Early archery kill is up nearly 20 percent

Columbus – Early indications are that this year’s new bonus
antlerless permits are making a difference in the early
harvest.

Or, it could just that the hunting has been better this fall
than last.

“We want to look at all the numbers come the end of January to
really assess the impact (of the bonus tags),” said Dave Risley,
the DNR Division of Wildlife’s administrator for wildlife
management and research. “One thing we know is we did accomplish
part of what we wanted to and that is to take does out of the
population early in the season.”

Whatever the reason, for the fourth straight year, Ohio
bowhunters set a record harvest during the first six weeks of the
deer-archery season, taking 53,982, according to the Division of
Wildlife.

This year’s early archery harvest is 18 percent higher than last
year’s record of 45,733 deer. The season started in September and
will continue through Feb. 3.

Counties reporting the highest numbers of deer brought to check
stations were Licking (2,239), Tuscarawas (2,2020, Holmes (2,185),
Harrison (1,561), Guernsey (1,517), Ashtabula (1,344), Trumbull
(1,303), Ashland (1,2370, Clermont (1,134), and Knox (1,101).

The largest jump in terms of harvest in this year’s early bow
season was largely in Zone C, which consists of 38 counties in
central, eastern, and southeastern Ohio. One of those counties,
Licking in central Ohio, saw a harvest increase of 560 compared to
the same period a year ago. That was by far the largest jump of any
county in the state, propelling Licking to the top of the list for
the early season.

Richland County, right at the tip of Zone C in northcentral
Ohio, also was a big mover with a harvest of 861 deer this fall
compared to 482 last year.

The harvest in southeast’s Morgan County was also up
significantly, jumping from 364 over the first six week of 2006 to
628 this year.

In all, more deer were killed this year in 32 of the 38 Zone C
counties compared to last. Those counties that saw decreased
harvests in Zone C were Coshocton, Franklin, Belmont, Noble,
Monroe, and Gallia.

Risley said the final analysis will show more clearly if the
first six weeks of archery borrowed from any of the other deer
seasons. In other words, will hunters who harvested deer during the
early season continue to hunt the gun, muzzleloader and second half
of the bow season.

The statewide deer population was estimated to be 675,000 in
early October. Approximately 300,000 bowhunters are expected to
participate in the statewide deer archery hunting season.

Last year, bowhunters harvested a total of 67,912 deer during
the four-month Ohio archery season.

After Nov. 25, the new antlerless deer permit is valid only in
urban hunting units or Division of Wildlife controlled hunts.

The antlerless deer permit was valid in all 88 counties during
the statewide archery season from Sept. 29 through Nov. 25. The
permit may continue to be used in urban units and Division of
Wildlife controlled hunts as they occur through Feb. 3, 2008.
Antlerless permits may not be used by gun hunters participating in
the statewide deer gun season, Nov. 26-Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-16, or
the statewide muzzleloader season Dec. 27-30.

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