In spite of the summer-like weather archers are scoring on deer, well on the way to another big harvest. Wildlife officials want to remind archers that deer must be checked by 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest.
Officials expect 345,000 archers to hunt this fall, a number that represents more than half of all Ohio deer hunters. During last year’s four-month archery season, bow and crossbow hunters killed 85,012 deer with crossbow shooters claiming slightly over one half of the total.
Overall, archers accounted for 35 percent of 239,475 deer taken during Ohio’s combined 2010-11 archery, muzzleloader and gun seasons. According to Division of Wildlife, Licking County led the state in archery harvest. Now add Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Ashtabula and Holmes to see the top counties.
“I expect both the pre-hunt deer population and the harvest to be near their three-year averages of 750,000 and 250,000 deer, respectively,” said Mike Tonkovich, DOW deer project leader.
All hunters must still report their harvest of deer, but they are no longer required to take their deer to a check station for physical inspection.
Options. Hunters will have three options to complete the automated game check:
2. By telephone at 1-877-TAG-ITOH (1-877-824-4864). This option is only available to those who are required to purchase a permit to hunt. Cell phone users should to enter this number into their phone right now.
3. At all license agents.
Game-check transactions will be available online and by telephone seven days a week and during holidays. Landowner hunters who are not required to purchase a deer permit must use the Internet or any license agent to check their deer.
Hunters who tag their deer as a landowner harvest cannot use the phone-in method.
All authorized license sales agents will also check in your game. A list of these agents can be found at wildohio.com or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.
The Division of Wildlife remains committed to reducing populations where needed. Ohio hunters are encouraged to kill more does again this season, using the reduced-priced antlerless deer permit to help the needy in their area.
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. Be aware that not all processors participate in the program.
The $15 antlerless deer permit will be valid Sept. 24 through Nov. 27 in Zones A and B. The $15 antlerless deer permit will be valid through Dec. 4 in Zone C only. However, the $15 antlerless permit may be purchased only until Nov. 27.
This year’s statewide archery season remains open from Sept. 24 through Feb. 5, including the week of deer-gun season, Nov. 28 through Dec. 4.
Archers may hunt one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset, except during the statewide gun, youth and muzzleloader seasons when they are one half-hour before sunrise to sunset.
(Readers may contact this writer at email@example.com.)