To write about the Kentucky and Ohio white-tailed deer seasons with the gun is to address two segments of the population – the hunters and the non-hunters.
Hunters look forward with much excitement to this annual event. They’ve got their hunting license and deer permit and probably have picked a spot where they’ll have that tree stand placed on opening day.
Non-hunters enjoy watching these beautiful animals but would never dream of shooting one. If perhaps their numbers become so plentiful that their shrubs and gardens are destroyed, and many times right on the fringe of city limits, they then might consider contacting a hunter to eliminate the problem.
Probably everyone realizes deer numbers cannot be stockpiled. There are just so many acorns and crabapples and other fruits and sprouts to sustain the herds. When the population exceeds the carrying capacity of the habitat, hunger and malnutrition set in.
Does all this make sense to us? I believe it does.
At any rate, game biologists with the state wildlife agencies are not going to allow such a harvest of deer to occur that it would endanger future populations.
Non-hunters should acquaint themselves with hearing or reading about the number of deer that will be killed. When the bow, modern gun and muzzleloader seasons harvest is tallied, hunters in Kentucky will generally kill 110,000 to 130,000 whitetails per year.
In Ohio, all seasons tallied together will usually total from 150,000 to 200,000 deer killed per year.
We can have our deer and eat them too.
Multiple does can be killed in most counties now, and many hunters go for them and the good-tasting, protein-rich venison to supplement their family larders.
Other hunters may concentrate their efforts more on getting that buck with the trophy antler for the wall. Only one buck, or antlered deer, we should say, may be taken per year.
I don’t know of many hunters who actually enjoy the shooting of deer. For them, the excitement is in the anticipation of seeing the quarry move within range, and of making a clean, killing shot.
That, and of being out there in the deep woods and watching and listening to nature come alive. And, of course, the comradery of the deer camp.
Kentucky’s gun season for deer opens at one-half before sunrise this coming Saturday. It will run through Nov. 27 in Zones 1 and 2, which includes the counties here in northeastern Kentucky.
The statewide deer permit allows the hunter to take two deer, one antlered and one antlerless, or two antlerless. It does not matter which one is taken first
An additional deer permit can be purchased that allows the hunter to take two more deer, one antlered and one antlerless, or two antlerless.
All of the information pertaining to the regulations can be found in the publication, “Kentucky Hunting & Trapping Guide July 2016-February 2017,” which is available wherever licenses are sold.
One place is KD’s Convenient Mart, located off U.S. 23 two miles east of South Shore.
Ohio’s gun season doesn’t open until Nov. 28. It runs through Dec. 4, with the same shooting hours.
Hunters will be allowed to take three deer in Scioto, Pike and Adams counties.
For a full list of all you need to know, pick up a copy of “Ohio Hunting & Trapping Regulations2016-2017,” available where licenses are sold.
One place is Boland’s Convenient Mart, located off U.S. 52 two miles west of Portsmouth.
FAR TOO TRUSTING
No wonder I have from time to time had things stolen. I invite it by believing all people are basically good and not thieves.
Here’s something I wrote years ago when my family was young and we shared a joy for the outdoors.
“Three weeks ago my family and I pitched our tent beneath the trees along the bank of Kinniconick Creek. We put our boat into the water and enjoyed some good fishing and frogging before the big storm hit that Saturday night.
“And it was some storm. Driving sheets of rain were accompanied by jagged streaks of lightening and cracking thunder, the kind that jerks a prayer right out from between a man’s teeth.
“The next day everything was soaking wet. Rather than roll the tent up wet, we left it standing. We tied the boat to a tree and left it, along with the barbecue grill. We planned on coming back the next weekend.
“We knew the landowner and had his permission to camp there. But a riparian landowner has no control over people who come down the creek, either in a boat or on foot.
“It rained hard all day and by Monday, when I went to check,
the creek was up and yellow and roaring.
“I tied the boat higher up, behind the tent.
“When we made it back to our campsite the following weekend the barbecue grill was there, but the tent and the boat had vanished like the morning mist.”
Two weeks later, after searching up and down the stream, we found the boat half a mile downstream, pulled up into the weeds. And nearby, someone had erected the tent.
Not a thief, just a borrower?
Reach G. SAM PIATT at (606) 932-3619 or [email protected]