Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ohio's deer kill picking up with gun hunts on the horizon

With the wind-down of the rut and the  approach of various deer hunting seasons where participants can use something other than “stick and string” a corner is about to be turned in Ohio’s weekly deer kill report.

Oh, yes, one more thing.  The last county which had yet to clear the triple-digit deer kill figure finally overcame that hurdle. The Ohio Division of Wildlife’s as-of November 17 for Fayette County stands at 104 animals.

It took hunters there from September 26 through November 15 to get the job done but they did it.

Based on the required electronically filed reports, Ohio’s deer hunters have thus far killed 63,026 animals, almost evenly divided between antlered deer (31,579) and antlerless deer (31,579).

The previous report – filed November 11 – included an all-inclusive figure of 48,818 deer being killed with 23,027 being antlered deer and 26,791 being antlerless deer.

For the latest reporting period there are 21 counties with do-date deer kills of at least 1,000 deer. These counties are: Adams (1,477); Ashland (1,010); Ashtabula (1,625); Athens (1,113); Clermont (1,123); Coshocton (1,708); Guernsey (1,182); Hamilton (1,103); Harrison (1,095); Hocking (1,065); Holmes (1,350); Knox (1,539); Licking (1,962); Lorain (1,064); Muskingum (1,346); Richland (1,152); Ross (1,101); Scioto (1,014); Stark (also 1,101); Trumbull (1,403); Tuscarawas (1,417).

For the November 10 reporting period (the actual report filed one day later), only nine counties had to-date recorded kills of at least one thousand deer each. Those counties were: Adams (1,147); Ashtabula (1,409); Coshocton (1,389); Holmes (1,108); Knox (1,251); Licking (1,611); Muskingum (1,055); Trumbull (1,248); and Tuscarawas (1,124).

Another six counties will undoubtedly climb over the 1,000 deer-kill hurdle for the next reporting period. These counties have to-date deer kills of at least 900 animals. They are Brown (903); Carroll (998); Columbiana (989); Highland (953); Portage (969); and Meigs (961).

For that matter membership in the 1,000 Deer Kill Club should expand greatly at the next reporting. The reason for this being that Saturday and Sunday – November 21st and 22nd – are the date’s for Ohio’s youth-only firearms deer-hunting season. Last year the participating youths shot a total of 6,453 deer, antlered and antlerless.

The key to youthful success will – as always and especially as for any firearms deer-hunting season - will be the weather.  And that’s not looking encouraging, either.

From north to south, Saturday’s high will become mired in mid-40-degree temperatures with rain of some sort expected as well. Lows will be for Saturday night in the north around the freezing mark but will fall into the lower 20s the further one ventures south.

Sunday will likely prove miserable, at least in Northeast Ohio with snow squalls being forecasted and a high only in the mid-30s.

Going south there’s much less chance of snow or rain and much better opportunities for sunshine.  However, temperatures are forecasted to also be in the mid-30-degree range with temperatures falling that evening into the upper teens.

Of course by then the youth-only firearms deer-hunting season will be finished and whatever deer kill numbers come as a result will find themselves tallied in the November 25th report. For good or for ill in terms of contributing to Ohio’s overall/all-seasons’ deer kill tally.
By Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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