MONDAY MARKED the beginning of Ohio's most popular hunting season.
Deer gun season is under way and continues through Sunday in the Buckeye State. An extended deer gun season in Ohio will also be held Dec. 17-18.
Hunting season has been under way for weeks now, but gun season brings out hunters like no other season. For the plentiful white-tailed deer, archery season has been going on in Ohio. There was an early muzzleloader season and a youth gun season. But deer gun season is what hunters look forward to all year.
In our travels over the course of this week, we'll be sure to see some people clad in blaze orange jumpsuits here and there, in search of that elusive trophy buck.
It's certain we'll see plenty of the hunters' white-tailed counterparts venturing into some lawns and roadways, and even into downtown areas and other places where deer usually don't wander when they're not driven by their instinct to stay on the run.
While there are those who disagree with the sport of hunting, sportsmen who embrace this tradition will remind you that hunting is a practice that predates history. Hunting is a primordial means of feeding the family. Hunters would argue that aside from being a vegetarian, hunting provides a comparatively humane way of putting food on the table if meat eaters care to imagine what happens at the slaughterhouse. The sport of the hunting hinges on the fact that the deer can and often does get away.
It's an opportunity to get back to nature and do it yourself, and it's also a time for fathers and sons, as well as other hunting family members of all ages and genders, to share in this special activity together each year.
Hunting season serves an important role in wildlife management that helps to control the deer population.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, deer hunting has an economic impact that brings an estimated $859 million to the state, and an estimated 420,000 hunters - including those from out-of-state - are expected to take part in this week's deer gun season.
It's a tradition that should continue to be passed on to many generations to come, and we wish local hunters a safe and successful deer season.