Second year of deer hunting season yields lower numbers

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published:

Hudson -- Hunters killed fewer deer during the city's first full bow hunting season than they did during a partial hunting season a year ago.

Hunters killed 53 deer this season -- Sept. 29 to Feb. 3 -- compared to 69 the year before, even though last year's season -- Hudson's first for controlled bow hunting -- began later in the fall.

City Council approved deer hunting with bows and crossbows in October 2011 in an effort to reduce problems caused by deer overpopulation, including vehicle-deer collisions and damage to property.

The second deer hunting season saw bow hunters harvesting 40 does and 13 bucks in Hudson, according to Jody Roberts, city communication manager.

At least 84 hunters applied for permits, but 17 were not issued, Roberts said. The city received no complaints from residents about hunters this season, she said.

City officials believe disease contributed to the lower number of deer killed, Roberts said. State wildlife officials reported an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease among white-tailed deer in the area in September.

"We believe the disease had an impact," Roberts said. "We were having a natural culling of the deer this year through disease."

Jamey Emmert, a representative of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, said Summit County bore the brunt of the epizootic hemorrhagic disease but it was too difficult to obtain exact numbers of deer that died from it.

The disease didn't appear to impact hunting, since about the same number of deer were killed this year in Summit County as last year, Emmert said. Statewide, hunters killed about 800 fewer deer than last year, the Associated Press reported.

The biggest factor is usually the weather, Emmert said. If the temperature is extremely warm or extremely cold, deer don't move around. A lot of rainfall reduces deer reproduction and decreases numbers. Some hunters won't hunt unless snow is on the ground to make it easier to track and harvest a deer.

The proposed deer archery season in 2013-14 is Sept. 28 through Feb. 2, 2014, according Emmert.

Several hunting changes will be voted on April 17 by the Wildlife Council, she said. Visit www.wildohio.com for more information.

Deer permits would go on sale June 1 instead of March 1 to reduce duplicate permit purchase.

Hunters in Summit County would be limited to permits for three deer of either sex and one anterless deer permit. Only one male deer can be taken.

Hudson's bow hunting program will remain the same without any changes for the next season, Roberts said.

In Hudson, hunters can only hunt deer with a bow or cross bow from a raised platform at least eight feet about the ground. They could only hunt on properties of five acres or more with the landowner's permission.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.