Hurricane Sandy likely only be a memory in the minds of firearms deer hunters when their hunting season begin Nov. 26.
However, that won’t stop the impact of Sandy’s passage from affecting the harvest.
The reason being is that Sandy’s wallop included wind gusts of up to 70 mph along with several inches of rain.
Both situations are sure to hamper the harvest of field corn by farmers.
And where a deer can find standing corn hunters as often as not cannot locate deer.
Les Ober, an agent with The Ohio State University’s extension service in Geauga County, said that Sandy’s rains will almost certainly push back the plucking of corn.
“Maybe even until the ground freezes,” Ober said.
Not any better for either the farmer nor the hunter would be in the high winds flattened corn stalks.
This is a very real possibility since this year’s drought in many cases contributed to development of soft and thin corn stalks, Ober said.
Such factors make such stems easy pickings for any strong bursts of wind, Ober said also.
Picking up corn ears from off the ground is not something that farmers care for, either.
Even the state’s deer management administrator says too much unharvested corn remaining in the fields is not a good thing.
For the hunters, anyway, says Mike Tonkovich, game biologist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
“Hunters can’t hunt the corn and the deer stay in it, so, yes, deer hunting can be impacted,” Tonkovich says.
Thus, any fallout from where large swaths of standing corn still exists could be “significant and an issue” for deer firearms hunters utilizing those locations, Tonkovich says.
The silver lining in all of this, says Tonkovich, however, is that the to-date deer harvest figures of 29,751 deer is 23 percent ahead of last year’s to-date figure of 24,129 deer, Tonkovich says.
All of which means that hunters are still on pace to kill a bunch of animals when everything is tallied up at the end of all the various deer-hunting season, Tonkovich says.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn