The weather -- that constant wild card in the plans of any hunter -- was in a cooperative mood for the opening day of the Ohio deer gun season on Monday (Nov. 26), and hunters harvested nearly 25 percent more white-tailed deer. The count by the Division of Wildlife came in at 29,297 whitetails taken on opening day. In the 2011 season-opener, hunters were greeted with wind and rain and harvested 23,600 deer.
When we look at the harvest reports from individual counties for the 2012 opening day, the usual suspects line up with the best numbers. The hill country of Coshocton (1,199), Muskingum (1,102), Tuscarawas (1,091) and Guernsey (858) counties remained at the top of the list. Those top three were the same as in 2011. Locally, the deer harvest numbers from opening day pretty much matched up with the available amount of huntable land in these counties --Lucas: 26; Williams: 354; Wood: 67; Wyandot: 239, Sandusky: 70; Hancock: 174; Seneca: 254; Ottawa: 24; Henry: 123; Van Wert: 76; Paulding: 191; Erie: 61; Defiance: 340; and Crawford: 164.
The deer gun season is open through Sunday (Dec. 2), and then reopens for the weekend of Dec. 15-16. The state expects about 420,000 hunters to take part in the gun season.