The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

December 2, 2013

Ohio monitors deer for health, public safety


Associated Press

COLUMBUS — Ohio’s Division of Wildlife is monitoring deer around the state for reasons including health and public safety as deer-gun season opens this week.

Officials with the division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources say studying a sampling of deer can help them make assumptions about the health and age of the deer population. They say that translates into better management of the herd through proper setting of hunting limits and ultimately benefits everyone, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Karen Norris, a biologist and spokeswoman with the Division of Wildlife, is one of dozens of state employees traveling to deer-processing stations around the state for the opening of deer-gun season Monday.

She says herd management helps the public in many ways. Too many deer mean more vehicle crashes, so there’s a science to appropriately culling. Deer also can cause extensive crop damage, which can lead to higher prices at the grocery store, officials said.

But no one wants to reduce the herd too drastically.

Division employees will have examined hundreds of deer at more than 80 processing stations by the end of the deer-gun season that runs through Dec. 8.