Tuscarawas County leads state in weekend deer-gun harvest numbersCOLUMBUS -- Hunters killed 16,382 deer on Dec. 20-21, during the weekend of gun hunting, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.The extra weekend of gun hunting was first offered in 2006 in response to hunters' request for additional weekend days to pursue white-tailed deer, the state's number one big game animal. In 2007, hunters took 17,710 deer during those two days.Counties leading the state in deer killed over the weekend included: Tuscarawas, 868; Harrison, 724; Licking, 594; Guernsey, 534; Holmes, 522; Coshocton, 514; Ashtabula and Washington, 426; Jefferson, 394; and Belmont, 389.A total of 218,890 deer have been harvested so far this season when combining the adult and youth gun seasons, early muzzleloader season and the first nine weeks of the archery season. Hunters took a total of 232,854 deer during all of last year's hunting seasons.Hunters can continue to enjoy deer hunting Dec. 27-30, during the statewide muzzleloader season, and through Feb. 1, 2009, as the archery season continues.Hunters have been encouraged to kill more does this season and donate any extra venison to organizations assisting Ohioans in need. The Division is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who give their deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer are taken to a participating processor and funding for the effort lasts. Counties being served by this program can be found online at http://fhfh.org/.Hunters who wish to share their successes can submit a photo of themselves and the deer they took during this year's hunt. The photo submission process is easy and once the photo is posted, it can be e-mailed to a friend. Go to wildohio.com and click on New! Submit Your Deer Photos and More.The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.