More than 12,000 white-tailed deer were checked by hunters during Ohio's muzzleloader season for a decrease of more than 1,000 from last year.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said 12,505 deer were checked in the season that ran from Jan. 9 through Jan. 12 compared with 13,724 deer last year.
Department officials say bag limits were reduced and antlerless-permit use was eliminated in most counties to help stabilize deer populations for the 2015-2016. They say hunting is the most effective management tool for maintaining a healthy deer population in Ohio.
State wildlife officials are revising Ohio's deer population goals and have asked hunters for their input in a random survey.
Hunters also still have opportunities to pursue deer this winter. Ohio's archery season remains open through Feb. 7.