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PRIMITIVE DEER HUNTING SEASON JAN. 7-9

 COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The statewide primitive deer season has nothing to do with the age of Ohio's deer herd, but is a designation for the type of weapons hunters may use to hunt deer Jan. 7-9. Only longbows, crossbows and muzzleloading rifles of .38 calibre or larger are legal to use during the primitive deer hunting season.
 The statewide primitive season is related to the special early primitive season held each October on the Salt Fork, Wildcat Hollow and Shawnee public hunting areas. The difference in the January primitive season is that it is effective statewide, but still limited to those hunters who use primitive weapons such as muzzleloading blackpowder rifles, longbows and crossbows.
 This statewide primitive deer season accounts for about six percent of the year's total legal deer harvest. During the January 1992 primitive season, hunters took a record 7,513 deer. The January 1991 primitive deer hunt accounted for 6,141 deer taken.
 Over a 10-year period from 1983-1992, the statewide primitive deer harvest increased 121 percent from 3,404 deer taken in January 1983 compared to 7,513 taken in January 1992.
 State wildlife biologists say the increase in the deer harvest is due to a larger deer herd and an increase in the popularity of hunting deer with muzzleloading rifles over the past decade.
 Most of the deer taken during the statewide primitive season are by hunters using muzzleloading rifles. The issuance of special antlerless deer bonus permits has also increased hunting opportunities for thousands of deer hunters. Some hunters who took a deer during the early part of the archery season or the firearms season may still fill a deer tag in compliance with state hunting regulations.
 During last month's firearms deer season, there were 96,124 deer taken. The figure was below the initial estimate of 98,000. A large amount of Ohio's corn crop was unharvested when the firearms deer season was held and provided many areas where deer could hide from hunters. Very little of the corn crop remains standing, which means deer will have fewer places to hide from hunters.
 Weather conditions are a key factor in determining the extent of the statewide primitive deer harvest. If seasonably mild conditions exist, a new record harvest could be achieved, but if conditions are severe, many hunters will likely choose to stay home and wait until next deer season.
 Archery hunters may continue to hunt deer through Jan. 30. Sunday deer hunting is prohibited. The Division of Wildlife estimates this season's combined deer harvest will be an estimated record of 125,000.
 -0- 12/30/92
 /CONTACT: John Wisse of the Division of Wildlife, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, 614-265-6539/


CO: Ohio Department of Natural Resources ST: Ohio IN: SU:

KK -- CL004 -- 0606 12/30/92 12:09 EST
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Date:Dec 30, 1992
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