DEER HUNTERS, your wait is nearly over.
Deer-gun season opens in Ohio Monday and continues through Sunday, Dec. 2. The season again includes an extra weekend of gun hunting Dec. 15-16.
Deer-gun season is an Ohio tradition. It enables family members and friends to spend time together in the great outdoors.
Deer hunting brings great excitement and fun for thousands. It also can present many dangers.
Proper safety precautions are necessary to avoid tragedy, such as using a safety harness while in a tree stand, wearing hunter orange and being aware of your surroundings.
All hunters must know the rules and regulations. Deer can be hunted with a muzzleloader, handgun or shotgun from one half-hour before sunrise to sunset during the gun season.
Approximately 420,000 hunters are expected to participate in this year's season, including many out-of-state hunters. With that many gun-toters stalking prey, safety precautions are at a premium.
ODNR Division of Wildlife anticipates 80,000-85,000 deer will be checked and tagged during the week-long hunt.
Ohio ranks eighth nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has an $859 million economic impact each year in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.
Hunters are encouraged to donate any extra venison to organizations assisting Ohioans in need. ODNR Division of Wildlife is collaborating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison.
It's obvious that deer hunting is big business in Ohio.
It also needs to be a safe one. We urge all those stalking deer this week to place safety as your first priority.