Is hunting season going out of style in Ohio?

Posted at 6:00 AM, Nov 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 06:04:41-05

The turkey is gone, the leftovers have been devoured and now it's time for a tradition many turn to — hunting.

Deer-gun hunting season has begun, but some hunters say time in the wild has changed.

That still hasn’t stopped Burton resident Alex Koziol from making the trek.

“It's you against nature," he said.

Koziol has been waking up at the break of dawn to chase deer this time of year for the past 30 years.

“I started going downtown with my friends just to have fun," Koziol said.

But as he unloads his car, rifle in hand, he looks around to see less cars in the lot.

"There's less hunters out there and I think there's less dear, because they raised at the limits on that, back when I started you could only get one," he said.

Jamey Emmertt, Spokesperson for the Division of Wildlife, admits it’s just one of many changes.

“Archery, the interest in archery increase especially early season archery," she said.

Archery hunting, which starts in September, has seen a 12 percent increase this year. It’s a separate hunting season then the shotgun deer hunting season, and why there are fewer hunters out now.

The deer are a bit different this season too, with a disease in several counties across the state, killing off deer in droves.

“It has affected the deer population a little bit, some in more counties than others," Emmertt said.

But with the hunting industry having an $850 million impact on Ohio's economy, Koziol said he knows hunting isn't going anywhere, anytime soon.

“God put them on this planet so we can eat, it's part of nature," he said.

Earlier this week, a 62-year-old Hunter was shot and killed while the field in Ashtabula.

Officers say accidents like that can happen but are rare. However, they are stressing all hunters to follow the safety guidelines like not walking or running with a loaded rifle, and most importantly wearing your bright orange gear.