Editor’s Note: This program is defunct. This news release is from 2009.
OFBF and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife announced last month the launch of the Web site www.huntohiofarms.com, a two-year pilot program aimed at providing farmers in Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties with pre-screened hunters. The program is an effort to assist Ohio farmers whose crops have been damaged by foraging deer.
Hunters from anywhere inside or outside Ohio may register at the site, providing information including hunting preferences, availability, hunting implement of choice, etc. Then farmers who own land in the pilot counties can search hunter profiles and find a good match for their farm and circumstances. More than 1,000 hunters had registered on the site after just one week.
ODNR Director Sean Logan said the program will “expand hunter access, improve herd management, strengthen local economies and protect valuable cropland, all while opening an important new avenue of cooperation between landowners and Ohio’s sportsmen and women.”
OFBF Director of Legislative Relations Chris Henney said Farm Bureau is committed to the program.
“We encourage farmers in the pilot area to go to the site and participate. It’s a good opportunity for farmers and landowners to identify ethical hunters that are willing to help with deer population issues on their property.”
Henney stressed Farm Bureau’s appreciation for state Reps. Mark Okey, D-Carrollton, and Allan R. Sayre, D-Dover, and their support of the development of the program and commitment to reduce the deer population in Ohio.
“This project is not only exciting for hunters and farmers, but there is also the opportunity to help the less fortunate through venison donation programs,” Sayre said. Information is available on the Web site for hunters to learn more about donating should they wish to hunt more than they can consume.
Another positive is that the Web site will connect owners and farmers with hunters who share common ideas on how to manage the wild deer population on their property, Okey said.
Other partners include Whitetails Unlimited and the Quality Deer Management Association.