Hunters from near and far are expected to search area woods for deer Monday as the deer gun season gets started.

Hunting is a boon to the area economy as many hunters stay in local hotels and grab a bite to eat at restaurants throughout Ashtabula County.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources estimates that 300,000 hunters will attempt to shoot a deer during the week-long season.

Ashtabula County Game Warden Jason Warren said the herd population in the county is similar to last year by general observation, not scientific examination of the herd. He said the Ohio deer count is slightly ahead of last year’s numbers.

Warren said the two-day youth hunting season included an increase in deer shot compared to the three-year average.

The bow hunting season also went well with 4,795 white-tailed deer checked on Nov. 6 alone, according to ODNR information.

As more people enter the woods for deer gun season, Warren said it is important to be aware of important safety tips.

“I can’t believe how many deer ticks I am finding. People need to be aware of Lyme disease,” Warren said.

The disease can be debilitating and is challenging to diagnose.

Warren said it is important to inspect clothing to check for ticks to stay away from Lyme disease.

Tree stands are a big part of the deer gun season and Warren said good safety practices are important. Hunters need to be careful getting in and out of the tree stand and to make sure all guns are unloaded when being hoisted in or out of a tree stand.

The coronavirus pandemic has even found its way into the hunting experience, but hunters shouldn’t be too worried, Warren said. He said the virus has been found in deer, but catching the virus from a deer is not likely. Still, precautions in cleaning and gutting the animal are in order.

“Hunters should take basic safety precautions,” he said.

Warren also emphasized the importance of making sure there aren’t any people behind deer that hunters are preparing to shoot.

ODNR records indicate 92,310 deer were harvested in 2020 with 71,651 of those taken during the week-long gun season.

“Ohio is a deer-rich state that has built a national reputation for quality deer hunting based on sound long-term wildlife manage of this important resources,” said Division of Wildlife chief Kendra Wecker. “Deer are far and away Ohio’s most important game animal.”

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