By Tom Cross, Sportsmen’s Exit –
Ohio’s 2016 deer gun season saw a precipitous drop in the overall statewide take as hunters harvested just 66,759 deer for the recently concluded week. Last year (2015) hunters tagged 73,392 for the week resulting in 6,633 fewer deer this season, just over a nine percent decline in the total deer harvest for 2016. Likewise, Adams County hunters took far less deer then the previous deer gun season with a take of only 1,082 deer, 503 fewer deer than the 2015 gun season, a nearly 32 percent decrease in the number of deer tagged in Adams County.
Brown County saw their deer take drop by nearly 22 percent harvesting only 823 deer, that’s 231 less deer than hunters took in 2015. Clermont County saw a 30 percent decline in the deer take for the 2016 gun season, bagging only 542 deer compared to last season’s 776. Both Scioto and Pike counties had similar drops. Scioto County hunters harvesting 24 percent fewer deer at 890 deer for the week. Neighboring Pike County hunters bagged 753 deer for the week, 201 less than last year. To the north Highland County hunters bagged 948 deer, that’s 241 less deer compared to the 1,189 taken last season in Highland County.
Out of Ohio’s 88 counties only 22 counties reported small increases in the deer kill. Some of the steepest declines in the state were felt here in southwest Ohio.
Next up is the “Bonus” gun season, once done away with but now back for Dec. 17-18. Statewide muzzleloader season is set for Jan. 7-10. Ohio’s archery season remains open until Feb. 5.
This was a special deer gun season for me as my oldest son Ben, who is making a career in the military, was home on leave for Thanksgiving and the gun season opener. What once was a regular occurrence is now a rarity as seldom do I get to hunt with both my sons on opening day anymore. As it turned out, congrats to Ben who bagged a nice 8-pointer Monday morning that I had been watching all bow season. Ben, the two grandchildren and his wife Melaney, are trying to figure out how to get a deer rack and 55 pounds of venison on the flight back to Alaska.
Hope your season went as well.