Columbus — An unknown number of hunters on the Nov. 28 opening day of Ohio’s firearms deer-hunting season were thwarted by a technical glitch that prevented them from accessing the state’s much vaunted electronic “Game Check” system.
For several hours on Nov. 28, the system’s vendor – selected through competitive bidding process by the Ohio Division of Wildlife – was unable to process the checking in of deer. This, on the most important and busiest day of Ohio’s various and long combined deer-hunting season.
“Harvest figures are based on date and time of check – automatically generated by our licensing/game check system – rather than the hunter provided date/time of kill. Our game check system went down on Monday (Nov. 28) evening, obviously an unfortunate time for it to misbehave!,” said Clint McCoy, the wildlife division’s chief deer management biologist.
McCoy was in Wyandot County’s CWD deer-check station on Monday when the system crashed.
“Thankfully, it was restored within a few hours, but there were certainly some hunters that tried to check a deer on Monday evening that ended up checking it on Tuesday,” McCoy said.
Consequently, McCoy said “for this reason, our opening day figure is likely biased a bit low and our Tuesday harvest likely inflated a bit.”
Taking both days together, it looks like 32,870 deer were reported in the first two days of the gun season, which is “a bit shy of last year’s 34,748 deer for the two days, but about 18% more deer than the three-year average of 27,948 deer,” McCoy said.
“All told so far we’re at 124,368 deer reported through Tuesday of gun season, which is pretty much on pace with last year’s harvest, which was sitting at 122,262 through the same time period,” McCoy said.
Thus, overall, “opening day provided pretty solid hunting weather with temperatures in the 40s and little to no precipitation across most of the state,”McCoy said.