124); Summit: 41 (26); Trumbull: 266 (166); Tuscarawas: 260 (296); Union: 28 (32); Van Wert: 24 (15); Vinton: 125 (201); Warren: 42 (44); Washington: 140 (210); Wayne: 92 (109); Williams: 127 (51); Wood: 37 (31); Wyandot: 60 (72); Total: 9,228 (9,447).
 
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Lake County (OH) Third-Quarter CCW permit revocations four time more than rest of state


Lake County’s 233 concealed carry permit revocations noted during the Ohio Attorney General’s third quarter reporting period is nearly four times the total number of similar revocations for all of the state’s other 87 counties combined.

In all during the third quarter of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s concealed carry permit statistical report, the state revoked the documents of 297 individuals statewide.

Revocations are demanded based upon one or more of several criteria established by the Ohio legislature which approved the enabling law. Among the reasons for revocation are such things as  dying, being declared dependent upon alcohol or drugs, as well as taking a course from an unapproved/improperly certified instructor, or not fulfilling the required minimum time demands for classroom and/or shooting range sessions.

However, the Lake County Sheriff’s Department notes that its 233 revocations helps to illustrate the due diligence and efficiency of its CCW permitting process. In almost every one of the 233 revocation cases the action was the result of an applicant failing to meet the state requirements for being issued such a permit – and that was due almost entirely to one instructor’s lack of properly and lawfully conducting the course.

A similar case of multiple revocations by the Lake County Sheriff’s Department occurred about 18 months ago.  In that incident Joshua M. Herbert of Mentor was then-alleged to have improperly conducted his CCW class.

Herbert pled guilty on October 24th of this year and was sentenced in Lake County Common Pleas Court on December 9th.

Likewise, Herbert pled to a fourth-degree felony charge of “Failure (to) Obtain Concealed Carry Handgun License” in Geauga County Common Pleas Court in August since at least one of his students had obtained his/her/their documents there and which similarly saw them revoked.

Among the judgment stipulations against Herbert were community control with conditions, to serve 60 days of electronic monitoring house arrest, and 21 days in the Lake County Jail, with one day credit for time served.

“Defendant is ordered to pay all costs,” the Lake County Clerk of Court’s ledger also says.

“The defendant is ordered to report to the Jail no later than February 4, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. at which time bond will be released.” The ledger says as well.

Lake County Sheriff’s Department corporal Robert Harps said that “every once in a while” the agency has an instructor who seeks to cut corners by shaving the legislatively approved mandate of six hours of classroom work and two hours of range time.

“We do not tolerate shortened classes,” says Harps, who runs the department’s concealed carry permit program – acknowledged by many CCW instructors as one of the most efficiently run in the Ohio.

While no charges have been filed against the errant instructor in this most recent incident, an investigation continues, Harps said.

As for the 233 individuals who saw their permits revoked, that action still stands because it remains the responsibility of the students to ensure that whatever class program they are involved with meets state code, Harps says.

What this means for this batch of now-former CCW permit holders is not only are they out whatever the class they took cost – typically $100 to $150 – they also had to forfeit the required $67 permit application fee to the Lake (or Geauga) County Sheriff’s Department.

“So if they decide to take the course again they’re really be paying double,” Harps said.

And the cost also impacts the Sheriff’s Department. That is because by state law the agency must send a certified letter to each of the 233 persons notifying them that their permit is being revoked. And the cost for each of those letters is $6.47, Harps said.

“It’s a time-consuming and costly process,” Harps said.

As for the CCW program itself, Lake County’s permitting process machinery is well-oiled, Harps says and as previously mentioned, acknowledged by many local licensed instructors.

Harps said as well that it is important that each prospective CCW student investigates whether the program they are about to take meets state standards and that the instructor likewise has fulfilled his or her lawful obligations.

The sheriff’s department does maintain a list of licensed instructors and it’s best to similarly utilize a course held at a bona fide business where such activity is common, Harps said.

This is a particularly important point because a student who knowingly takes a course from someone not lawfully qualified to instruct or knowingly takes an illegal shortened course can be charged with a forth degree felony, Harps says.

“Often in these cases it is one of the students who let us know of a problem,” Harps said.

As for CCW statistics for Lake County, to date for 2016 the Lake County Sheriff’s office has issued 6,679 new CCW permits along with 1,657 renewals. For 2015 those figures were 4,490 and 2,189, respectively, though Harps did say that because of the way the renewal process is set up that latter number for 2016 will likely swell in 2017.
In terms of Third Quarter figures provided by the Ohio Attorney General, Lake County ranks second in the number of new CCW permits issued at 1,454. The Third Quarter leader was Franklin County (Columbus) with 1,538 new CCW permits being issued. Other counties with more than one thousand CCW permits issued during the Ohio Attorney General’s Third Quarter reporting period included Butler (1,146); Clermont (1,007); Hamilton (1,020); and Montgomery (1,308).

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
JFrischk@Ameritech.net