BY WARREN DILLAWAY

warren@starbeacon.com

Cold, rainy weather slowed hunter traffic on Monday in Ashtabula County, said Ashtabula Ohio Department of Natural Resources Game Warden Jason Warren.

Warren said hunter traffic was down a bit because of the weather on the first day of deer gun season.

“It has been fairly quiet. There haven’t been any major incidents,” he said.

“It was kind of sleeting rain. It is just kind of miserable,” Warren said.

He said cooler weather and some snow would put the hunters in a better mood for the rest of the week.

“Usually Friday, Saturday, Sunday will be the peak,” Warren said.

He said there will also be a bonus gun season later this month (Dec. 21-22).

Warren said the early archery deer season was very successful this year and may cut into the gun season.

Deer hunters have three options for reporting harvests, according to Warren. He said hunters may check deer by phone, the Internet or at an establishment that sells hunting licenses.

“Most folks are using the Internet,” he said.

Dave Moskowski, of Montville, Chris Ferdinando of Madison and Brad Ferdinando of Painesville hit the woods off of Graham Road in northern Pierpont Township early Monday morning. Moskowski bagged a deer around11:55 a.m.

“We were out since 6:30 a.m.,” he said.

Brad Ferdinando said Moskowski paid the price to get his deer while he was trying to stay warm on Monday morning.

“I was in a ground blind with a heater,” Ferdinando said.

Area restaurants received a bit of a surge in business as the hunters who were out and about dropped in for a late breakfast or early lunch at area establishments.

“They have been flowing in all day. They are cold and wet,” said Casey Karbacka, a waitress at the Jefferson Diner.

Darryl Hill of Rock Creek was one of those hunters catching a meal.

“[Monday] is slow but I did get one last night with a bow,” he said.

Gary Young of Chesterland was also warming up after a morning of hunting.

“I was in my stand by 6:30 a.m. I was just out to enjoy the day,” he said.

Three Vermont hunters were also preparing to go back to the woods. Andy Bissette said things were slow, but not as slow as Vermont.

Bissette said he and two friends were in the area for several days and come to Ashtabula County because it is the closest county in Ohio to Vermont.

Colten Cromley was scoping out hunter options in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources wildlife area in New Lyme Township.

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