POMEROY — Deer season is over and the figures are in.
Ohio remains one of the best deer hunting states in the nation, according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources Chief Scott Zody.
The deer archery season ended Saturday, bringing the end of all deer hunting seasons, gun and bow and arrow, to a close.
According to numbers released by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, a total of 191,459 white-tail deer were killed during the 2013-14 season, down by 17,451 from last year. Even with the decrease, Zody said Ohio remains one of the best deer hunting states in the nation.
In Meigs County the harvest number was 3,336, while in Gallia County it was 2,899, down in both counties this year.
In southeastern Ohio, the largest number of checked deer was in Athens County with 4,053.
It was reported by ODNR that deer populations in nearly all of Ohio’s counties were above their target numbers. In the last few years, however, through increased harvests, dramatic strides have been made in many counties to bring the population closer toward the ODNR’s goal. Right now, Ohio’s deer population is nearing goal, Zody said.
ODNR’s first sanctioned deer-gun season started in 1943 in three counties. It has been allowed to all 88 counties since 1956.
A few years ago, the ODNR started a new program in which hunters who killed a deer and preferred not to keep the meat could donate it to community programs involved in feeding the hungry.
The Meigs Cooperative Parish was a recipient of packaged deer meat last year that they used in a lunch program in which those in need could eat at no cost.