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Deer Harvest History

Lundy

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Not all data for 2020 results are available yet.

Enjoy


History 2020.png
 

Jackalope

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Good stuff Lundy. Can you email me the spreadsheet and I'll post it for those who might want to download and make graphs and stuff.
 
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Jackalope

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the numbers that really jump out at me in this chart are the decline in permits sold. very surprised to see a 37% decline in tag sales over a 10 year period. no wonder we aren't killing as many deer. that is a staggering drop, imo.

That tends to happen when a DNR sets about a plan to drastically reduce the population. Less deer around means less permits will be sold.. Easy to see why they wanted to raise the cost of a permit to recover some lost revenue also.
 
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at1010

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the numbers that really jump out at me in this chart are the decline in permits sold. very surprised to see a 37% decline in tag sales over a 10 year period. no wonder we aren't killing as many deer. that is a staggering drop, imo.

I think this is directly related to baby boomers aging out of the hunting, and less hunter recruitment filling the gaps.

I find it interesting that we hear a lot about the issue of low deer numbers (I have also been in this camp). However;

1. We have fewer tags sold, an inverse relationship between gun/bow harvest - with bow increasing year over year
2. Total harvest has increased year over year since 2016
3. Tags are done by the county now where a hunter may only be able to take 2-3 deer - significantly less than years past when harvest numbers were far higher. Most hunters are not hunting multiple counties, the fact that we have fewer tags available per hunter per farm/property they hunt and still showing an upward trend can be read with optimism.
4. 2019 had the highest hunter success rate and even compared to the largest overall harvest year, 2019 showed a 5% increase. I suspect 2020 will follow.

Based on these numbers, I think one could make a strong case that a hunter in Ohio has a better chance at filling a deer tag today, than in the past.

Just my take on these numbers.
 

Lundy

Member
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at1010, jamie, others, your comments are exactly why I started compiling this data years ago and keep it as current as I can. When we don't have historical data to look at and study and try to understand changes and trends we tend to form personal beliefs on little snippets of current information that often is not truly reflective of the reality of the data.

The successful tag percentage ratio for 2019 was one of the first things that jumped out to me also, that along with the 2020 harvest being the highest since 2013 and it was up 7% over 2019 and 13% over 2018.
 
We went thru herd reduction in PA earlier than you guys did in Ohio. Probably about 8-10 years earlier. Pretty much followed the same pattern and that was mostly by design. Once the population was lowered to where they wanted, they reduce limits and allow the herd to increase. Probably some of that is also by hunter's mentalities changing somewhat to.
 
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Lundy

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If someone could tell me for sure how many deer were in the state in 2002, 2003, 2004 then I think the data can easily provide a very close population estimate based upon automobile accidents. It is not weather dependent, hunter density plays no role, public versus private and access doesn't really matter. Deer have not learned how to cross roads more safely and drivers damn sure are not better drivers today than they were 15-18 years ago.. Should be able to get very close to the number if you have a well defined starting data point early on.. While I don't know the number I feel really safe saying we have around 2/3 of what we had in 2002, 2003, 2004
 

at1010

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Or is part of that because the county limits have been lowered? Don't know the answer to that, but just wondering.

I don’t think that’s the case. I think most people but 1-2 tags. Although you used to be able to buy more, I don’t think many people bought more than 1-2 to start and would buy more later only if needed.

If more were buying tags later, I think we would then assume they successfully filled both previously bought tags, and went to then buy more. Because this would be a small % of hunters doing this - I don’t think it would have an impact on the statistics at the macro level.

Also, as they filled their first two tags, before they bought the 3rd or 4th - it would actually be driving up the success rate up - as 2/3 is 66% and 2/4 is 50%. This would only start to decrease the overall stats if there were a large number buying 6 tags from the start and not filling tags or 1/6 bought 33% success rate.
 
I don’t think that’s the case. I think most people but 1-2 tags. Although you used to be able to buy more, I don’t think many people bought more than 1-2 to start and would buy more later only if needed.

If more were buying tags later, I think we would then assume they successfully filled both previously bought tags, and went to then buy more. Because this would be a small % of hunters doing this - I don’t think it would have an impact on the statistics at the macro level.

