With three reporting segments completed the raw data is showing that between the October 6th and the October 13th preliminary tallies, Ohio’s archery hunters killed another 4,733 deer.
Thus the to-date statewide preliminary kill total stands at 14,206 animals, up from the October 6th summary total of 9,473 deer.However, by comparison, the 2014 figure was 20,790 deer killed during the first 18 days of Ohio’s deer-hunting program.
And the comparable to-date deer kill for approximately the same number of days and approximately the same time frame in 2013 was 19,252 deer.
The Wildlife Division does have what it believes is the perfect answer to what seems to be a marked decline in the deer kill figures.
Mike Tonkovich - the agency deer management administrator - says the 2014 and 2015 data includes their respective early two-day, muzzle-loader-only, antlerless-only seasons, a season which is a no-show for this year.
Tonkovich says that rather than being down 45percent, the statewide archery deer kill is "actually up 2.5 percent -13,841 deer verses 14,179 deer over last year."
Consequently, the 20,790 figure includes 6,613 deer taken by muzzle-loaders the second weekend in October last year, not archers, Tonkovich says.
"But, your comparison certainly does draw attention to one other point worth noting," Tonkovich says. "When we picked the second weekend in October to host what turned out to be a very productive and enjoyable hunt for a lot of Ohio’s young and old hunters, the decision was based on the fact that it would have minimal impact on the archery harvest."
Tonkovich believes as well that it "I think it is fair to say that the 45 percent deficit in this year’s total harvest through week three speaks to the fact that there was little lost in terms of archery harvest by allowing muzzle-loaders to hunt that second weekend in October.”
"If archers had made a huge harvest sacrifice by giving up that weekend, this year’s numbers would have been a lot closer to last year’s figures."
Still on the leader board’s Top Three county-by-county deer kill ranking are Trumbull County – 456 deer; Licking County – 452 deer; and Ashtabula County – 447 deer.
And 30 of Ohio’s 88 counties have yet to break over the three-figure deer kill total. Among those counties with the least number of to-date reported deer killed are: Erie – 61 deer; Madison – 49 deer; Ottawa – 41 deer; and Van Wert – 21 deer.
Jeffrey L. Frischkorn