Monday, February 8, 2010

Huge deer harvest (Not so much here, though)

Preliminary figures released by the Ohio Division of Wildlife shows that Ohio’s deer hunters did far better than expected.

And better than what the state’s estimated 500,000 deer hunters bagged during the 2008-2009 season.

For the 2009-2010 combined deer hunting seasons, a preliminary 261,255 deer were shot. That is a 5.13-percent increase over the total 2008-2009 deer season take of 248,515 animals.

Wildlife Division officials also hoped for something of a decline in the 2009-2010 combined deer hunting seasons. It was expected at first that hunters would kill about 225,000 to 250,000 deer.

Locally, the number of deer taken was generally down. In normally deer-rich Ashtabula County, hunters shot a preliminary 5,119 deer, a deep drop from the 5,829 animals shot there in 2008-2009.

Geauga County registered a decline as well and based upon preliminary data. Here, hunters shot a preliminary 2,188 deer. During the 2008-2009 season that figure was 2,558 animals.

Lake County saw a preliminary 1,289 animals shot during the recently concluded 2009-2010 season, a statistically insignificant increase from the 1,272 animals taken during the 2008-2009 season.

Cuyahoga County did register a small drop as well: 836 deer preliminarily reported for the 2009-2010 season and compared to the 885 deer taken during the 2008-2009 season.

Lorain County saw a preliminary take of 2,789 deer and compared to the 2,372 animals taken there during the 2008-2009 season. The figures for Medina County were 2,277 and 2043, respectively. Huron County recorded a preliminary 2,582 deer for the 2009-2010 season and 2,436 deer for the 2008-2009 season.

A good number of counties in southeast Ohio did preliminarily post gains, however. This is Ohio’s Deer Central and a place where state wildlife biologists want to cut more deeply into the white-tail population. Counties like Athens, Guernsey and Vinton recorded gains. The same is true for such southwest Ohio counties as Adams, Butler and Highland.

Preliminary figures are based upon where deer are checked in rather than actual county of kill though they do reflect general harvest trends. The Ohio Division of Wildlife anticipates that final, official figures will be available later this month.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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