COLUMBUS — Ohio’s deer season for gun hunters got off to a big start.
The state Division of Wildlife says hunters bagged more than 37,800 white-tailed deer on Monday’s opening day of the nine-day season. The preliminary total was up 12.5 percent from last year’s first day.
Officials say in a statement that the statewide hunt got under way with “near ideal weather.”
Tuscarawas County had the highest number of deer counted at check stations Monday, more than 1,800.
In Knox County, the numbef of deer counted at check stations totaled 700. Those numbers were actually down about 8 percent from last year. Local officials say the rain throughout the morning and evening hours may be to blame.
Still, it seemed busier for local wildlife officers.
“It’s been very busy,” Knox County wildlife officer Mike Miller said. “Mostly with trespassing claims and shots into houses.”
Miller says they’ve already investigated 27 trespassing calls. The problem is that many hunters aren’t seeking the proper permission before entering someone’s property to hunt. Officials want to remind everyone to make sure they have written permission to be on someone else’s property before going out, and keep the paperwork with them while they’re hunting.
The season runs through Sunday and then resumes for two more days over the Dec. 18-19 weekend.
This year’s deer-gun season is expected to draw about 420,000 hunters, including many from outside Ohio.