With just one abbreviated five-day reporting period left, the numbers may be suggesting that Ohio’s deer hunters are closing in on a total all-seasons’ kill approaching 188,000 animals.
However, the to-date archery deer kill numbers are actually off when laid next to their comparable 2016-2017 figures.
The current weekly deer kill – as of January 30 – stands at 184,951 animals. That figure is 5,072 more deer than were taken for last year’s comparable weekly reporting period (179,879 animals).
If the 2016-2017’s last (and also shortened) reporting period is any indication where an additional 2,290 deer were recorded, than an all-seasons’ deer kill for 2017-2018 may approach that previously mentioned 188,000 number. Such a figure would run to the high end of what Ohio Division of Wildlife biologists were guessing for the final deer harvest, to use the agency’s official terminology.
Likewise, should the 188,000 figure come about it will fall into forth place in total kill over the past six deer-hunting seasons. The total deer kills are: 2012-2013 – 218,910; 2013-2014 – 191,503; 2014-2015 – 175,801; 2015-2016 -188,335; 2016-2017 – 182,169.
Interestingly enough, however, is that while the current total deer kill figures for all implements used show increases, the to-date numbers for deer taken with archery tackle are actually revealing declines. To date for this current season, archers have taken 37,949 antlered deer and 40,609 antlerless deer. Yet the comparable 2016-2017 to-date archery-associated kill numbers were 40,109 antlered deer and 40,924 antlerless deer.
As for why the archery kills are down – if they hold up through to the final numbers – likely those details will become fodder for further discussion by both hunters as well as biologists. One possibility that I’ve mentioned before is that in many of the urban counties their respective deer kills are down. This may be suggesting that efforts to reduce deer numbers through controlled hunts by cities and villages are working as intended.
In any event, here are the counties with to-date deer kills exceeding four thousand animals each with their respective 2016-2017 to-date numbers in parentheses: Ashtabula – 5,040 (4,969); Coshocton – 6,505 (5,885); Guernsey – 4,717 (4,517); Holmes – 4,076 (3,682); Knox – 4,637 (4,455); Licking – 4,961 (4,883); Mukingum – 5,259 (5,063); and Tuscarawas – 5,669 (4,966).
Only three counties remain with to-date deer kills of fewer than 500 animals each: Fayette – 355 (310); Ottawa – 478 (443); Van Wert – 499 (457).
And three counties saw no additional deer taken between the previous to-date reporting period of January 23rd and the current reporting period of January 30th: Clinton – 808; Fayette – 355; Putnum – 781. One other Ohio county – Madison County – saw a weekly reporting gain of just one animal to 506 deer.
Also, 65 of Ohio’s 88 counties have recorded to-date deer kill increases when compared to their respective and comparable 2016-2017 to-date numbers.