Weather could hinder Ohio ‘bonus’ firearms deer-hunting season

 

This weekend, when Ohio conducts its two-day — often-called “bonus” firearms deer-hunting season —  I’ll be thinking twice about the weather, how much snow covers the ground in Lake and Ashtabula counties (expecting a whole big bunch), and how far the rescue squad can back up its meat wagon to take me either to the hospital or the morgue.

 

All given that I’m something of a fat, crippled old man who has to mull adventuring in crusted snow.

 

For sure what honey-combed snow that lies atop the earth leading to my various four deer-hunting blinds is going to play a big factor in whether I’ll even be able to participate. And with the threat that comes with a dire Lake Effect Snow Warning for Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula counties — I suspect that I won’t be the only extreme Northeast Ohio deer hunter who’ll give pause about going afield Saturday and Sunday.

 

For sure what we have on the ground now is what I refer to as “heart attack” snow, with the likely prospect of up to another foot only adding to the misery and potentially life-threatening conditions.

 

Thus, in all probability, the opportunity to make up for Ohio’s to-date deer kill will be overrun with deep snows, holiday shopping and a general lack of interest that can be traced back to deer-hunting over-exposure.

 

As it now stands, the current to date total deer kill (as of Dec. 13) stands at 144,969 animals, including 65,638 antlered white-tails. For the comparable 2015 to-date experience (as of December 16th, 2015) the tally was 154,157 animals, of which 67,284 were antlered deer.

 

Simple math puts the difference at 9,188 more deer being taken during the respective 2015 to-date experience of 154,157 deer killed when placed alongside the current to-date number of 144,969 animals taken. 

 

However, look more closely at the numbers. The difference in the total of antlered deer killed between last year’s to-date figure and its respective 2016 to-date number is just 1,646 more antlered animals. 

 

Consequently, the spreadsheet demonstrates that the biggest drop in the number of deer being taken is falling on the heads on antlerless deer – those animals that make all of the baby deer we hunters see the following hunting season and beyond.

 

In 2015 the to-date number of antlerless deer shot stood at 86,873 animals. So far the to-date antlerless deer kill is 79,331 animals, for a decline of 7,542 deer.

 

Just how this weekend’s hunt will fare is uncertain, of course. That being said, the fresh snow that will shortly fall on the deep and heavily crusted mat that now lies over the extreme Northeast Ohio counties will almost certainly impact the harvest in Lake, Cuyahoga, Ashtabula counties and likeliest of all, Geauga County. And not for the better, either.

 

Then, too, the cold that will proceed this weekend might be enough to discourage a fair number of prospective deer hunters throughout Ohio; particularly if Friday night’s lows to tumble into the teens or even lower.

 

But enough of the maybes and possibilities; let’s take a peek at what’s in the books now. To date, 20 of Ohio’s 88 counties have recorded deer harvest gains when compared to their respective 2015 to-date numbers. One – Lake County – has posted identical to-date 2015 and 2016 figures.

 

The ledger as it currently stands features the following randomly selection counties with their to-date numbers followed by their comparable 2015 to-date figures in parentheses:
  • Adams – 2,642 (3,435)
  • Ashland – 2,431 (2,416)
  • Ashtabula – 3,830 (3,951)
  • Athens – 2,830 (3,188)
  • Belmont – 2,454 (2,562)
  • Brown – 1,924 (2,196)
  • Butler – 987 (1,098)
  • Carroll – 2,780 (2,868)
  • Champaign – 933 (1,027)
  • Clark – 551 (644)
  • Clermont – 1,775 (2,195)
  • Columbiana – 2,561 (2,721)
  • Coshocton – 4,777 (4,624)
  • Cuyahoga – 763 (589)
  • Defiance – 1,388 (1,526)
  • Delaware – 1,253 (1,364)
  • Erie – 700 (631)
  • Fayette – 261 (271)
  • Franklin – 679 (628)
  • Gallia – 2,144 (2,456)
  • Geauga – 1,400 (1,470)
  • Guernsey – 3,558 (3,575)
  • Hamilton – 1,208 (1,575)
  • Hancock – 996 (1,012)
  • Hardin – 999 (1,069)
  • Harrison – 2,904 (3,120)
  • Henry – 612 (621)
  • Highland – 2,122 (2,423)
  • Hocking – 2,542 (3,011)
  • Holmes – 3,112 (3,092)
  • Huron – 1,898 (1,896)
  • Jackson – 2,234 (2,567)
  • Jefferson – 2,129 (2,125)
  • Knox – 3,777 (3,688)
  • Lake – 709 (also 709)
  • Lawrence – 1,551 (1,747)
  • Licking – 3,910 (4,317)
  • Logan – 1,577 (1,686)
  • Lorain – 1,979 (1,969)
  • Lucas – 599 (623)
  • Mahoning – 1,518 (1,444)
  • Medina – 1,591 (1,482)
  • Meigs – 2,672 (2,854)
  • Mercer – 582 (551)
  • Monroe – 1,964 (2,081)
  • Montgomery – 463 (529)
  • Morgan – 2,312 (2,532)
  • Morrow – 1,248 (1,217)
  • Muskingum – 3,996 (4,050)
  • Noble – 2,267 (2,355)
  • Ottawa – 337 (323)
  • Perry – 2,193 (2,365)
  • Pickaway – 579 (669)
  • Pike – 1,701 (1,938)
  • Portage 1,720 (1,797)
  • Putnam – 619 (643)
  • Richland – 2,632 (2,649)
  • Ross – 2,418 (2,724)
  • Sandusky – 681 (715)
  • Scioto – 1,964 (2,509)
  • Seneca – 1,570 (1,544)
  • Shelby – 794 (891)
  • Stark – 2,153 (2,244)
  • Summit – 1,158 (1,099)
  • Trumbull – 2,885 (3,783)
  • Tuscarawas – 3,954 (3,898)
  • Van Wert – 399 (446)
  • Vinton – 2,130 (2,470)
  • Warren – 863 (1,026)
  • Washington – 2,633 (2,859)
  • Wayne – 1,694 (1,634)
  • Williams – 1,383 (1,621)
  • Wood – 724 (717)
  • Wyandot – 1,240 (1,241).
Categories: Firearms, Hunting News, Whitetail Deer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *