COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio muzzleloader hunters enjoyed warm weather as they harvested 5,608 antlerless white-tailed deer during the new antlerless-only muzzleloader hunting weekend Oct. 12-13, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
“Ohio’s first antlerless-only muzzleloader deer season was a success, and we are pleased so many hunters participated,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “We remain committed to providing Ohio’s sportsmen and women with some of the best hunting opportunities in the nation.”
The new antlerless muzzleloader weekend was the first opportunity to take advantage of Ohio’s new extended hunting hours. A half hour of golden opportunity hunting time after sunset was added to all of this year’s upcoming deer-gun hunting seasons.
The Ohio counties that reported the most checked deer during the 2013 antlerless-only muzzleloader season: Ashtabula (200), Licking (164), Guernsey (144), Muskingum (143), Knox (141), Coshocton (138), Adams (135), Columbiana (128), Carroll (120), Athens (117) and Trumbull (117).
The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations through a combination of regulatory and programmatic changes. This new early muzzleloader season also serves to help manage the state’s deer herd. Progress toward reducing locally abundant herds can be expected, and strides have been made to reduce deer herds in many counties closer to target levels.
Ohio hunters are encouraged to hunt more does this season to help the needy in their area. The ODNR Division of Wildlife is working with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who donate their deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as funding for the effort lasts. More information about this program can be found online at fhfh.org.
Deer hunting in Ohio continues to be a popular activity for many who enjoy the outdoors. Ohio hunters checked 218,910 deer during the 2012-2013 season. Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication. Find more information about Ohio deer hunting at wildohio.com.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.