Deer Gun Season Harvest Increases Three Percent

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Hunters harvested 99,599 deer during Ohio's deer gun season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

The preliminary total number of deer taken was 3.4 percent above last year's preliminary deer gun season total of 96,290. The deer gun season was open November 26 through December 2.

This year's deer gun season began and ended with excellent weather, although heavy rains during the middle of last week kept hunting to a minimum. Regulations this year allowed hunters to take a second deer in 37 counties. The preliminary deer harvest figure of 99,599 last week was slightly below the preseason predictions of about 105,000.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife reports that among an estimated 500,000 hunters in the field last week, seven hunting incidents were reported. One of the incidents was a fatality. Another hunter was killed when a gun being unloaded by another hunter discharged.

Last year, eleven hunting incidents, including one fatality and four that were self-inflicted occurred during the deer gun season.

"Deer hunting is extremely popular in Ohio, and our staff focuses an enormous amount of effort on safety, through both our public awareness and enforcement projects. We held more hunter education courses just prior to this deer gun season than ever before," said Mike Budzik, chief of the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

Counties reporting the highest numbers of deer brought to Ohio check stations last week included Athens - 3667; Muskingum - 3614; Tuscarawas - 3423; Guernsey - 3383; and Washington - 3377.