Ohio’s White-tailed Deer Hunters Have a Successful Season
Hunters kill more than 260,000 deer for the first time

COLUMBUS, OH – A total of 261,314 deer were killed during Ohio’s 2009-10 hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. This season’s total surpasses the 2008-09 record total of 252,017.

“Ohio deer hunters had another great year and continue to play a vital role in managing Ohio’s deer herd. They’ve embraced regulation changes which increased the harvest of antlerless deer and they’ve donated a significant amount of venison to feed the less fortunate in Ohio through the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry program,” said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife.

Counties reporting the highest number of deer checked during the season were: Coshocton-9,635, Tuscarawas-9,009, Licking-8,571, Guernsey-8,289, Harrison-8,043, Muskingum-7,864, Knox-7,174, Holmes-6,211, Belmont-6,160, and Jefferson-5,888.

The deer-gun season resulted in the greatest portion of the overall harvest with 114,281 deer taken. Archery hunters took a total of 91,521 deer. Deer killed during the early muzzleloader season (491), at controlled hunts (690), youth-gun season (9,270), the extra deer-gun weekend (20,054), and the statewide muzzleloader season (25,007) added to the overall total.

The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio ranks 8th nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with the hunting-related industry. Each year, hunting has an $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.

Ohio’s first modern day deer-gun season opened in 1943 in three counties, when hunters harvested 168 deer. In 1956, deer hunting was allowed in all 88 counties and hunters killed 3,911 deer during that one-week season.

Hunters were encouraged to kill more does this season and donate extra venison to organizations assisting Ohioans in need. The Division of Wildlife collaborated with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison. Hunters who gave their deer to food banks were not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer were taken to participating processors. Counties being served by this program can be found online at http://fhfh.org/. Anyone interested in forming a chapter in an area not served should contact FHFH directly.

Open houses will be held on Saturday, March 6 in each of the state’s five wildlife districts to provide the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed hunting and trapping regulations with state wildlife officials. Directions to the open houses can be obtained by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE or visiting wildohio.com.

A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at 9 a.m., Thursday, March 4 at the wildlife division’s District One Office, located at 1500 Dublin Road in Columbus. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its April 7 meeting.

The Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at http://www.ohiodnr.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Following is a list of deer checked by hunters during the four-month deer-hunting season. Numbers for 2008-09 are listed in parentheses ( ).

Adams – 4,489 (4,231); Allen –1,002 (846); Ashland –3,424 (3,329);
Ashtabula –5,298 (6,448); Athens –5,577 (5,326); Auglaize –813 (776);
Belmont –6,160 (5,833); Brown –3,350 (3,632); Butler –1,757 (1,569);
Carroll –5,809 (5,997); Champaign –1,837 (1,718); Clark –975 (897);
Clermont –3,774 (3,439); Clinton –1,114 (1,049); Columbiana –4,764 (4,694); Coshocton –9,635 (9,564); Crawford –1,360 (1,248); Cuyahoga –635 (681);
Darke –861 (775); Defiance –1,593 (1,540); Delaware –2,296 (2,147);
Erie –1,036 (1,020); Fairfield –3,324 (3,009); Fayette –447 (377);
Franklin –1,065 (893); Fulton –786 (830); Gallia –3,998 (4,055);
Geauga- 2,545 (2,762); Greene –1,155 (1,037); Guernsey –8,289 (7,916);
Hamilton –2,051 (1,717); Hancock –1,916 (1,546); Hardin –1,646 (1,288);
Harrison –8,043 (7,454); Henry –733 (746); Highland –3,554 (3,227);
Hocking –5,430 (4,921); Holmes –6,211 (6,320); Huron –2,561 (2,383);
Jackson –4,385 (4,157); Jefferson –5,888 (5,831); Knox –7,174(7,223);
Lake –852 (901); Lawrence –2,961(3,123); Licking –8,571(7,967);
Logan –2,514 (2,224); Lorain –2,603(2,466); Lucas –829 (855); Madison –659 (607); Mahoning –1,900 (1,808); Marion –925 (806); Medina –2,140 (2,047);
Meigs –4,824 (4,601); Mercer –683 (627); Miami –812 (769); Monroe –5,106 (5,120); Montgomery –640 (536); Morgan –4,130 (3,951); Morrow –2,342 (2,196);
Muskingum –7,864 (7,245); Noble –4,981 (4,596); Ottawa –411 (369);
Paulding –1,023 (926); Perry –4,556 (4,683); Pickaway –1,370 (1,131);
Pike –2,607 (2,620); Portage –2,916 (3,075); Preble –1,001 (851);
Putnam -786 (716); Richland –4,754 (4,542); Ross –4,358 (4,104);
Sandusky –850 (839); Scioto –3,030 (3,479); Seneca –2,254 (1,942);
Shelby –1,051(958); Stark –2,576 (2,199); Summit –1,454 (1,368);
Trumbull –3,584 (3,976); Tuscarawas –9,009 (8,814); Union –983 (863);
Van Wert –662 (611); Vinton –3,942 (3,337); Warren –1,674 (1,523);
Washington –5,201(5,440); Wayne –2,274 (2,234); Williams –1,985 (1,819);
Wood –962 (872); and Wyandot –1,945 (1,830)
Total –261,314 (252,017)

