Medicine

Deer hunting success will require walking

Deer hunting success will require walking

Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Tim Schweizer says the number of deer taken was down statewide, from nearly 58-thousand deer last year to 54,452 deer this year.

Temperatures Friday, Saturday and Sunday are expected to be in the upper 50s to low 60s - "well above normal and probably the opposite of what hunters want", he said.

Jeremy Doan, one of the owners of Rolling Plains Adventures near Sterling, concurs with Jensen's assessment of what it will take to get a deer this year. Many counties have open antlerless seasons that coincided with the antlered season so it is essentially the hunter's choice as long as he has the appropriate tags. This was his first year of hunting during the annual Youth Gun Season. Deer gun season begins Monday in Ohio.

While that's a good thing for the deer that live in areas where red-oak acorns are especially abundant, it could make for tougher deer hunting there.

Check the Hunting and Trapping Digest for current seasons.

For more information about rules regarding hunting in the Disease Surveillance Area, CWD or statewide hunting regulations, visit wildohio.gov.

In 1977, guns were used to fell more than 90 percent of the deer taken. By 2013, more deer were taken by bow - long, cross and compound - than during all the gun seasons.

Hunters complain about the lack of deer these days, but most were not around when it was a thrill just to see one of the magnificent animals. Antlerless permits are not valid. Weather will determine how much effort is expended on the week's hunt. The chance of rain and unseasonal warmth increases Tuesday, but the rest of the week looks seasonal, with only a small chance of rain.

Chris Ensminger says around 20-percent of hunters who kill a deer fail to report it to the DNR. Last year, 392,500 permits were sold; that was the most in several years.

With the countdown to kickoff underway, thousands of the state's hunters are inching closer to bringing home the buck of a lifetime, said R. Matthew Hough, executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. About 4,000 deer were killed by archers and about 1,500 by black powder rifle hunters.

The limit is four in Franklin and DE counties, three in Licking and Union counties, and two in Madison, Pickaway and Fairfield counties. State officials tested almost 1,000 wild deer from that zone so far and none have been positive for the disease, the state reported.

Youth hunters could pursue deer with a legal shotgun, muzzleloader, handgun or specific straight-walled cartridge rifle and were required to be accompanied by a non-hunting adult during the two-day season. Deer must be checked by noon on the day after the kill, except on the season's final day, when they must be checked by 11:30 p.m.