Statistics show that bow hunting is quite popular

By Al Smith - Guest Columnist

This weekend’s cool down will be welcomed by archers making it more comfortable to hunt and easier to cool down a deer they’ve bagged.

Bow season has become extremely popular in Ohio and cooler mornings and evenings are part of the reason. Temperatures in the 40 or 50s are a near perfect time to be in a tree stand, blind or sitting by cover. The colder overnight temps are a plus in cooling down meat and not rushing the processing of the deer.

Comfortable hunting conditions in October and early November have made the archery season to be so popular.

During the past six deer seasons, more deer were harvested during the archery season than have been harvested during the gun season. A total of 76,098 deer were taken during the archery season which represented 46 percent of the total deer harvest. Only15 years ago, the archery harvest accounted for 25 percent of the annual harvest.

Landowners also have had a major impact on harvest totals over the past several years. They harvested 47,961 deer last year, which was nearly 28 percent of the total harvest. The proportion of the harvest taken by landowners has increased substantially from 1995 when it was 19 percent. It has remained between 26-28 percent of the total harvest since 2005.

Statistically speaking, last year 172,049 deer were harvested. Broken down, that included 74,517 bucks, 80,763 does, and 16,769 button bucks.

Those hunting on public lands should have greater opportunities than the past few seasons. That’s because regulations imposed during the 2018-19 season was designed to reduce the antlerless deer and button buck harvest. According to the Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW), those regulations may have helped the antlered population on public lands. A list of public hunting areas can be found at

More information on deer hunting can be found in the 2019-20 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet, available where licenses are sold, or at

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Here is a scenario that could happen during any of the deer seasons:

A hunter gets into a dispute with a private landowner about a deer shot where he was allowed to hunt, but the deer then crosses onto another property and dies on the landowner’s private property.

The hunter needs permission to go onto the next property. That landowner may not want to give the hunters permission. What should the hunter do?

The DOW recommends the hunter contact the local wildlife officer to see if a resolution can be reached. Wildlife officers phone numbers are listed in the hunting digest.

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Kyle Weisenburger, who has stuck to fishing basically the Buckeye Division of the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL), competed in the two-day Hoosier Division event last weekend “to keep my skills sharp and to get a little redemption on the (Ohio) river.”

He wound up placing sixth in the event on the Ohio River out of Tanner’s Creek in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. He caught a total of six keepers that weighed 9 pounds, 8 ounces. He was in fourth place after the first day with four bass that weighed 5 pounds, 15 ounces.

“I decided to fish it because the last few events there have given me some struggles, he said.

His dad, Ron, finished 16th in the co-angler division with one fish that weighed 1 pounds, 15 ounces. Both will be heading for the Potomac River Friday as they qualified out of the Buckeye Division for the regional event.

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Six West Virginians paid a high price monetarily and also in losing license privileges for over-bagging walleye on Lake Erie.

The six wound up paying $4,410 in fines and court costs as well as $4,950 in total restitution for 99 walleye, which brought their total to $9,360. They were convicted and sentenced in Ashtabula Municipal Court.

The six individuals were found guilty on all charges. A judge fined the defendants, ordered them to pay restitution for 99 walleye and in addition to the fines, the six had their Ohio fishing licenses revoked for three years (with the potential to shorten the revocation if all fines, costs, and restitution are paid). The defendants also will be entered into the Interstate Wildlife Violator’s Compact and could lose fishing rights in 46 other states.

According to the Ohio DOW, a surveillance operation coordinated by the DOW in July revealed suspicious activity involving walleye fishing in Lake Erie’s central basin. State wildlife officers uncovered “double-tripping” activity as well as fish being passed from one boat to another on the water. According to the investigation, the anglers would catch their daily bag limits of walleye and then return to the lake the same day and unlawfully catch a second limit of walleye. The six out-of-state anglers also used different boat ramps every day to prevent detection by officers. They were arrested and charged with catching a combined 99 walleye over their legal daily limits.

All fish from the case were forfeited to the state and will be donated to charitable causes.

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Those who have never tasted wild game will get the opportunity at Table One restaurant in Kenton on Oct. 19

The event, partnered by the restaurant with the DOW, features venison and other wild game and is intended for those who have never previously tasted wild game. It begins at 6 p.m. at the restaurant, located a 1 North Detroit Street.

Since space is limited, registration is required. Register by Oct. 17 at Although the event is free, donations to Table One will be received.

Samples of several wild game will be offered. It is emphasized that this event is for those with little to no experience eating wild game.

By Al Smith

Guest Columnist

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

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