Early Ohio deer kill lags behind
Athens, Ohio — Since Ohio’s archery deer-hunting season began Sept. 25, the unseasonably warm weather is largely being assigned the blame for a cooling of the initial deer kill.
For the period up through Oct. 12, the statewide total archery-associated deer kill was down 16% verses the three-year average. Just for antlered deer, the figure was 8.5%, and for antlerless animals that percentage had fallen by 19%, says Clint McCoy, the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s deer management biologist.
Just how slow the start has been can be seen in the county-by-county to-date numbers. Of Ohio’s 88 counties through Oct. 12, only five – Harrison, Jefferson, Pike, Portage, and Vinton – showed increases in the to-date deer kill when compared to the three-year average.
It is estimated that Ohio’s deer herd consists of around 600,000 to 800,000 animals. And projections are that between 185,000 and 1995,000 deer will be killed by all means when the last of Ohio’s deer seasons concludes Feb. 6.
“Opening weekend the deer harvest was pretty solid with some nice weather to help but since then it’s been hot and that had to be a significant factor,” McCoy said.
For a full rundown of the early season archery harvest, see the Nov. 5 print edition of Ohio Outdoor News.