Ohio deer hunters set for opening of gun season

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2007

It’s about 2 in the afternoon the Friday after Thanksgiving. One holiday is out of the way and another about to happen. And C&S Guns on South 2nd Street is packed.

No, we’re not talking about the Christmas bargain hunters stalking Black Friday. We’re talking about those other kind of hunters counting down until Monday when for one week it’s deer-gun season in the state of Ohio.

And Friday the hunters were out in full force stocking up

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on supplies and the requisite licenses, getting ready to bag their dream buck.

Naysayers may say it’s a dying sport, but area gun shop owners say hunting still has as much life in it as an 8-point buck assaulting a 6-foot fence in a single bound.

To go out this week in the woods takes not only the regular hunting license bought for $19 each February, good for all game. But before any point trophies are bagged, let alone mounted, hunters must put out an additional $24 for a special tag that will let them bring in either a buck or doe.

Regs are specific. Each deer shot takes a separate tag with the maximum set at a total of one buck and two does or

three does per season.

Tag sales, locally, are reporting in with between a 10 to 15 percent increase and C&S Guns co-owner Tim Cochran says one of the reasons is because the current crop of hunters is getting younger.

He ought to know. His 16-year-old daughter, Chelsa, brought down an 8-point buck last season.

“More and more kids are doing it,’’ said Cochran.

And there’s no problem with that as long as hunters under the age of 17 have an adult 18 or older with them.

It’s a father-daughter combo as well for Todd Pancake of Kitts Hill, who will be teaming up with his daughter, Taylor, 11,

again this week.

“My little girl just loves being out in the woods with me,’’ he said. “She just wanted to go with me one day. We started out with squirrel. It’s kind of a traditional thing.’’

While hunting has become a sport that has no limitations as far as gender is concerned, there’s one cardinal rule that can’t be broken. You’ve got to have patience.

Lots and lots of patience. And that’s not always easy for the young.

“But you let them take some games to occupy them til one walks past,’’ Pancake said.

While the deer-gun season runs through Sunday, there will be another chance come mid-December with an additional weekend of hunting Dec. 15-16. And then there’s the four-day muzzleloader season the last week of the year.

Bryce Whitehead, 7, and a student at Symmes Valley, hopes he’ll be bringing in a trophy this year. Last season, Bryce, out hunting with his father, Scott, had a close call.

“I shot twice at an 8-point buck,’’ the youngster said.