The final and official total figure for the 2009-2010 Ohio combined deer hunting seasons show little difference from the preliminary statistic released about three weeks ago.
Final figures show that 261,314 deer were taken by archers, firearms and muzzle-loading hunters. The preliminary figure was 261,255 deer.
It is important to note that preliminary figures are based on county where the deer were checked in and not necessarily where the deer were actually killed. It takes about one month for the Ohio Division of Wildlife to sort through and rearrange the check-in slips before the agency can provide the final - and official - figures.
It is also noteworthy to point out that the 261,314 official figure was a marked increase from the official 2008-2009 record kill of 252,017 deer.
In all, archery hunters officially shot 91,521 deer compared to the 114,281 deer shot during the seven-day gun season. Other official season results were the youth-only hunt (9,270 deer), the two-day bonus deer-gun hunt (20,054 deer), the special three-unit early muzzle-loading hunt (491 deer), and the statewide muzzle-loading season (25,007 deer).
Where the difference between preliminary and final figures are most striking is with the county-by-county statistics. For example, In Lake County an official 852 deer were shot last year while the preliminary figure was 1,289 deer. Same was true in Geauga County with the official 2009-2010 figure at 2,545 deer and the preliminary figure of 2,188 deer.
Officially as well, the final figures for the 2009-2010 seasons (with the official 2008-2009 figures in parentheses) were: Lake County - 852 (901); Ashtabula County - 5,298 (6,448); Geauga County - 2,545 (2,762); Cuyahoga County - 635 (681); Trumbull County - 3,584 (3,976); Lorain County - 2,603 (2,466); Medina County - 2,140 (2,047); Huron County - 2,561 (2,383); Erie County - 1,036 (1,020).
The Top Five counties were: Coshocton - 9,635; Tuscarawas - 9,009; Licking - 8,571; Guernsey - 8,289; and Harrison - 8,043.
Note too that more deer were taken in Coshocton County alone than in Lake, Geauga, Ashtbula and Cuyahoga combined.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn