Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ohio's to-date deer kill still lagging; potential poor weather could threaten youth gun hunt success

Even in the thick of the rut, Ohio’s archery hunters are still lagging behind when laid next to the respective to-date 2016 numbers.

The current to-date deer kill – as of November 7th – stands at 37,861 animals. That figure is up 10,184 deer from the October 31st to-date kill of 27,677 animals, or an increase of about 27 percent.

By comparison – and comparison is the only way that statistics can be assessed as being meaningful – the November 6th 2016 to-date deer kill was 42,268 animals.

Thus the current to-date tally is down 4,407 animals and when it is laid alongside the respective 2017 figure.

Dimming the lamp a bit more as well, Ohio’s November 8th 2016 to-date weekly deer kill count was 33 percent higher than was its previous (November 1st 2016) to-date weekly deer kill count. Which is another way of saying that last year’s to-date deer kill pace was quicker than it is for the (so-far, anyway) 2017 to-date deer kill.

Which is why baseball statistics and deer kill statistics are so much fun for their respective wonks to follow and to digest. But I digress.

In other news regarding the current to-date deer taken numbers, we see five of Ohio’s 88 counties with reported to-date kills of 1,000 or more animals each. They include in alphabetical order (with their respective 2016 to-date numbers in parentheses): Ashtabula County – 1,171 (1,192); Coshocton County – 1,305 (1,371); Licking County – 1,101 (1,324); Trumbull County – 1,040 (1,146); and Tuscarawas County – 1,031 (1,000).

The only current 2017 to-date county not yet in the “One-Thousand Club” that was a member in 2016 is Knox. Knox has seen a serious drop in its respective to-date/year-to-year deer kill, too – 894 animals currently verses 1,067 to-date in 2016, or a decline of 173 deer.

Ohio does have several counties that likely – almost certainly, in fact – will assume a membership in the One Thousand Club. Those candidates with to-date kills of at least 750 animals each (with their respective to-date 2016 figures in parentheses) are: Guernsey County – 766 (773); Holmes County – 972 (991); Knox County – 894 (1,067); Muskingum County – 859 (926); Richland County – 788 (818).

It is perhaps telling to note that every county mentioned so far – with the exception of Tuscarawas County – has seen a decline in their respective 2016 verses 2017 to-date deer kills. They are not alone. Among some of Ohio’s other counties with notable to-date deer kill declines (with their respective 2016 to-date numbers on parentheses) are: Adams – 676 (811); Brown – 466 (543); Carroll – 560 (680); Columbiana – 560 (729); Highland – 483 (618); Hocking – 538 (605); Jefferson – 254 (489); Lorain – 582 (755); Perry – 408 (500); Ross – 504 (645); Scioto – 377 (502); and Williams -382 (485).

In all, only 12 of Ohio’s 88 counties have posted to-date 2017 deer kill gains when compared to their comparable and respective 2016 to-date deer kill numbers. They are: Auglaize County – 220 (198); Butler County – 410 (404); Clinton County – 179 (152); Erie County - 255 (235); Huron County – 478 (465); Montgomery County – 224 (215); Morgan County – 494 (486); Morrow County – 358 (348); Noble County – 452 (427); Ottawa County – 118 (112); Tuscarawas County – 1,031 (1,000); and Union County – 249 (233).

Crawford County has posted identical to-date 2016 and 2017 deer kill numbers – 239.

Lastly, only one of Ohio’s 88 counties has yet to see a 2017 to-date kill that hasn’t crossed over into the three-figure tally. Fayette County’s 2017 to-date deer kill stands at 68 animals. Last year this time Fayette County had achieved the same piece of statistical notoriety only in 2016 its to-date kill number was 81 animals.

Of course, all of these figures will change and perhaps markedly so as Ohio’s two-day youth-only firearms deer hunting season is scheduled for this weekend, November 18th and 19th. The weather will unquestionably determine the deer kill, just as it did in 2016 when rain, cold and wind hit much of the state during the youth-only deer gun season.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast is calling for breezy conditions along with unseasonably cooler than average temperatures as well as a strong chance of rain and then a rain-snot mix followed by a chance of all snow in some locations and for both days. Ugh and double ugh.

- By Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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