COLUMBUS — The number of white-tailed deer bagged by Ohio hunters this deer-gun season is down throughout the state.
Ohio hunters took 104,442 white-tailed deer during the state’s weeklong deer-gun season, which ran Nov. 29 through Dec. 5, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.
That’s down about 9 percent from last year.
Here in Knox County, the numbers are reflective — 2,843 deer were brought to check stations, down by 203 from last year.
“The drop is insignificant, actually,” ODNR officer Mike Miller said. “It could show that the regulations that govern population control are working.”
Hunters still have a weekend of deer-gun hunting coming up on Dec. 18 and 19.
“That weekend’s a good chance to make up for the reduction,” Miller said. “We have two days to catch up. The goal is to reduce the deer population.”
Even though there were fewer deer bagged, it was a busier week than last year –– at least, from an officer’s perspective.
“I wrote more tickets than last year,” Miller said. “Mostly hunting without permission of the property owner.”
These aren’t tickets than can just be written off, either. A first offense carries a third-degree misdemeanor. A second offense bumps it up to a second-degree misdemeanor and confiscation of hunting equipment.
Miller wants everyone who plans to hunt in the upcoming deer-gun weekend to stay safe.
“Remember, you’re responsible for your gun,” Miller said. “Whenever you fire it, you’re responsible for what happens.”