Deer gun week remains the hottest ticket of Ohio’s hunting year, although the statewide hunt’s seven-day run doesn’t generate quite the sizzle of yesteryear. The fraction of the total annual deer kill that takes place during gun week has dropped to around 35 percent. Historically it was far higher. Baby Boomers, in their younger configuration, hunted during an era when about 90 percent of the deer checked in Ohio were taken in during gun season. Those were Wild West days when a few farmers – wary of hung-over hordes of suburban rustlers, mythical or not – painted “cow” on livestock and sought protection for the family dog with a vest of hunter orange and a prayer. While the cow story might be apocryphal, at least one dog of earlier times in Meigs County wore an orange wrap as it sniffed and wagged about the property it called home. That the dog’s owners believed in the protective power of prayer is in fact, merely an assumption. A year ago hunters in the state, hard facts show, checked 63,567 deer during gun week after having already taken 81,674 whitetails in the week leading up to gun week.
Not all of those 81,000-plus deer were killed with longbow and crossbow arrows. A total of 6,234 fell during the youth gun weekend. This year’s two-day youth hunt, which ended last Sunday, accounted for 5,795 whitetails, slightly below the three-year average. As for the deer count entering gun week 2020, the number stood at 81,056 through Tuesday. [full article]