Tuscarawas County leads deer-gun count

Hunters in Tuscarawas County killed the most white-tailed deer statewide during the recent deer-gun season, according to the statistics released by the Ohio Department of Natural Recourse Division of Wildlife.

The 2009 harvest is up from a year ago when 4,017 white-tailed deer were killed by hunters in Guernsey County.

Tuscarawas County hunters harvested 5,901 deer. Harrison County was second with the most deer killed at 4,310 as hunters statewide took 114,633 white-tailed deer from Nov. 30 through Dec. 6.

In 2008, hunters killed a total of 116,798 deer during the same period.

Rounding out the "top 10" counties for 2009 were Guernsey, 4,289; Licking, 3,734; Coshocton, 3,680; Washington, 3,589; Holmes, 3,265; Belmont, 3,238; Athens, 3,049; and Knox, 3,046.

In Noble County, hunters checked in 2,561 deer this year, down from 2,636 during deer-gun season in 2008.

A total of 178,397 deer have been harvested so far this season when combining the adult and youth gun seasons, early muzzleloader season, and the first six weeks of the archery season.

That compares to a total of 179,194 killed last year during the same time period. Hunters took a total of 252,017 deer during all of last year's hunting seasons.

The statewide deer population was estimated to be 650,000 in late September, prior to the start of the hunting season.

Approximately 420,000 hunters were expected to participate in the statewide deer-gun season.

Hunters still have a weekend of deer-gun hunting, Dec. 19-20, and nine weeks of archery hunting in Ohio. Archery season remains open until Feb. 7, 2010.

The statewide muzzleloader deer-hunting season will be Jan. 9-12, 2010.

Totals for deer donated though the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry program will be available next week. Donations of extra deer will be accepted through the entire deer season which ends on Feb. 7, 2010.

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 FHFH can be found online at www.fhfh.org.