Monday, November 24, 2014

SUPERSEDED: Ohio youth season deer kill way down but don't say it's a harbinger for the gun season

UPDATE EXPECTED: The Ohio Division of Wildlife says a computer glitch has spewed out incorrect summary numbers and is working to provide corrected figures. Until that data and subsequent press release is issued this blog posting will remain, to be updated when the appropriate numbers are provided. - Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Trying to tie the results of the just-concluded two-day, youth-only firearms deer-hunting season with the upcoming general firearms deer-hunting season will result in creating a knot that won’t hold.

Overall, properly licensed young people age 16 and under shot 4,765 deer. That figure represents a 28.4 percent drop when compared to the 2013 season’s kill of 6,640 animals.

To put it all differently, fully 79 of Ohio’s 88 counties saw slippage in the number of deer killed by youth during the two-day season.

Yet this year’s statistics come with a pretty large caveat; that being a mid-November freezing rain and ice storm that eventually gave way to unseasonably warm weather.

Gone was any snow cover, too, even in Northeast Ohio’s legendary Snow Belt and the wider secondary Snow Belt that hovers around Cleveland’s suburbs and dips down toward Akron and west toward Medina.

Excluding counties with small harvest numbers to begin with that distorts their percentage figures, any number of their counterparts saw their own “uh-hah” and “hmmm” moments in the preliminary total figures.

n fact, of counties with substantial kills – an obviously subjective criterion - only Ashtabula County saw gains. This gain happened in spite of a cold wind that was accompanied by an early morning freezing drizzle that gave many motorists white knuckles and tow truck operators very busy.

Ashtabula County-based youthful hunters killed 135 deer during this year’s season. In 2013 that figure was 112 deer. Thus this year’s youth-only season harvest was up 20.54 percent.

Among some examples of notable changes following the announced revised figures are are Guernsey County - 138 in 2014 and 182 in 2013 (a 24.8-percent decline); Harrison County – 94 in 2014 and 165 in 2013 (a 43.03-percent decline); Hocking County – 51 in 2014 and 127 in 2013 (a 59.84-percent decline); Tuscarawas County – 171 in 2014 and 220 in 2013 (a 22.27-percent decline); Muskingum County – 187 deer 138 in 2014 and 212 in 2013 (a 34.91-percent decline); and Licking County – 118 in 2014 and 189 in 2013 (a 37.57-percent decline).

Other Northeast Ohio counties were: Lake County – Four in 2014 and eight in 2013 (a 50-percent decline); Cuyahoga County – Zero in 2014 and one in 2013 (a 100-percent decline); Geauga County – 37 in 2014 and 38 in 2013 (a 2.63-percent decline); Trumbull County – 66 in 2014 and 72 in 2013 (an 8.33-percent decline).

All of this for the youth-only season is hardly preparatory for the up-coming statewide, general firearms deer-hunting season. That seven-day season will begin the Monday after Thanksgiving, or December 1st.

Better (likely) is the to-date deer kill as of tallied by November 19, chiefly driven to this point by archers. Statewide, the to-date deer kill stands at 68,888 animals. That figure represents only a 1.87-percent drop from the same 2013 time frame figure of 70,204 deer.
Much of what will come December 1st is – as always, weather dependant. A look ahead via AccuWeather’s extended forecast for Northeast Ohio suggests a high on opening day near the freezing mark with partially sunny skies.

The temperature is forecast to rise into the low 50s by December 2nd (Tuesday) and then reach some equilibrium in the mid-40s for the rest of the session.

In central Ohio, the weather is forecast to be even balmier. Try the low- to mid-40s for December 1st and into the mid-60s for December 2nd before ever so slowly falling into the low 40s by the season’s end.

Interestingly for Athens in extreme southeast Ohio the temperatures will possibly reflect those found in Northeast Ohio than further south.

As or precipitation, at this point AccuWeather is forecasting very little in the way of either rain or snow for anywhere in Ohio during the statewide, general firearms deer-hunting season.

More mild weather and a lack of rain/snow very well could mean that many hunters will stick it out longer on their stands than getting up and moving about to stay warm. And in the process, stir the deer population into running into other hunters.

Stay tuned as every deer hunting season provides lots of fodder for hunters to argue over at deer camp and for us pundits to express our opinions. 

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

No comments:

Post a Comment