2008 Ohio Spring Turkey Harvest Tops 18,500 Birds
Ashtabula County again leads the harvest
COLUMBUS, OH – Hunters checked 18,556 wild turkeys during Ohio’s four-week, statewide spring turkey-hunting season that ended May 18, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The preliminary total represents a 9 percent increase over last year’s preliminary harvest number of 17,005.
Ashtabula County again led the state in the number of turkeys killed with 835. Counties with additional high harvest numbers were: Guernsey and Tuscarawas- 573 each, Harrison-547, Clermont-510, Trumbull-507, Washington-495, Coshocton- 485, Jackson- 471 and Columbiana-462.
In addition to the turkeys taken during the regular season, young hunters harvested another 1,838 birds during a special hunt for ages 17 and younger held April 19-20.
The Division of Wildlife estimates that more than 85,000 people hunted turkeys during the season. Prior to the start of the spring hunting season, state wildlife biologists estimated the wild turkey population in Ohio to be more than 185,000 birds.
This was the ninth spring that turkey hunting was open in every Ohio county. Only 57 of the state’s 88 counties were open to spring turkey hunting in 1999.
Wild turkeys were nearly extinct in Ohio before being reintroduced in the mid-1950s by the Division of Wildlife. The first spring turkey-hunting season opened in 1966. Wild turkeys are now present in all 88 counties.