Buckeye State is top 10 destination for nation’s whitetail deer hunters


Ohio’s woodlots are full of deer hunters this week, as over 400,000 orange-clad Ohio residents and non-residents chase whitetail deer, easily the nation’s most popular game animal.

Is this a big deal or what?

You betcha, say economic bean counters who claim that each fall deer hunters drop over $800 million on gear, food, shelter, and all the rest on the Ohio economy.

Between reaches for their wallets and given decent weather, hunters will drop 80,000 to 85,000 deer this week, making Ohio a top destination for hunters who pursue whitetails in more than one state. In fact, it is considered a national Top 10 destination say Buckeye wildlife officials.

Good management

Ohio’s deer herd is one of the best managed in the country, thanks to active wildlife officials and a dynamic management strategy that changes often and effectively.

Harvesting does to keep overall numbers in check is a key element and one that Ohio hunters have responded to, unlike in many states where hunters have refused to kill anything but bucks, a time-tired tradition that allows herds to grow to the point of self-destruction.

Ohio grows some big deer and traveling hunters know it. Too often, non-resident hunters lease Ohio property just to hunt for trophy bucks and refuse to kill does, unless it is a last resort before leaving for home.

Last week’s youth season was a huge success and young hunters accompanied by adult mentors tagged nearly 10,000 deer.

Youth seasons for deer and other game have proved to a positive addition to the hunting seasons in Ohio and other progressive states.

Next up is Ohio bonus weekend, a two-day weekend shot for deer that runs Dec. 15 and 16.

Deer Expo

Hunters who kill big bucks this week can have their antlers green scored at Leetonia Sportsman’s Association’s 8th annual Deer Expo Dec. 9 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Official scoring requires a drying period.

Anyone bringing a set of antlers (Ohio, Pa., or W.V.) to be scored will be automatically entered in a drawing for a muzzle loader to be held at 3 p.m.

Admission is $3 for adults but just $1 if antlers are presented for scoring. Youngsters 15 and under are admitted free.

The club grounds are located at 311 East High Street, Leetonia, Ohio 44431. Contact Bill Harding for more information, directions, etc., at 330-822-0100 or email bharding@comcast.net.


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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.



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