Southwest Ohio buck largest non-typical deer ever taken with a muzzleloader

DAYTON, OHIO – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife announced that another record-setting deer has been harvested in southwestern Ohio. On Saturday, January 30, the 18-point non-typical (non-symmetrical antlered) deer, taken by Brian Stephens on November 30, 2009 with a muzzleloader in Highland County, was officially scored.

Brian Stephens, with friends and family by his side, excitedly awaited the official score Saturday morning in Xenia. The buck was scored by Mike Wendel, David Haney and Ron Perrine, certified scorers with Buckeye Big Bucks Club (BBBC). Gary Trent, BBBC president, announced the score as 232 5/8, which certified it as the new state record.

The Highland County deer is the largest non-typical rack ever taken with a muzzleloader in Ohio history, beating out the 2004 record of 225. The 35 1/8 inch left main beam is a Boone and Crockett largest ever recorded and the right main bean measured an impressive 34 1/8 inches.

Marty Murphy of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association said the score will be recognized as the largest ever in Ohio according to the association’s Longhunter Big Game Record Book.

This magnificent animal will also be a record for World Classics in the men’s muzzleloading category, according to Dan Stapleton. The World Classics scoring system does not include deductions and the main beam outside spread measurement is added. Under these scoring criteria Stephens’ buck scores 252 0/8.

“Deer hunting in Ohio continues to prove to be world-class,” said Todd Haines, ODNR Division of Wildlife District Five manager. “We are seeing the benefits of a successful whitetail deer management program.”

Brian Stephens’ deer is one more to add to Ohio’s record books. In the last decade, southwest Ohio has been the setting for numerous records including:
The Beatty buck, harvested in Greene County in the fall of 2000 by Mike Beatty, holds the record for non-typical at 304 6/8 and currently ranks as the number one non-typical buck in Ohio, the largest non-typical whitetail deer ever taken by a bow hunter.
A typical white-tailed deer killed by Brad Jerman in 2004 in Warren County, known as the Jerman buck, became an Ohio record with a score of 201 1/8.
In 2006 a world-class buck was harvested by Jonathan Schmucker in Adams County. The deer was scored at 34-point non-typical, 291 2/8 Boone and Crockett and 305 7/8 World Classics.
Also in 2006 the Metzner buck, harvested by Justin Metzner, scored 196 6/8 which positioned it to be the second largest deer harvested with a compound bow in Ohio; the fifth largest typical deer taken in the world in the Pope and Young record book; and Buckmaster’s seventh all-time typical white-tailed deer harvested with a compound bow.

“When we are continually in the record books with large non-typical and typical whitetails harvested Ohio, we attract the attention of hunters that might have hunted in another state,” said Haines. “The hunters staying and coming into Ohio is a boost to our economy. Each year, hunting has an $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food and lodging as well as supporting thousands of jobs.”

Ohio’s first modern day deer-gun season opened in 1943 in three counties; hunters harvested 168 deer. By 1956, deer hunting was allowed in all 88 counties; hunters killed 3,911 deer during that one-week season.

A detailed listing of deer-hunting rules is contained in the 2009-2010 Ohio Hunting Regulations, available where licenses are sold. It may also be viewed online at http://www.wildohio.com. Hunters who wish to share their success can submit a photo of themselves and their deer as well.

The Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at http://www.ohiodnr.com.

Editors Note: Official Score References are listed below.

For more information, contact:
Todd Haines or Kathy Garza-Behr, ODNR Division of Wildlife
937. 372. 9261
Heidi Hetzel-Evans, ODNR Communications
614. 265. 6860

Official Score Details:
Number of points: 18 total – twelve (12) on the right and six (6) on left.
Greatest spread: 26 2/8
Inside spread: 24 3/8
Total gross: 250 1/8
Longest tine: 17 7/8
Side to side symmetry deductions: 17 4/8
Total of abnormal points: 32 0/8
Net score: 232 5/8

Big buck likely to be an Ohio record for nontypical deer killed by a muzzleloader.
By Jim Morris, Staff Writer

Rick Busse sees a lot of deer. As a popular taxidermist located on
he Miami-Shelby county line, Busse has handled some extremely large deer,
including the famous Beatty Buck about this time of year in 2000.

When Brian Stephens brought in the buck that he shot on opening day
of the deer gun season last week (Nov. 30), Busse figured it would be just
another nice buck to mount. And then he saw it.

