Youth gun kill drops just slightly

Athens, Ohio — Don’t read too much into this year’s just concluded youth-only firearms deer-hunting season figures though a few snippets of “uh-huhs” are certainly understandable.

Or so says the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s chief white-tail deer biologist, Clint McCoy.

This year’s edition of the statewide youth-only season ran Nov. 23-24. Only those youngsters age 17 and under were legally allowed to participate, and each youngster had to be accompanied by an adult mentor.

In all, these youths shot 6,234 deer, a drop from the 6,585 animals that youths killed during the 2018 youth-only season. Yet this year’s numbers are still way ahead of the 4,892 deer that youths shot during the 2017 season or even the 5,930 animals that youths shot during the 2016 youth-only season, said McCoy.

“What is interesting is the type of implements that youths are using,” MCCoy said. “Last year prior to the start of the youth season, 3,797 youth (deer) permits were used, but this year that number was 5,259. That’s a huge jump.”

Thus, says, McCoy, it definitely appears that more young people are taking to the woods with archery tackle before the youth-only gun season even begins.

Interestingly, too, is that the number of youth licenses through Nov. 24 dropped by some 3% between 2018 and 2019. In 2018 the number was 36,578. This year that figure was 37,624, McCoy said.

Yet even caveats have caveats. The way the calendars were arranged, there was an extra week between the start of the archery season and the start of the youth-only season this year,McCoy said.

McCoy also hastened to add that trying to read too much into individual county deer kill-harvests can lead to misconceptions.

The Portage County kill shows that 128 deer were taken during the two days, though that number includes animals shot during a controlled hunt at the Ravenna Arsenal.

The reverse is seen in Erie County where a controlled hunt was held last year at NASA’s Plum Brook Station but not for the impacted weekend this year, said McCoy.

Though both these hunts were for adults, their respective deer kill-harvest figures are lumped together in the youth hunt statistics since all of the animals were taken with firearms.

As for divining tea leaves – and thus the impact the youth-only season might have on the upcoming general firearms deer-hunting season – be careful of choosing a soothsayer, McCoy says.

“I can’t see how there really is any real connection,” McCoy says. “The weather will play an important factor, as did the poor weather for the 2017 youth-only season.”

Here is the county-by-county breakdown of the deer kill-harvest during the youth-only firearms deer-hunting season Nov. 23 and 24, with their respective 2018 figures in parentheses:

Adams: 81 (145); Allen: 40 (35); Ashland: 167 (133); Ashtabula: 119 (155); Athens: 111 (133); Auglaize: 37 (38); Belmont: 112 (136); Brown: 65 (86); Butler: 28 (36); Carroll: 119 (111); Champaign: 42 (53); Clark: 19 (26); Clermont: 65 (67); Clinton: 28 (39); Columbiana: 115 (84); Coshocton: 263 (288); Crawford: 49 (39); Cuyahoga: 2 (1); Darke: 41 (27); Defiance: 85 (67); Delaware: 29 (31); Erie: 21 (83); Fairfield: 43 (62); Fayette: 16 (14); Franklin: 7 (11); Fulton: 24 (18); Gallia: 66 (126); Geauga: 50 (42); Greene: 23 (29); Guernsey: 158 (154); Hamilton: 8 (12); Hancock: 51 (35); Hardin: 59 (42); Harrison: 130 (117); Henry: 26 (19); Highland: 113 (94); Hocking: 86 (84); Holmes: 210 (237); Huron: 90 (96); Jackson: 94 (117); Jefferson: 76 (83); Knox: 202 (185); Lake: 6 (12); Lawrence: 45 (78); Licking: 149 (146); Logan: 72 (90); Lorain: 63 (59); Lucas: 6 (10); Madison: 16 (28); Mahoning: 34 (56); Marion: 33 (22); Medina: 50 (43); Meigs: 127 (138); Mercer: 45 (22); Miami: 25 (32); Monroe: 81 (98); Montgomery: 15 (13); Morgan: 90 (144); Morrow: 50 (54); Muskingum: 166 (172); Noble: 95 (118); Ottawa: 15 (19); Paulding: 58 (42); Perry: 81 (85); Pickaway: 32 (28); Pike: 60 (91); Portage: 128 (29); Preble: 39 (47); Putnam: 48 (42); Richland: 108 (112); Ross: 129 (136); Sandusky: 26 (29); Scioto: 76 (98); Seneca: 85 (83); Shelby: 44 (45); Stark: 78 (81); Summit: 8 (14); Trumbull: 82 (97); Tuscarawas: 243 (226); Union: 32 (37); Van Wert: 26 (38); Vinton: 82 (92); Warren: 24 (34); Washington: 131 (118); Wayne: 105 (77); Williams: 44 (43); Wood: 42 (34); Wyandot: 70 (83). Total: 6,234 (6,585).

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Ohio – Jeffrey Frischkorn, Whitetail Deer

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