Young Hunters Bag Nearly 31 Percent More Deer During Special Two-day Hunt
COLUMBUS, OH - Young hunters across Ohio took advantage of great weather last weekend, taking 31 percent more deer than in 2004, during the Third Annual Youth Deer-Gun Season. Hunters age 17 and under killed 8,722 deer in the special two-day season, aimed at providing a high-quality hunt for youngsters, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Last year’s youth hunt saw a deer harvest of 6,673.
The Division of Wildlife estimated 15,000 young hunters took to the fields and forests during the two-day season. Counties reporting the greatest number of deer killed were Tuscarawas (390), Holmes (334), Harrison (269), Guernsey (255), and Coshocton (252).
“In only three years, the Youth Deer-Gun Season has become the most popular of all seasons for young hunters,” said Steven A. Gray, chief of the Division of Wildlife. “We are thrilled with the success of these special youth-only hunts, which have helped Ohio become a national leader in attracting young people to the outdoors.”
Sales of youth licenses have grown steadily during the past three years: 34,459 (2002), 39,491 (2003), and 41,562 (2004).
“The Division of Wildlife is very involved with the national ‘Families Afield’ initiative which encourages more families to take their youngsters hunting. This national effort is being spearheaded by the National Wild Turkey Federation, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance,” said Gray.
The youth deer-gun season was open statewide on both private and public land. Young hunters could take one deer of either sex, in accordance with existing bag and deer-zone limits. Shotguns, muzzleloaders, handguns and bows were legal. All participants were required to wear hunter orange, possess a valid Ohio hunting license and special deer permit, and be accompanied by a non-hunting adult.
This recent hunt is one of four special youth-only dates designed to promote the sport of hunting among young Ohioans. Special days are also set aside for upland game, wild turkey, and waterfowl hunting opportunities.
“Ohio has enjoyed a great recovery of many species of wildlife. For this to continue, we will need future generations of hunter-conservationists,” said Gray.
Youngsters and all other hunters will have another chance at taking a whitetail during next week’s statewide deer-gun season, which runs Monday through Sunday, November 28-December 4.
Details on youth hunting seasons and Ohio’s other deer hunting seasons can be found in the 2005-2006 Ohio Hunting Regulations, available where licenses are sold. It can also be viewed online at ohiodnr.com.
Tell your state representative and state senator you'd like to hear twice as many such stories next season, and ask for their support for Rep. Steve Buehrer's House Bill 296, the Hunting Apprentice License bill. Click here to access House & Senate phone numbers.