Two-year pilot program proves popular with hunters, but not Ohio farmers
COLUMBUS, OH – The HuntOhioFarms.com Web site will be discontinued due to lower than anticipated participation from Ohio’s farming community, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.
The HuntOhioFarms.com Web site was launched in August 2009 in order to educate Ohioans on crop damage by deer, while at the same time increasing awareness of hunting opportunities. This was a joint effort between the Ohio Farm Bureau (OFB) and the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
After the first year, more than 9,000 hunters had enrolled with 83 landowners signing on in the four-county test area. The OFB and the Division of Wildlife agreed to expand the program to 38 counties across southeast Ohio in 2010. Despite direct mailings by the Division of Wildlife and marketing efforts by the OFB, an insufficient number of landowners signed up for the program. At the end of year two, an additional 5,000 hunters had enrolled with only 40 additional farms.
Access to private lands for hunting is integral to managing local deer populations and minimizing agricultural damage. The Division of Wildlife will continue to work with the OFB, as in the past, to find practical solutions to deer crop damage using deer hunting and other means as needed.
The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com
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For more information, contact:
Mike Tonkovich, ODNR Division of Wildlife
740. 589. 9922