The countdown clock to deer hunting’s Big Event in Ohio is ticking away.
And what hunters have achieved thus far shows that Ohio still has a decent crop of deer, in spite of some serious trimming by both bowmen and youthful gunners.
The as-of November 25th deer kill for Ohio stands at 76,161 animals. This figure includes the 7,223 deer that were shot during Ohio’s two-day/youth-only firearms deer-hunting season and held November 21st and 22nd.
For comparison purposes – really the only way statistics have any meaning – the similar as-of November 25th 2014 deer kill was 79,994 deer and the comparable 2013 to-date deer kill was 82,228 animals.
What must be considered for 2013 and 2014 is that their respective tallies also included deer that were killed during each of their two-day/muzzle-loading/mid-October hunts. This hunt was not held this year.
The bottom line appears to bolster arguments on the effectiveness of archery hunting tackle and the desire of hunters to spend more time in tree stands and ground blinds.
For the November 25th as-of deer kill, 25 of Ohio’s 88 counties have each seen at least one thousand deer being taken thus far.
In fact, two counties – Coshocton and Licking - have seen their respective to-date kills exceed two thousand animals. Specifically for Coshocton the to-date as of November 25th kill count is 2,106 animals.
Meanwhile, the leader board continues to be dominated by Licking County which has an astonishing count of 2,319 dead deer. I say astonishing because the comparable 2014 to-date deer kill for Licking County was 2,674 deer while the one for 2013 had a kill of 2,658.
And has been mentioned, the to-date figures for both 2013 and 2014 included deer killed during Ohio’s two-year run of a mid-October muzzle-loader-only/antlerless-only deer hunting season.
Digging into the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s deer statistics archives a little deeper, the data shows that for Licking County, 164 deer were killed during the 2013 early antlerless-only season and an identical 164 deer shot there during the 2014 early antlerless-only season.
Thus with the application of some simple math we come up with 2,674 minus 164, equals 2,510 deer. Laid side-by-side and we have for Licking County anyway: we see that a difference of only 191 deer is separating the two as-of figures.
That’s not many deer in the grand scheme of things going into Ohio’s statewide seven-day general firearms deer-hunting season which begins Monday, or November 30th.
Certainly by next week this time we’ll see several other counties easily leap over the 2,000 deer threshold. After all, the current to-date whitetail kill for Adams County is 1,763 deer; Ashtabula County is 1,876 deer; Guernsey County is 1,503 deer; Holmes County is 1,656 deer; Knox County is 1,864 deer; Muskingum County is 1,683 deer; and Tuscarawas County is 1,783 deer.
Bringing up the rear for the 2015 to-date/as of November 25th deer kill are various agricultural-dominated counties. Among them - in alphabetical order – are: Fayette County – 137 deer; Henry County – 237 deer; Madison County – 246 deer; Ottawa County – 203 deer; and Van Wert County – 199 deer.
Even urban counties are faring better than are their country cousins. For example, Franklin County (Columbus) has a to-date deer kill of 457 animals; Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) has a to-date deer kill of 488 animals; Lucas County (Toledo) has a to-date deer kill of 472 animals; Hamilton County (Cincinnati) has an incredible to-date deer kill of 1,225 animals; Montgomery County (Dayton) has a to-date deer kill of 365 animals; and Mahoning County (Youngstown) has a to-date deer kill of 832 animals.
In my own Northeast Ohio back yard the Lake County to-date deer kill stands at 501 animals (in 2014, the comparable to-date figure was 549 deer, less the 30 whitetails shot during the now-defunct early muzzle-loading season equals 519 animals); and for Geauga County the to-date deer kill stands at 917 animals (in 2014, the comparable to-date figure was 966 deer, less the 60 whitetails shot during the now-defunct early muzzle-loading season equals 906 animals).
So there you have it, the completed math assignment. One week from today we’ll be dealing with much larger numbers all around, given that the figures will include the deer kill for the first two days of Ohio’s general firearms deer-hunting season.
Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
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.