Also, as they filled their first two tags, before they bought the 3rd or 4th - it would actually be driving up the success rate up - as 2/3 is 66% and 2/4 is 50%. This would only start to decrease the overall stats if there were a large number buying 6 tags from the start and not filling tags or 1/6 bought 33% success rate.

I think we are talking about 2 different things. I was referring to your comment of less tags being sold. Let's say county ABC had a 3 deer limit. SO a hunter who lives and pretty much only hunts in that county buys a tags and fills it, He then buys another tags and fills it, Then he buys another tag and he may or may not fill it. The next year they lower it to a 2 deer limit. If he again fills the first 2 tags, he isn't likely to buy a 3rd tag as he now would have to travel to another county. Many hunters won't do that. This results in less tags being sold overall
 

at1010

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I think we are talking about 2 different things. I was referring to your comment of less tags being sold. Let's say county ABC had a 3 deer limit. SO a hunter who lives and pretty much only hunts in that county buys a tags and fills it, He then buys another tags and fills it, Then he buys another tag and he may or may not fill it. The next year they lower it to a 2 deer limit. If he again fills the first 2 tags, he isn't likely to buy a 3rd tag as he now would have to travel to another county. Many hunters won't do that. This results in less tags being sold overall

I get what you are saying - good point - but at the state level I don’t think that would be impacting tag sales. IMO, that’s just a bit to situational and would account for a very small % of hunters. We know most hunters don’t fill their bought tags (46% success rate is the best) let alone a scenario that shows increased success, then a need to reduce tags, and yet still success - just seems to situational to me.

I would bet the far majority of hunters buy 2 tags and try to fill a buck and doe.

Earlier I was referring to the largest harvest years which was back when we could get 6 tags. Same idea, I think guys would buy 2 tags at a time, with a very small % buying a 3rd+.
 

Isaacorps

Member
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Columbus
If someone could tell me for sure how many deer were in the state in 2002, 2003, 2004 then I think the data can easily provide a very close population estimate based upon automobile accidents. It is not weather dependent, hunter density plays no role, public versus private and access doesn't really matter. Deer have not learned how to cross roads more safely and drivers damn sure are not better drivers today than they were 15-18 years ago.. Should be able to get very close to the number if you have a well defined starting data point early on.. While I don't know the number I feel really safe saying we have around 2/3 of what we had in 2002, 2003, 2004
The deer on the side of the road that looked at me, saw me coming, and proceeded to cross in front of me at a leisurely pace at 10 AM today certainly wasn’t practicing safe crossing technique 😅. Statistic averted
 

giles

Village idiot and local whore
Supporting Member
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In a bar
In the last 9 years, our hunting equipment has also increased in accuracy a ton.
 

Jamie

Senior Member
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Licking Co.
That tends to happen when a DNR sets about a plan to drastically reduce the population. Less deer around means less permits will be sold.. Easy to see why they wanted to raise the cost of a permit to recover some lost revenue also.
that is one possibility, and I can surely agree that the newer generation(s) of hunters that fill the woods today might get discouraged and stop hunting as much, i.e., buy fewer tags, if there isn't a deer behind every tree for them like there was 10 years ago.

but I'm still wondering what is actually going on with the dramatic drop in tag sales. is it the same amount of hunters buying fewer tags because there are less deer around, or are there just less hunters buying tags? if the latter is the case, then why? (the obvious answer is because there are less deer, but that isn't necessarily the correct one.)

Lundy, do you know if deer checked on Landowner tags is incorporated into this data somehow? seems like it would have to be, but it might be harder to track. I have not bought more than one tag since 2016, and have not filled said tag any of the last four years. killed every deer since 2018 on my place and checked in on landowner tags
 

Lundy

Member
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Landowner harvest is for sure included in the total harvest numbers

I believe lower tag numbers is a result of two factors, the reduction of population and bag limits and the reduction of hunters through natural attrition , I used to purchase 2 tags at the beginning of every season, I have purchased none the last 3 years. Older hunters are quitting hunting for any number of reasons and new hunter recruitment has not replaced the decline in older hunters. I’m sure the DNR knows how many individual hunters purchased at least one tag