Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Decline almost guaranteed for Ohio's 2014-2015 all-seasons deer-hunting harvest

With just 18 days left of Ohio’s archery deer-hunting season the clock has pretty much run out on the 2014-2015 all-seasons’ harvest matching that for the comparable 2013-2014 deer kill.

That’s okay, though, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife.

It was the agency’s intent all along to see a total all-seasons’ harvest decline of five to 10 percent.

And as of the January 15 weekly reporting cycle the drop amounts to a spot-on 9.21 percent decline. The figure also is roughly within one-percent of the decline noted since just before the statewide firearms deer-hunting season about six weeks ago.

What the agency’s current figures show in raw numbers is that to-date as per the Wednesday reporting period, a statewide total of 169,179 deer have been harvested. For the same 2013-2014 to-date period the figure was 186,347 deer.

Broken down a little further it is seen that the current to-date archery kill includes 34,394 antlered deer: An actual increase from the same 2013-2014 to-date reporting figure of 33,539 antlered deer.

However, where the numbers take a nosedive and as a result, becomes the critical factor in the overall to-date harvest is the number of antlerless deer killed.

Thus, the 41,282 antlerless deer shot thus far by archery hunters represents a 13.47 drop from the same 2013-2014 reporting period figure of 47,708 deer.

Similarly – and for those hunters who continue to grouse that too many does are being killed – the to-date all-seasons’ total antlerless deer kill is down 12.93 percent from its respective 2013-2014 period posting.

Among the noteworthy counties demonstrating arguably significant to-date all-seasons harvest declines are Adams (down 14.44 percent); Ashtabula (down 13.20 percent); Coshocton (down 9.65 percent); Guernsey (down 22.41 percent); Harrison (down 24.52 percent); Knox (down 9.51 percent); Licking (down 7.98 percent); Muskingum (down 15.49 percent); Noble (down 22.53 percent); Tuscarawas (down 16.40 percent); and Vinton (down 20.15 percent).

Some of the “up” counties include Brown (up 2.32 percent); Lake (up 9.89 percent); Montgomery (up 16.61 percent); Ottawa (up 19.84 percent); and Wood (46.81 percent).

Ohio’s archery deer-hunting season runs until Sunday, February 1st.

The Ohio Division of Wildlife also is hosting a series of five concurrently held “Deer Summits” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, January 24.

Pre-registration is required though as of Tuesday, January 13 only a baker’s dozen – 13 – people had signed up for the program scheduled for the Wildlife Division’s District Three (Northeast Ohio) office in Akron.

Details for the programs are:

Hunters who wish to attend the summit should preregister by Friday, Jan. 23, as seating is limited. Summits will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following locations:

- Columbus: Wildlife District One Headquarters, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus, 43215. Call 614-644-3925 to preregister.

- Findlay: Wildlife District Two Headquarters, 952 Lima Ave., Findlay, 45480. Call 419-424-5000 to preregister.

- Akron: Wildlife District Three Headquarters, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron, 44319. Call 330-644-2293 to preregister.

- Athens: Wildlife District Four Headquarters, 360 East State Street, Athens, 45701. Call 740-589-9930 to preregister.

- Waynesville: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Caesar Creek Lake Learning Center, 4020 N. Clarksville Road, Waynesville, 45068. Call 937-372-9261 to preregister.

Jeff is the retired News-Herald reporter who  covered the earth sciences, the area's three county park systems and the outdoors for the newspaper. During his 30 years with The News-Herald Jeff was the recipient of more than 100 state, regional and national journalism awards. He also is a columnist and features writer for the Ohio Outdoor News, which is published every other week and details the outdoors happenings in the state.


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