EARLY MUZZLELOADER SEASON RESULTS IN INCREASED HARVEST
Harvest numbers more than double last year’s results
ATHENS, OH – Muzzleloader hunters took 568 deer during last week’s early muzzleloader deer hunt according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Hunters took 315 deer at Salt Fork Wildlife Area, 162 deer at Wildcat Hollow, and 91 deer at Shawnee State Forest. During last year’s early muzzleloader hunt, hunters took a total of 273 deer for the season; 137 deer at Salt Fork Wildlife Area, 98 deer at Wildcat Hollow, and 38 deer at Shawnee State Forest.
“The increase in harvest is encouraging” stated Division of Wildlife deer biologist Mike Tonkovich. “As we saw last year, weather – inclement or otherwise - can have a significant impact on the harvest, however.”
The early muzzleloader season was open October 20 through October 25. This year, hunters did not have to apply for a controlled hunt permit to participate in the hunt as they have in the past. The season allows for the harvest of antlered and antlerless deer, and this year the $15 antlerless deer permits were valid for use.
Ohio’s various deer hunting seasons coupled with a healthy population gives hunters a good opportunity for success. Archery season opened September 27 and runs through February 1, 2009. Deer gun season will open December 1 and extend through December 7, and be open for a weekend hunt on December 20 and 21. The statewide muzzleloader season is December 27 through December 30.
Hunters interested in donating venison to food banks are reminded that the Division of Wildlife has collaborated with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who donate their deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as funding for the effort lasts. More information about this program can be found online at www.fhfh.org
For additional information on all of Ohio’s deer hunting seasons and requirements, hunters are advised to review the 2008-2009 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations.