Poor weather hampers deer harvest on extra gun weekend

COLUMBUS, OH - Hunters killed 16,382 deer on December 20-21, during the weekend of gun hunting, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The extra weekend of gun hunting was first offered in 2006 in response to hunters' request for additional weekend days to pursue white-tailed deer, the state's number one big game animal. In 2007, hunters took 17,710 deer during those two days, but icy conditions and an arctic wind was likely a deterrent factor for many hunters who still had tags to fill this year.

Counties leading the state in deer killed over the weekend included: Tuscarawas - 868, Harrison - 724, Licking - 594, Guernsey - 534, Holmes - 522, Coshocton - 514, Ashtabula and Washington - 426, Jefferson - 394 and Belmont - 389.

A total of 218,890 deer have been harvested so far this season when combining the adult and youth gun seasons, early muzzleloader season and the first nine weeks of the archery season. Hunters took a total of 232,854 deer during all of last year's hunting seasons.

Hunters can continue to enjoy deer hunting December 27-30, during the statewide muzzleloader season, and through February 1, 2009 as the archery season continues.

Hunters have been encouraged to kill more does this season and donate any extra venison to organizations assisting Ohioans in need. The Division is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who give their deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer are taken to a participating processor and funding for the effort lasts. Counties being served by this program can be found online at http://fhfh.org/.

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