Ohio hunters harvest nearly 7,900 wild turkeys after first week of season


OHIO — The first week of wild turkey hunting in Ohio ended with 7,873 birds checked through Sunday, April 26. Hunters harvested 8,908 wild turkeys during the same time frame in 2019.

The top 10 counties for wild turkey harvest during the first week of the 2020 hunting season include: Belmont (266), Guernsey (250), Meigs (243), Tuscarawas (227), Harrison (224), Monroe (221), Brown (217), Coshocton (215), Muskingum (213) and Highland (206). In Gallia County, 191 turkeys were harvested.

In addition to the first full week of hunting, youth hunters harvested 1,843 wild turkeys during Ohio’s youth season on April 18-19. The state has two zones for spring turkey hunting: the south zone and the northeast zone. The south zone opening day was Monday, April 20. The northeast zone, which includes Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties in Ohio’s snow belt, begins Monday, May 4. Ohio offers more opportunities for hunters of all ages to pursue wild turkeys. For 2020, the south zone is open to Sunday, May 17. The northeast zone dates are from Monday, May 4, to Sunday, May 31. Find complete details in the 2019-2020 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.gov. For summaries of past turkey seasons, visit wildohio.gov/turkeyharvest.

Hunting hours from May 4-10 in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon. Hunting hours from April 27-May 17 in the south zone and May 11-31 in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.

The spring turkey season bag limit is two bearded wild turkeys. Hunters may harvest one bearded turkey per day, and a second spring turkey permit may be purchased at any time throughout the spring turkey season. Turkeys are required to be checked no later than 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest. All hunters are required to report their turkey harvest using the automated game-check system, which is available online, by phone or at a participating license agent.

Hunters may hunt wild turkeys with shotguns or archery equipment. 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 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.