Antlerless Muzzleloader Season Harvest Increases Sharply in 2014
COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio’s muzzleloader hunters checked 6,613 antlerless white-tailed deer during a two-day season, Oct. 11-12, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). That is an 18 percent increase from 2013, when hunters checked 5,608 deer, the first year for the antlerless muzzleloader season.
The Ohio counties that reported the most checked deer during the 2014 antlerless-only muzzleloader season: Ashtabula (228), Columbiana (180), Coshocton (177), Licking (164), Tuscarawas (151), Guernsey (150), Trumbull (147), Stark (145), Knox (143) and Adams (142).
An additional 1,313 deer were harvested by archery hunters on Oct. 11-12. The total number of antlerless deer checked by hunters during the two days was 7,926, a 21 percent increase from 2013 (6,553).
Ohio hunters have many more opportunities to pursue deer throughout the fall and winter. The youth gun season is Nov. 22-23, gun season is Dec. 1-7, muzzleloader season is Jan. 2-5, 2015, and archery season is open through Feb. 1, 2015.
Hunting is the best and most effective management tool for maintaining Ohio’s healthy deer population. During the 2013-2014 season, Ohio hunters checked 191,459 deer. 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’sHunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations through a combination of regulatory and programmatic changes. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists. This ensures that Ohio’s deer herd is maintained at a level that is both acceptable to most, and biologically sound.
Until recently, the populations in nearly all of Ohio’s counties were well above their target numbers. In the last few years, through increased harvests, dramatic strides have been made in many counties to bring those populations closer toward their goal. Once a county’s deer population is near goal, harvest regulations are adjusted to maintain the population.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at www.ohiodnr.gov.