Tuesday, December 3, 2013

UPDATED: Ohio's deer gun season opener figures take a hit

No matter how it's sliced, Ohio's opening day of the statewide firearms deer-hunting season was a bust.

Even so, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources had its spin masters out in force, attempting to deflect not only how dismal opening day's kill went but also what many hunters are fearing; that being, Ohio's deer herd is in trouble.

Absent was any "rah-rah-rah" quote from the director on how wonderful opening day went.

Maybe it's because the stats show an approximately 23-percent decline, and which the ODNR's Division of Wildlife's release never mentioned.

Instead of biting the bullet by acknowledging that to the do-date kill figures similarly fell by four percent.

Here's my original blog on the subject:

Ohio's firearms deer hunters took a nearly 23-percent hit during Monday's opener of the statewide seven-day general deer-hunting season.

Preliminary figures show that 22,620 deer were taken statewide on Monday. Last year for the opener a reported 29,297 deer were killed.

Only four counties saw an increase this year, based on preliminary, just-released, figures: Ashtabula County – 880 (816); Lucas County – 27 (26); Ottawa County – 25 (24); and Trumbull County – 482 (471).

Some counties saw substantial declines. Among the examples are Guernsey County – off 13.52% and 742 deer on Monday's opener (858 deer on 2012 opener); Muskingum County – off 24.59% and 831 (1,102); Adams County – off 21.34 percent and 376 (478); and Coshocton – off 21.6 percent and 940 (1,199).

Locally with the exception of Ashtabula and Trumbull counties, deer hunters fared badly as well. Some more than others, of course.

In Lake County on Monday the preliminary figures show that 30 deer were shot. For the 2012 opener that figure was 55 deer, for a decline of 45.45 percent.

Geauga County hunters likewise were off the mark. On Monday this county's hunters killed 153 deer compared to the 157 deer shot on the 2012 firearms deer-hunting season opener. Of course that minimal decline is statistically insignificant.

Not that Cuyahoga County's numbers were ever large to begin with but on Monday only two deer were reportedly taken here compared to the five deer killed on the 2012 opener.

Overall the to-date statewide deer kill total is off 2.81 percent: 109,932 deer so far this season and compared to the 2012 to-date figure of 113,107 deer killed.

Ohio's general firearms deer-hunting season continues through Sunday with the statewide muzzle-loading season set for Jan. 4 through 7.

The state's archery deer-hunting season runs through Feb. 2.

Hunters are reminded that the state no longer has a two-day December so-called “bonus” firearms deer-hunting season.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn


  1. The same story is popping up from states in the northeast and midwest. DNR officials are blaming the weather in many cases. I really think it is time for DNR and deer hunters to take a more dynamic approach to deer tag usage. In the past several years coyotes and EHD have claimed a lot of deer(IMHO). Just because a hunter has 4 doe tags doesn't mean they need to fill all 4 tags.

    Good Luck
    Jeff Morton

  2. Despite a couple deer harvested during bow season, I believe there is some trouble brewing. Hunting at a spot I've hunted for a few years that is typically thick with deer transitioning from one food plot or wood lot to the next, I've seen just one doe the first three days of gun season and she was shot at in an adjacent lot and bumped out of it an hour later with a slight limp (not enough to mortally wound her). That was 11am Monday and she remains the only deer I've SEEN. Very little shooting Tuesday and next to none Wednesday. Frustrating enough that I took Thursday off.

  3. UNHAPPY HUNTER1: I think that in the county I hunt in the deer population is being desecrated by farmers kill permits in the off season. The so called crop damage permits issued is by far way out of control and needs to be seriously looked into by the DNR. I understand farmers can`t afford crop damage. But OHIO cannot afford to not have people come into the state or small towns and boost the revenue. It used to be a hunters on all the back roads parking to hunt now you don`t see hardly any vehicles or hunters out at all. Stop letting the insurance companies dictate how many deer to kill by there numbers that they put out to the public of how high the deer population is.

  4. great posts I would love for you to call and ask or have the odnr post their detailed plan on what their targeted deer herd number is and how they are going about it.witch by all means should already be posted on their site years ago and readily made available to the public.but has not been when you do call and ask please post what you are told.Bet is is we do not have one! Available. Should it not be Available? Lets as hunters expose the truth.Or atleast get some answers that should have detailed information and readily available data to support their herd reduction plan! God bless

  5. I own 90 Acres in Monroe County. By far, this has been the worst season in many years. We are just not seeing the deer like we used to. Could it be disease? Possible. But, I believe it is the predators. I have way too many coyotes and Bobcats on my trail cameras. Also, I have not seen a Turkey on my place in three years, which give more credibility to the predator theory. We don't need to shoot 3 deer per man in Monroe county. The ODNR must make some changes soon, or our great deer seasons will be a thing of the past.