Ohio hunters express their concerns about the low number of whitetail deer harvests this season at recent public meeting.
Ohio hunters are frustrated by the low number of whitetail deer harvests that have been characteristic of this year’s season.
Many Ohio hunters attended a meeting last Saturday organized by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife and expressed their concerns about the lack of whitetail deer in the northeast area of the Buckeye State.
The current deer hunting season comes to an end on Feb. 1, and according to Pat Betts of Barberton, owner-operator of Betts Taxidermy in Barberton, it’s the worst he’s seen.
Betts told reporters, “It’s been horrible. … People can’t shoot deer because they aren’t even seeing deer.”
Rinhold “Butch” Shilling of Canal Fulton, added, “We’re not seeing deer like we used to see them in the early and mid-1980s. … The deer population in Ohio is way down.”
This year Ohio hunters are likely to bag 180,000 deer, according to estimates. Last year Ohio hunters harvested a total 191,459 deer. The record harvest by Ohio hunters still stands at 261,260 for the 2009-2010 season.
Ohio’s deer herd is currently at about 700,000, this number up from 400,000 deer documented ten years ago. State biologist Mike Tonkovich told reporters that the Division of Wildlife is waiting to see if deer populations will rebound in coming years.
The overall condition of Ohio’s deer herds is suffering from an increase in population coupled with a loss of quality habitat.