Ohio’s Spring Turkey Hunting Season Off To A Good Start
COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio hunters harvested a preliminary total of 2,768 bearded wild turkeys on the first day of the spring turkey-hunting season, which is open statewide through May 18. The preliminary figure was almost eight percent above last year’s opening day harvest number of 2,569 turkeys, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Top counties for wild turkeys killed were: Ashtabula – 134, Coshocton – 91, Guernsey – 87, Harrison – 83, Tuscarawas – 78, Geauga – 77, Jackson and Trumbull – 73, Meigs – 72, and Licking and Ross – 71.
This is the ninth year that spring turkey hunting has been open in all of Ohio’s 88 counties. The state’s first modern-day spring turkey hunt was held in 1966.
The Division of Wildlife estimates that more than 85,000 people will hunt turkeys during the four-week season. Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon daily. Ohio’s wild turkey population was estimated at 185,000 prior to the start of the spring season.
A special youth-only hunt for hunters age 17 and younger was held statewide on Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20. Young hunters killed 1,838 birds statewide. Top reporting counties were: Ashtabula – 69, Trumbull – 64, Coshocton and Washington – 61, Monroe – 57, Guernsey – 56, and Ashland, Columbiana, Harrison, and Tuscarawas – 55. Last year, 1,630 birds were taken over the same two-day period.
Only bearded wild turkeys may be taken during the spring hunting season. A hunter is required to take a harvested turkey to an official check station for permanent tagging by 2 p.m. on the day of harvest. Hunters with the proper permits may take a limit of two bearded gobblers during the four-week season, but not more than one wild turkey per day.