LIMA — Deer hunters are having a more productive deer-gun hunting season than last year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
During the week-long gun hunting season, hunters checked 72,814 white-tailed deer statewide, compared to 66,758 deer last year, a 9 percent increase. The region saw a 13 percent increase in deer harvested.
That increase was especially evident in areas such as Putnam County, which had 359 deer checked this year, compared to 274 the year before, good for a 31 percent increase.
Auglaize County had 334 deer checked this year, compared to 268 last year, for a 25 percent increase.
Mercer County had 310 deer checked, compared to 262 last year, or an 18 percent increase.
Hardin County had 529 deer checked this year, compared to 477 last year, or an 11 percent increase. Van Wert County saw its number of checked deer rise slightly from 211 last year to 223 this year, or a 6 percent jump.
The only county in the region to see a decrease in the number of checked deer over last year was Allen County, which saw its total dip from 363 to 341, down 6 percent.
Deer-gun hunting season will conclude with two bonus days Dec. 16 and 17. Muzzleloader season will run from Jan. 6 to 9, while archery season remains open through Feb. 4.