Ohio’s deer hunting numbers have declined this year with the sharpest drop being the comparison between last year’s and this year’s gun weeks.
During the 2012 gun week, hunters killed 86,963 whitetails, but this year the total dropped to 77,066, about 11.4 percent below the previous year.
Interestingly, the totals were lower despite the extra half hour at sunset hunters were allowed to hunt this year.
This is not a shock to state wildlife officials, who figured the 2013 totals would be down a bit.
“The weather swings during this year’s gun week didn’t help,” said Division of Wildlife chief Scott Zody. “But there’s still a lot of hunting time left to hunt with muzzleloaders and archery equipment.”
This year’s statewide muzzleloader season comes up Jan. 4-7 and the archery season runs through Feb. 2.
Zody pointed out, however, that the year-to-date totals for deer hunting are not down by as much as gun week. As of Dec. 9, Ohio hunters had taken 162,720, compared to 171,867 for a year ago, about 5 percent lower.
A strong early bow season and the new antlerless-only muzzleloader weekend helped boost the numbers.
Here are gun week numbers (with 2012 numbers in parentheses) for some area counties: Adams 1,384 (1,554), Auglaize 306 (362), Brown 954 (1,094), Butler 323 (350), Champaign 432 (487), Clark 207 (226), Cleremont 693 (835), Clinton 254 (348), Darke 177 (312), Greene 233 (318), Hamilton 224 (244), Highland 1,057 (1,347), Logan 668 (755), Mercer 221 (318), Miami 213 (231), Montgomery 115 (162), Preble 280 (323), Shelby 379 (456), Warren 302 (406).
On a sad note, the Division of Wildlife said there have been three deer hunting-related deaths to report this season, all three involving firearms. The counties reporting the fatal incidents were Fulton, Gallia and Coshocton.
UD offers fishing class for seniors
Mike Hoblit, owner of the Second Time Around Fishing Tackle Shop in Vandalia will be conducting a seven-week class with guest speakers in different areas of expertise as part of the University of Dayton's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The class is titled Inexpensive Fishing In and Around the Miami Valley for Family Fun and Sport.
The classes are offered to men and women ages 50 and older.
They will focus on beginning fishing not only for adults, but for adults to help children learn how to fish.
Classes will be held on Mondays, Jan. 13-Feb. 24 (except for Jan. 20) from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at River Campus.
The University of Dayton's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute has no prerequisites, no exams and no grades. For more information or to register, contact the University of Dayton's Special Programs and Continuing Education office at (937) 229-2347.