Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Hunters took 133,163 deer in weeklong gun season

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Hunters killed 133,163 deer in the weeklong gun season that ended Sunday, state wildlife officials said Monday.

The preliminary total, up 34 percent from 99,599 deer killed last year, is the second-highest total ever.

"The three-deer bag limit in much of eastern and southeastern Ohio provided expanded opportunities for Ohio's hunters, and the elimination of Sunday hunting restrictions gave working hunters an extra day in the field," said Mike Budzik, chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' division of wildlife.

The record for deer killed in gun season was set in 1995, when hunters had two weeks to take in 137,811 deer.

Tuscarawas County reported the highest number of deer brought to Ohio check stations (5,056), followed by Washington (4,869), Guernsey (4,844), Athens (4,697) and Coshocton (4,484) counties.

Wildlife officials said as many as 450,000 hunters participated in the gun season. One hunter was killed and 10 were injured.

John Barton, 42, of Bellaire, died Friday while hunting in Belmont County. Barton and his hunting partner were going down a hill when Barton dropped his gun and it fired, striking him in the abdomen, officials said.

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