Tracks in snow; deer harvest

By G. Sam Piatt - Contributing Columnist



So what’s the difference between a dog’s tracks and those of the coyote? Not much, except a dog’s tracks are a little farther apart than a coyote’s.

With snow in the woodlands staying on the ground for a long period of time and more to come, it’s an excellent time to grab a walking stick and see how many different animal tracks you can identify.

A little booklet listing photos of different tracks of animals is available on Amazon and probably in the book section of Walmart.


Is this where a coyote tracked and nabbed a rabbit for lunch? The tracks in the snow tell their stories.

So, if you’re still able, stretch those legs and take to the hiking trails in the wilderness in both Ohio and Kentucky.

Is this where a coyote tracked and nabbed a rabbit for lunch? The tracks in the snow tell their stories.

It was probably a coyote that got my precious little dog, Belle, who disappeared from the yard one dark night six weeks ago. Never thought I could miss a little dog companion like I’m still missing Belle.

A Yorkie showed up on the streets of Sand Hill near my home this past week. Neighbors a block away had the dog, no doubt dropped off by its owners, in their garage. Was it Belle? No.

I brought the ragged little snub-tailed Yorkie home, fed it three nights, kept it warm, and took it to Sierra’s Heaven Friday in hopes that they can find the little dog a home.


Hunters kept deer herds in Ohio and Kentucky in manageable numbers during the 2021 deer gun week that concluded on Sunday, Dec. 5, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

The past three years, hunters checked an average of 65,280 deer during the same weeklong period, which means an 8-percent increase in 2021.

Straight-walled cartridge rifles have become more popular each year since becoming legal for deer hunting in 2014. During deer gun hunting week, straight-walled cartridge rifles were used for 49-percent of checked deer. Shotguns accounted for 43-percent of the total.

While gun hunting remains a favorite season, the number of hunters pursuing deer with archery equipment is growing rapidly. For the eighth year in a row, more deer were harvested during the 2020-21 archery season than during the gun season.

A county list of all white-tailed deer checked by hunters in Ohio during the 2021 deer gun hunting week is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the deer harvest numbers for 2021, and the three-year average from 2018, 2019, and 2020 is in parentheses:

Adams 1,042 (973), Jackson 986 (1,003), Scioto 683 (729), Lawrence 677 (713) and Pike 623 (666).


Kentucky, which had a 16-day modern gun season, doesn’t break it down in total kill for the first seven days, but the overall harvest was 132,322.

That includes modern gun, muzzleloader, and bow and crossbow results.

Carter County led the northeast region in number of deer taken, followed by Lewis with 1,104, Greenup with 945 and Boyd with 646.


I’ve never seen the Ohio River take such a quick jump as it did earlier this month. The week before I had mentioned that the river level at Portsmouth/South Shore stood at 16 or 17 feet and how unusual it was to be in summer pool like that in December. Fishermen casting from the concrete pier in the tailwaters of the Greenup Dam should be filling their stringers, especially on the sauger, I wrote.

Then came that downpour. It rained all night and all day, steady rain up and down the old river. It quickly rose from that low mark to push into the willows, maples and sycamores along its banks, reaching 45 feet.

And so ended the efforts of the wintertime river fishermen.

But today the yo-yo Ohio is back down to 19 feet.


And also ended, temporarily at least, the production of electricity to the city of Hamilton, which owns the fall-of-the-river power plant built on the Ohio side of the dam.

Since the hydroelectric plant produces electricity from the fall of river water powering its three generators, plant officials said when the lower level rises to five feet below the level above the dam, the plant cannot produce electricity and the generators are shut down.

It was just such a fluctuation of river levels that led to Hamilton owning the plant. Vanceburg’s utility company designed and built the plant, along with about 25 miles of transmission lines across the hills from the plant to Vanceburg.

The plan was for the hydroelectric plant to produce all of Vanceburg’s needs. The city had a contract with Hamilton to sell it the excess power produced by the plant. A long spell of high water kept Vanceburg from supplying the amount of power to Hamilton it had agreed on.

Hamilton sued for breach of contract, won, and wound up as the plant’s new owner.


By G. Sam Piatt

Contributing Columnist

Reach G. SAM PIATT at [email protected] or (606) 932-3619

Reach G. SAM PIATT at [email protected] or (606) 932-3619