“It’s the biggest thing to come through my door since the Beatty
Buck, and that was nine years ago,” Busse said.

The buck that is likely to have the name Stephens Buck is a huge
18-pointer with one main beam of its rack possibly the largest for any
whitetail ever recorded – 35 inches. And once the antlers are officially
scored, it is likely to be an Ohio record for a nontypical deer killed by a

The rack will be green scored by Boone & Crocket scorer Mike Wendel
of Botkins today, Dec. 9. Once it has dried, 60 days from now, it will be
officially scored. There’s a good chance it will measure out with a net
score of about 235 inches.

“The main beams – as far as my research has been able to come up
with – are the longest main beams ever recorded on any deer in history,”
Busse said. “Seeing a deer with main beams over 30 inches is rare. And I
think the record is 33½. These are both over 34½.”

Stephens, 39, lives in Clayton and works in software development for
CS Stars. Having hunted every year since he was 12, he has become an
experienced hunter and has seen plenty of deer. But he’s never seen another
deer like this one and, in fact, it took some time to sink in once he downed
the buck with his 50-cal. muzzleloader.

Hunting in a group of six family and friends on his family’s farm in
Highland County, Stephens climbed into his tree stand just before dawn. Not
long after first light, he saw a doe followed by a buck with huge antlers
walking toward him.

“But I could never get a clear shot,” Stephens recalled. “They were
walking slowly around in an area covered with trees. They were only about 50
yards away from my stand, but I never had a clear shot.”

Stephens watched the doe and buck for most of the morning, hoping to
get an opportunity that never came. Finally, they wandered off and Stephens
decided to take a lunch break at their farm house. He ate quickly and then
returned to his stand, hoping to get another glimpse at the monster buck.
After seeing several deer, that chance came again.

Just after 4 p.m. he saw the buck again, this time about 250 yards
away and headed straight for him. When it reached a fence row about 80 yards
away, it turned broadside to Stephens and his Thompson/Center muzzleloader.
Stephens took his shot.

“When the smoke cleared, I couldn’t see him, so I thought I had
missed him,” Stephens said. “Then I saw it running and fall. I took a drink
of water and collected myself. It was probably a half an hour before I got
to the deer. When I saw the rack, I couldn’t believe it. I knew it was big,
but I never imagined it would be like this.”

The deer, estimated by Busse to be 5 ½ to 6 ½ years old, weighed 215
pounds after field dressing. It drew a big crowd when Stephens checked it in
at the Rocky Fork Truck Stop.

“It’s amazing how quickly word gets around. We were only there a few
minutes. I even parked toward the back, out of the way, and people still
crowded around it,” Stephens said.

If the Stephens Buck turns out anything like the Beatty Buck, people
will be crowding around for a look at those antlers for many years to come..


Scoring set for Saturday January 30th 2010

XENIA, OH — A white-tailed deer harvested during the 2009 gun season in Highland County will be scored to see if it’s an Ohio record. If approved by Buckeye Big Bucks Club (BBBC) scoring organization, it will rank as the number one non-typical rack ever taken with a muzzleloader in Ohio history and the 35 1/8 inch left and the 34 4/8 inch right main beams could be the longest ever recorded from a whitetail anywhere in the world, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Deer hunters have been anxiously waiting for the official scoring of a huge white-tailed buck shot by Clayton hunter Brian Stephens on November 30 in Highland County. A judge representing the Buckeye Big Bucks Club (BBBC) will meet Saturday January 30, 2010 at the Wildlife District Five Office in Xenia to decide whether the deer will become the top non-typical whitetail ever taken in Ohio by a muzzleloader hunter.

Brian Stephen’s adventure began when he shot the huge 18-point non-typical whitetail during gun season. Stephens contacted Buckeye Big Bucks and the rack was initially scored (green scored) at 232 5/8. Antlers are required to “dry” for 60 days before an official score can be taken. A deer’s antlers are classified as being typical when they are symmetrical and regular in shape. Non-typical antlers are those that have uneven or unusual tines, irregular points or outgrowths.

The Buckeye Big Buck Club keeps records of trophy bucks taken by hunters in Ohio. A BBBC judge is contacted to measure the buck and come up with an official BBBC score. BBBC bylaws state that to be recognized as a state record, antlers must be scored by a panel of scorers.


Editors Note: Scoring will take place at 10am on Saturday January 30th, Wildlife District Five Office, 1076 Old Springfield Pike, Xenia 45660. This is a Media Only event. Media wishing to attend should RSVP by calling the contacts below. Official score will be announced and Brian Stephens will be on hand for interviews and photos. The Stephens’ buck, mounted by Busse Taxidermy, will be on display.

Video interview with Larry Weishuhn from the 2010 SHOT Show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vo5Tnvop7w

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