Ohio Deer Population:  An estimated 660,000 deer in 2015, up from about 640,000 in 2014.  Hunting data indicates a decline in 2016.  Estimated at about 725,000 prior to the hunting season in 2013 and 2012.  About 800,000 deer in 2001.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Ohio deer hunting data and news archive.

Ohio Deer News

Toledo, Council may change law to allow deer kill January 17, 2017 Ohio, Toledo Blade
... Toledo City Council reviewed legislation Tuesday that would allow the Metroparks of the Toledo Area to kill white-tailed deer in Swan Creek Preserve Metropark in South Toledo and Middlegrounds Metropark near downtown...

Mystery surrounds deer carcasses dumped in Summit County January 17, 2017 Ohio, WKYC-TV
... from Akron toward Clinton on Rex Hill Road ... In plain view on the side of the road, she saw four deer, bloody and partially butchered. “There was duct tape around parts of them and some parts of them were skinned,

Weather blamed for Ohio's lackluster deer season January 15, 2017 Columbus Dispatch
... the season total, including the bow kill, was at 175,832 deer, some 5,100 behind the total of a year ago. Tonkovich had forecast a 2016-17 harvest of about 200,000 whitetails, bettering last year’s total of 188,335 ...

Ohio Hunters Harvest Nearly 16,000 Deer during Ohio's Muzzleloader Season January 12, 2017 Ohio Department of Natural Resources
... Hunters checked 15,843 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s muzzleloader season, Jan. 7-10, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). During last year’s muzzleloader season, 12,503 white-tailed deer were checked...

Mentor, Deer culling starts in northeast Ohio, Mentor using sharpshooters January 11, 2017 NewsNet 5
... A mother deer and a baby come up to the fence and let me pet them on the head ...

Toledo, City fights Metroparks over planned deer kill January 5, 2017 Ohio, Toledo Blade
... Metroparks plans to kill as many as 50 white-tailed deer  ... Councilman Rob Ludeman said he opposed the idea, in part because the presence of deer at Swan Creek attracts people to the park. Mr. Ludeman said the kills should be prohibited based on city law and viewed the permit as an attack on home rule...
Toledo officials move to stop Metroparks deer cull January 4, 2017 Ohio, Toledo Blade
... The Hicks-Hudson administration plans to take “whatever steps it deems necessary” to stop a Metroparks of the Toledo Area plan to kill white-tailed deer in Swan Creek Preserve Metropark because the cull would violate city law prohibiting hunting and discharging a firearm...

Lyndhurst begins 2017 deer culling program January 4, 2017 Ohio, Cleveland Plain Dealer
... will again use the trap-and-bolt method that caused some residents, as well as those from surrounding communities, to protest in 2016... In 2016, the city was permitted to kill as many as 25, but stopped at 13 ...

Cleveland, Annual deer culling to resume in Cleveland Metroparks January 2, 2017 Ohio, cleveland.com
... sharpshooters are expected to begin culling deer in 11 reservations by mid-January ... Cleveland Metroparks began lethal culling in 1998 ...
   Deer population prompts plan for Metroparks kills January 2, 2017 Ohio, Toledo Blade 
... Metroparks of the Toledo Area plans to kill as many as 200 white-tailed deer in Oak Openings Preserve and Swan Creek Preserve metroparks over the next three months ...

8 Tiny Facts About Reindeer That Click December 22, 2016 Ohio, USAgNet
...  10,000 years ago ... reindeer lived in the area that became Ohio ... Based on DNA analysis, the study suggested that reindeer/caribou should be in two groups. One group is the caribou in southern Canada. The other group is the caribou in Alaska and northern Canada plus the reindeer in Europe and Asia. The scientists who did the study said the Ice Age split the two groups apart about 200,000 years ago ... 

Deer-gun harvest totals continue to decline December 10, 2016 Ohio, Columbus Dispatch
... Tonkovich ... had anticipated a kill of perhaps 80,000 ... the number of deer checked fell 6,580 from the 73,399 reported during the 2015 gun week... The decline in less than a decade has been dramatic, a drop of more than 40 percent  ... The wildlife division began curtailing the sale of antlerless permits in 2013...

Early on deer kill lagging in numbers December 8, 2016 Ohio, Outdoor News
... As of December 6th Ohio’s deer hunters have taken 143,602 animals...  the comparable 2015 to-date kill of 153,292 animals … last year hunters enjoyed higher than normal success due to a mast crop failure in most regions of the state.” ...

Rare white deer spotted in Youngstown December 8, 2016 Ohio, WFMJ-18 hours ago
... it is not considered to be an albino because early in the season when it should have had spots, it was more of a cream color...

Ohio deer firearm season totals drop December 6, 2016 Toledo Blade
... we’re just not seeing the deer numbers that we have in the past ... The decrease in the harvest was not a surprise, because the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ management practices in recent years have been focused on a gradual reduction in the overall herd size ...
... checked 66,759 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s 2016 deer-gun hunting season, Nov. 28-Dec. 4 ... Last year, hunters checked 73,392 deer ...
     Local deer numbers are down December 5, 2016 Ohio, Morrow County Sentinel
... Hunters checked 18,776 white-tailed deer on Monday, Nov. 28, the opening day of Ohio’s deer-gun hunting season ... In 2015, 22,253 deer were reported the first day of the deer-gun season ...

Deer management is a balancing act December 1, 2016 Ohio, Farm and Dairy
... In recent years, biologists have been using farmer and hunter surveys to help set goals for managing the herd  ... One thing is very clear. The huge number of deer that roamed the Ohio landscape a few years back will never be back. That’s a management fact ... 

Deer population stable in Ohio November 30, 2016 News-Herald.com
... a stable deer population in Ohio means the bag limits for 2016-2017 will remain the same as 2015-2016.  “The current regulations are designed to promote modest herd growth,” ... “We are seeing approximately 20 deer per square mile,”  ...


Ohio's Deer-Gun Season Opens with more than 18,000 Deer Harvested November 29, 2016 Ohio Department of Natural Resources
... Hunters checked 18,776 white-tailed deer on Monday, Nov. 28, the opening day of Ohio’s deer-gun hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). In 2015, 22,253 deer were reported the first day of the deer-gun season...

Timbering in state forests vital to wildlife and economy November 29, 2016 Ohio, Cincinnati.com
... The Ruffed Grouse Society ... strongly supports timber harvesting in Ohio’s publicly owned forests...  the creation of new growth, early successional forests or young brushy woods... supports populations of deer and wild turkey ...

... “When one area has noticeably less deer than it did in years past, I put some of the blame on the predators,” Vetell said. “I’m seeing a lot of coyotes ... Plus, we’re always pushing out into the country, building houses in what used to be habitat. It makes sense we would see less deer.” ...

Chronic wasting disease still an issue in Ohio November 26, 2016 Lancaster Eagle Gazette
... In October 2014, chronic wasting disease was found among the captive deer population at a hunting preserve and breeding facility in Holmes County, with 19 deer testing positive for the disease, according to the ODNR. Deer had escaped from the preserve into the surrounding area ...

... In 1971, 74,709 hunters bought deer permits and harvested 3,831 deer... Liberal hunting regulations allowed a half million hunters to set a record in 2010-11 with a harvest of 239,475 deer... 

... It's sickening hearing the guy who owns the vineyard accross the street, doesn't allow hunting because of the "liability" but is issued 30 deer permits, shoots them, cuts out the back straps lets the rest lay...

... During last year’s youth gun season, 7,223 white-tailed deer were checked...

... The legal deer hunting within the city limits has already produced a number of incidents with permitted hunters shooting the animal and the animal disappearing or dropping on property on which they have no permit to hunt...

Wildlife management may be determined by your perspective November 20, 2016 Ohio, Sandusky Register
... The last decade saw a disproportionate amount of change, largely due to a failure to respond to a rapidly growing deer population in the early 2000’s... the effort and decisions arrived by the DOW are geared toward keeping the deer population stable...

Weather could affect youth deer hunt this weekend November 19, 2016 Ohio, The Columbus Dispatch
... Most of the decrease in the deer harvest to date can be traced to antlerless deer. Through Monday, hunters checked 28,638 antlerless deer, fewer by 2,809 than the 31,447 checked during the same period a year ago. Some of that difference might be a function of hunter preference, but more likely the cause can be traced to restrictions on the use of antlerless permits...

Avon Lake renews agreement for deer cull; goal is 70 this year November 15, 2016 Ohio, Chronicle Telegram
... an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to hire sharpshooters to kill deer on public property.  City Council approved spending up to $43,966 ...

What Are Antlers Worth? November 14, 2016 Ohio, Outdoor Life Magazine
...Ohio sets the minimum replacement value of an antlerless deer at $500. At that valuation, the state’s whitetail herd, which is estimated at 750,000 head, would be worth more than $400 million. Adjusting for the value of bucks, the actual figure is in the billions, making wildlife one of Ohio’s most valuable resources, at least on paper...

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Hunters are setting up kill zones in Cincinnati Parks, part of a program to thin deer populations. But many people, including mothers, nannies and children, have no idea their children are playing near sites where arrows are flying in the forests. - October 10, 2016 Ohio


Deer-gun season opens Nov. 28 November 9, 2016 Ohio, Putnam County Sentinel
... The statewide bag limit is six deer. Hunters may harvest only one buck in Ohio, regardless of method of take or location... Hunters harvesting deer within DSA 2015-01 are required to bring their deer to a carcass inspection station for disease testing...

Disease Surveillance Area remains for deer season November 7, 2016 Ohio, Outdoor News
... Portions of Holmes and Wayne counties will retain their designation as Disease Surveillance Area ... Since October 2014, 19 captive white-tailed deer have tested positive for CWD at a shooting preserve and a breeding facility in Holmes County... CWD has not been detected in the nearly 1,000 wild deer tested ...

Ottawa Hills deer hunt has smooth start November 6, 2016 Ohio, Toledo Blade
... Longtime Ottawa Hills resident Michael Eisenstodt has been a vocal opponent of the hunt since it was first discussed in 2009. He contended the deer aren’t a nuisance and pointed to a decline in aerial deer counts as evidence the population already is in check. A January count placed the deer population at 36, nearly half as many as the 75 deer tallied in January, 2015...

The myth and science of deer mating season October 29, 2016 Ohio, Toledo Blade
... biologists say that the dates when breeding occurs are set in order to give the fawns born about 200 days later the best chance to grow strong and survive... Everything is tied to daylight length, the photo period ...

Avon Village Board targets growing population of deer in village October 28, 2016 Ohio, The Livingston County News
... Of the 351 responses, 65 percent said overpopulation of deer in the village of Avon was a problem and they would like the village to do something about it... The village board is considering amending an ordinance which prohibits hunting within the village to allow for permit-controlled archery hunting ...

Eastlake seeks solutions to deer problems October 16, 2016 Ohio, News-Herald.com
... Landscape damage, along with the threat of increased deer/vehicle collisions, are two of the main worries voiced by Eastlake residents ... considering is to allow archery-only deer hunting within the city...

Ohio Deer Forecast for 2016 October 11, 2016 Game & Fish
... Tonkovich’s prediction for this year’s deer hunting? “In spite of the bump in harvest last year, I’m still expecting a 4-6 percent increase in both deer population and harvest this year.” ...

... There are now over 500 deer-breeding farms in Ohio — with an estimated 25,000 captive white- tail deer ...

... after 19 captive white-tailed deer from a shooting preserve and a breeding facility in the area tested positive for CWD, starting in 2014... Fearing the disease could spread to the wild herd, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife biologists and staff, with the assistance of local landowners and hunters, have tested almost 1,000 wild deer ...

Monitoring for Deer Disease Continues in Northeat Ohio October 6, 2016 Ohio, WKSU News
... Chronic Wasting Disease, as it is called, destroys deer’s brains by introducing prions ... the captive deer that had this disease were inside the fence, these prions actually get into the soil through feces, saliva ...

... In a legislative maneuver virtually unprecedented in the state of Ohio, the Seven Hills City Council passed an ordinance Monday night that effectively circumvented a referendum that would have asked residents to vote on the legality of bowhunting in the city. ...
     Seven Hills council passes deer ordinance October 4, 2016 Ohio, cleveland.com
... At a special meeting Oct. 3, city council unanimously passed the ordinance allowing bow hunting of deer on at least 2.25 acres of contiguous properties ...

Shaker Heights, Opponents to Shaker Heights' deer culling program speak out at City Council meeting October 3, 2016 Ohio, cleveland.com
... This came on the heels of protests staged the previous weekend ... Anna Soref ... argued that averages of 10 deer per square mile are on the lowest threshold of what would be considered a nuisance... [well below the normal range of a deer problem, see the research]

... here will likely be an increase of 5-10 percent in the Ohio deer harvest this season from last season... a result of rebounding deer numbers ... 

Shaker Heights, Residents protest Shaker Heights deer culling September 24, 2016 Ohio, fox8.com
... The demonstrators said Shaker Heights, which has about 10 deer per square mile, is not overpopulated... They also argue mass killing of deer causes overpopulation because of higher birth rates and more food...

Hunters start tracking September 24, 2016 Ohio, Marietta Times
...  they are expecting more than 150,000 deer to be checked this year.  Last season, hunters in Ohio checked 152,444 deer and they harvested 148,821 in 2014... 

Ottawa Hills, Controlled bow hunt all set for Ottawa Hills September 23, 2016 Ohio, Toledo Blade
... The hunters each have paid a $100 fee to take part in the hunt ... In last November’s election, voters in the village approved the often controversial proposal to consider holding a cull hunt ... After going down to defeat in 2010, the measure was approved voted 58 percent to 42 percent...

Why did deer collisions go up in Ohio last year? September 19, 2016 Ohio, WCPO
... The increase might be simply a result of people driving more: The Ohio Department of Public Safety found a 7-percent increase in overall crashes last year compared with 2014. And the Federal Highway Administration found Ohio drivers logged more miles ...

Ohio's deer-season harvest could reach 200,000 September 18, 2016 Columbus Dispatch
... The use of antlerless permits continues to be limited. A single antlerless permit may be used in four-deer counties ... Because of the recent regulatory tightening, moreover, deer populations in some counties have rebounded somewhat, Tonkovich said. As a result, the 2016-17 deer kill might increase as much as 5-10 percent from a year ago...  
... Wild pigs compete for food such as acorns with native wildlife including deer, turkeys and squirrels... the swine can even eat the young of large mammals such as deer and cattle ...

Missing deer cause for concern in Holmes City September 8, 2016 Ohio, Outdoor News
... “The unknown status of 40-44 quarantined tagged deer are a big concern of ours,” ... Tests on hundreds of deer formerly owned by Yoder did not detect evidence of CWD after the contagious brain disease was detected in two of his captive deer, one at his hunting preserve and one at one of his breeding farms...

Metroparks informs council on kills September 7, 2016 Ohio, Toledo Blade
... Metroparks of the Toledo Area plans to have sharpshooters kill deer in two more parks this winter following controversial deer kills ... Councilman Rob Ludeman said he opposed the idea, in part because the presence of deer at Swan Creek attracts people to the park. “The proposal is to target mothers in the winter time, which is when they are pregnant,” ...

Ohio Data:   About 660,000 deer in 2015 and 640,000 in 2014 estimated from harvest data and deer-vehicle collisions.  Goal for 2016 of modest population growth achieved by a significant reduction in antlerless permits and reduced deer limits, but 2016 hunting data indicates a population decline.   About 20 deer per square mile in 2016.  A lower than average mast crop, early harvest of farm crops, and good weather contributed to the 7 percent the 2015 deer kill.  In both years Ohio issued fewer deer permits, hardly any doe permits as hunters complained that deer have been over harvested. Ohio deer population estimated at 700,000 to 750,000, prior to hunting season in 2013 and 2012.  About 515,000 resident deer hunters.  Although ODNR no longer makes a formal estimate, they agree that the deer population declined into 2014 as a result of a hard winter, following a general decline since about 2008.  Coyote predation is also becoming an issue.  About 800,000 deer in 2001. Hunters requested reduced bag limits after the Ohio deer harvest fell by 12.5% in 2013.  Down about 27% from 2009.  The eastern and southeastern forests have matured, reducing deer habitat.  Read the ODNR analysis of deer trends.
      The state has been testing for chronic wasting disease since 2002, the first positive case discovered in a Holmes County hunting preserve in 2014.  When the owner violated a quarantine order by moving deer from the facility, ODA ordered that all 300 deer should be destroyed.  A second deer from the hunting preserve, Wold Class Whitetails, tested positive in March, 2015.
      White-tail deer were plentiful when Ohio became a state in 1803, but were nearly wiped out by 1904 as a result of uncontrolled hunting and clearing of forests for farmland.  In 1857 Ohio’s government set a season lasting about a month, but without bag limits. Deer were declared extinct in 1909. From 1897 until 1942, there was no deer season in Ohio.  Restocking efforts in the 1920s and 1930s brought deer back to 28 counties by 1937. Hunting resumed in 1943 when 164 bucks were killed.  The deer population was estimated at 17,000 in the early 1970's. By the early 1990's, the herd was thought to be too large so hunting limits were increased, resulting in "fewer deer than we thought" by 1997 when hunting limits were reduced. The herd expanded into the early 2000's reaching about 750,000.  Restrictions were lifted again beginning in 2007, the population has been declining since.  Population estimated at 650,000 in 2005, down from 700,000 in 2004. In 2014 the state moved to a more. county based management.  Around 1980, shotgun hunters took about 90 percent of the deer.  In 2014 about half were taken by bow hunters, including crossbows.  Peak of the rut is November 11 to November 17.  In 2016 about 25,000 white-tail deer on 500 deer farms.
     Coyotes first arrived in 1919.  The last elk in Ohio was reportedly killed in 1840 in Ashtabula County.

Other useful links: 
SolonDeer: information about deer management in the city of Solon
AvonLakeDeer.com: information about deer management in the city of Avon Lake
- Compassionate Ohio, facebook page of group supporting rehab of deer 
- An Update on the Status of Ohio's Deer Herd
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Ohio Division of Wildlife

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Ohio Deer Management Strategy: " The goal of Ohio's deer program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunity including viewing, photographing, and hunting while minimizing conflicts with agriculture, motor travel, and other areas of human endeavor. This has been our goal for over 40 years."

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