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COLUMBUS, OH -- A record breaking archery deer harvest helped Ohio deer hunters take a total of 150,432 deer during the 2000 season, an 18.6 percent increase over the previous year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. "It was a great year for bow hunters," said Mike Tonkovich, deer project leader for the ODNR Division of Wildlife. During the statewide deer gun season, held November 27 through December 3, hunters took 96,732 deer. Combined with special controlled deer hunts and the early primitive season, the total deer harvest for 2000 ranks as Ohio^s fourth highest. A record 179,543 deer were taken during the 1995 season. Crossbow hunters took 19,945 deer (up from 16,940) and longbow hunters harvested 14,395 (up from 12,364). The total archery take was 34,340, overtaking the record 1994 season when archers took 29,490 deer. The statewide archery season ran from October 7, 2000 through January 31, 2001. "I think you can easily see why archery hunting is extremely popular in Ohio," said Tonkovich. "Our deer population is abundant, and bow hunters have a long season that includes some of the fall^s finest weather." The statewide primitive season, held December 27 through 30, also set a new record with a harvest of 18,346. The previous record was 15, 289, set in 1997. The Division of Wildlife has proposed a limited number of changes to deer hunting rules and season dates for this year. A statewide public hearing will be held in Columbus at the ODNR Division of Wildlife District One office on March 22. The Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on these proposals during its April 11th meeting in Columbus.

Uploaded: 3/21/2001