Maybe it’s because guys had to put up Christmas lights or endure their kids’ elementary school holiday concerts but between the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s December 8th and December 15th reporting periods, only 865 additional deer were shot.
That’s one of the smallest – maybe the smallest – weekly reported increases in the number of deer being killed by the state’s hunters. Given that we’re between firearms seasons, none of this should come as a surprise.
Just as a for-instance, between the Wildlife Division’s October 6th report that marked 9,473 deer as having been taken and the agency’s October 13th report where 14,206 deer were noted as being shot, the difference in that one-week period was an additional 4,733 animals as having been killed.
And of Ohio’s 88 counties three of them saw no additional deer as having been killed within the past reporting week. They are Mercer County – both reporting weeks of 551 animals; Putnam County – both reporting weeks of 643 animals; and Van Wert County – both reporting weeks of 446 animals.
Even so, 154,157 is still a passel of deer, which is the to-date reporting number of deer as having been killed by Ohio’s white-tail hunters. Last week’s total was 153,292 animals.
For comparison purposes, 2014’s close to-date deer kill total was 150,663 animals and its 2013 counterpart was 164,897 animals.
It must be remembered, of course, that the autumn and winter of 2014 was both colder a snowier than the long-term average. Meanwhile, the weather thus far has taken on the aspects of a serious El Nino-influenced warming trend.
Obviously with a difference of fewer than 1,000 deer being killed, county totals did not inch up by very much.
The counties with December 15th to-date deer kills of at least three thousand animals are (with their respective December 8th report to-date kills in parentheses) are: Adams – 3,435 (3,423); Ashtabula – 3,951 (3,933); Athens – 3,188 (3,162); Coshocton – 4,624 (4,602); Guernsey – 3,575 (3,566); Harrison – 3,120 (3,113); Hocking – 3,011 (2,990); Holmes – 3,092 (3,078); Knox – 3,688 (3,677); Licking – 4,317 (4,292); Muskingum – 4,050 (4,034); Tuscarawas – 3,898 (3,879).
Much of this will change within the next couple of weeks. Ohio firearms deer hunters will have a two-day “bonus” gun deer hunt, the dates being December 28th and 29th, a Monday and a Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the statewide muzzle-loading deer-hunting season is scheduled for January 9th – a Saturday, to January 12th – a Tuesday.
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.