With a deer herd that numbers 50,000 fewer animals than last year, the kill during the recently concluded youth-only deer hunt also saw a reduction.
Statewide, youths age 17 and younger shot 9,331 deer during the two-day hunt Nov. 21 and 22. Last year that harvest figure was 9,852 deer.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife estimated that around 40,000 youths participated in the hunt, seeking an animal from an estimated population of 650,000 deer and prior to the start of Ohio's various deer-hunting seasons.
Youth hunters were required to be properly licensed, wear blaze/hunter orange clothing and be accompanied by a non-hunting adult.
The local youth-only deer kill (with the youth-only 2008 harvest in parentheses) was: Lake County - 14 (20); Geauga County - 38 (48); Ashtabula County - 117 (147); Cuyahoga County - 6 (5); Lorain County - 61 (89); Huron County - 105 (132); Erie County - 28 (33); Medina County - 72 (65).
Monday marks the start of Ohio's seven-day general deer firearms hunting season where more than 400,000 hunters are expected to participate. They are forecasted to shoot up to 115,000 to 120,000 deer.
On another Wildlife Division note, the agency has scaled back the number of excess breeder trout it was to have stocked today - Tuesday, Nov. 24 - into Punderson Lake. Instead of the more than 500 breeders the agency will stock 375 large fish.
But the number of catchable rainbows has been increased from 1,000 fish to 1,500 fish.
The stocking is to occur around 2 p.m. today at the camground area of the lake.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn