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First-day deer take in county up

Those hunting in Lawrence County killed more deer on the opening day of the 2001 deer gun season than they did last year, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife reported Wednesday.

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Those hunting in Lawrence County killed more deer on the opening day of the 2001 deer gun season than they did last year, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife reported Wednesday.

According to preliminary figures obtained from deer check stations, 699 deer were harvested in Lawrence County Monday, up from 2000’s count of 689. Statewide, hunters harvested 41,257 deer on opening day, an 18.3-percent increase from last year’s opening day total of 34,866.

Athens County reported 1,754 deer brought to check stations, the highest number in the state. Muskingum followed with 1,536, Coshocton 1,505, Guernsey 1,446, Washington 1,442, Jackson 1,337, Tuscarawas 1,329, Licking 1,225, Meigs 1,170 and Harrison 1,147 to round out the top 10.

Opening day harvest reports from neighboring counties included 1,132 deer killed in Gallia County and 424 in Scioto County.

Mike Budzik, chief of ODNR’s Division of Wildlife, said a successful first day was expected.

"We were confident we would have a great opening day," he said. "Hunting license sales were steady last weekend so we knew plenty of Ohioans would be out in the field, especially with the excellent weather conditions. With such a successful opening day, I would not be surprised to see the gun season harvest exceed 100,000 deer if we have reasonable weather the remainder of the week."

If Budzik’s prediction holds true, this seasons harvest would be up significantly. In all, preliminary figures show harvest was up in all but 12 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

The wildlife division said it received only one report of a hunting incident in which a hunter’s gun barrel exploded due to an obstruction. The man was treated for minor injuries and released.

Deer gun season in Ohio continues through Sunday.