Hunters killed 19,900 deer Dec. 19-20, during the weekend of gun hunting, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The extra weekend of gun hunting was first offered in 2006 in response to hunters’ request for additional weekend days to pursue white-tailed deer, the state’s number one big game animal. In 2008, hunters took 16,382 deer during those two days. Counties leading the state in deer killed over the weekend included Tuscarawas with 1,164; Harrison, 725; Licking, 663; Ashtabula, 589; Holmes, 567; Columbiana, 543; Coshocton, 503; Knox, 488; Stark,487; and Guernsey, 474. A total of 198,297 deer have been harvested so far this season when combining the adult and youth gun seasons, early muzzleloader season and the first nine weeks of the archery season. Hunters took a total of 252,017 deer during all of last year’s hunting seasons. Hunters can continue to enjoy deer hunting Jan. 9-12, 2010, during the statewide muzzleloader season, and through Feb. 7, 2010 as the archery season continues. The Division of Wildlife is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Donations of extra deer will be accepted through the entire deer season. Hunters who give their deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer are taken to a participating processor and while funding for the effort lasts. Counties being served by this program can be found online at www.fhfh.org. Hunters who wish to share their success can submit a photo of themselves and the deer they killed this year to wildohio.com. The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio ranks 8th nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with the hunting-related industry. Each year, hunting has an $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.
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