Ohio hunters harvest more than 10,400 wild turkeys


OHIO VALLEY — Ohio hunters checked 10,415 wild turkeys during the first week of the wild turkey hunting season, April 23-29.

Ohio’s spring wild turkey season is divided into two zones: a south zone, which is open from Monday, April 23 to Sunday, May 20, and a northeast zone, which is open from Monday, April 30 to Sunday, May 27.

During the first week, hunters in Meigs County harvested 379 turkeys, up from 311 in 2017. In Gallia County, hunters harvested 216 turkeys, down from 271 last year.

In 2017, hunters in the south zone checked 10,293 wild turkeys during the first week of the season.

Hunters are required to have a hunting license and a spring turkey hunting permit. The spring season bag limit is two bearded turkeys. Hunters can harvest one bearded turkey per day, and a second spring turkey permit can be purchased at any time throughout the spring turkey season. Turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest. Hunting hours in the south zone are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon from April 23-May 6 and 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset from May 7-20. Hunting hours in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon from April 30-May 13 and 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset from May 14-27. Hunters may use shotguns or archery equipment to hunt wild turkeys. It is unlawful to hunt turkeys using bait, live decoys or electronic calling devices or to shoot a wild turkey while it is in a tree.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife advises turkey hunters to wear hunter orange clothing when entering, leaving or moving through hunting areas in order to remain visible to others.

Wild turkeys were extirpated in Ohio by 1904 and were reintroduced in the 1950s by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Ohio’s first modern day wild turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The wild turkey harvest topped 1,000 for the first time in 1984. Spring turkey hunting opened statewide, except for Lake La Su An Wildlife Area, in 2000, and Ohio hunters checked more than 20,000 wild turkeys for the first time that year.

Note: A list of all wild turkeys checked by hunters in the south zone during the first week of the spring turkey hunting season is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2018, and the 2017 numbers are in parentheses. An * designates a northeast zone county which did not open until April 30 in 2018.

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