Norwalk eases into deer gun season

Aaron Krause • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:01 PM

The 7-point buck emerged from a bush and didn't stand a chance.

The animal was met with a bullet from the gun of Collins resident Jim Starr, who was hunting Tuesday afternoon with some friends.

As of about 3 p.m., Starr was among the roughly 20 hunters who registered their deer at the West Side Sunoco station. The business serves as one of the area's check stations.

Station employee Jessica Morrison said she checked in 60 deer Monday, the first day of the hunt. That was down from about 100 on the first day last year, Morrison said.

"I'm very shocked," said another employee, who asked not to be named.

A steady rain Monday knocked down numbers across the state, according to preliminary figures released by the state.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife estimates up to 500,000 hunters will participate in the gun season, which ends Sunday.

"With favorable hunting conditions and a deer population about 7 percent higher than last year, I expect we will see 105,000 to 110,000 deer taken during this gun season," said ODNR Division of Wildlife Biologist Mike Reynolds.

Last year, gun hunters harvested 96,290 deer.

But at the West Side Sunoco Tuesday, the season got off to a slow start. At one point, at least 40 minutes passed without a single hunter coming to check in a deer.

Then Starr and some others came in.

What will the hunter of 30 years do with the meat? Eat it, of course.

Shawn Horn, 34, of Plymouth, said he plans to eat the doe he killed about noon south of Snyder Road.

"My kids like it," the 15-year hunter said. He added he will grind up the meat to make burgers.

Horn said he enjoys hunting because he likes to be outside.

"Don't lie. He likes killing things," someone joked.

Starr said he enjoys the time off from work.

Employers may give hunters days off to hunt, but the season hardly hurts the economy. Deer hunting contributes an estimated $200 million to Ohio's economy, according to the ODNR's Division of Wildlife. Deer hunters also contribute thousands of pounds of venison to community-based organizations that help feed Ohioans in need. FOR YOUR INFO

The deer gun season runs for seven days and closes at sunset Sunday. Hunters may take a deer of either sex during the deer gun season, except in the 11-county Zone A, where a deer of either sex may be taken during the first two days of the season and an antlered buck only during the remaining five days. Zone A lies primarily in northwestern and western Ohio.

Hunters must visibly wear a vest, coat, jacket or coveralls that are either solid hunter orange or camouflage hunter orange. A hunter orange hat or cap alone no longer satisfies legal requirements during the deer gun season.

Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Hunters may use a 10, 12, 16, 20, 28 or .410-gauge shotgun, a handgun with a five-inch minimum length using straight-walled cartridges of .357 caliber or larger, a muzzleloading rifle of at least .38 caliber or larger, a longbow or a crossbow. Rifled barrels are permitted when using shotgun slug ammunition.

It is unlawful to take a deer with a shotgun capable of holding more than three deer slugs unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler that can only be removed by disassembling the gun.

A deer permit is required in addition to a valid hunting license. Temporary deer tags no longer have adhesive backing. The deer tag must now be separated from the deer permit and tied to the deer. All deer must be properly tagged before they are removed from the field for transport to a check station.

Hunting of all wild animals except deer, waterfowl (in season), wild boar and coyote during daylight hours is prohibited during the statewide deer gun season Nov. 26 through Dec. 2.

Recommended for You