Slow Turkey Season Start
Turkey hunters harvested 926 wild turkeys during the first five days of Ohio's seventh annual fall wild turkey gun hunting season that opened on October 12 and will run through October 27, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The five-day harvest total is a decrease of 38 percent from last year's total of 1,489. "This decrease is not unexpected," said Dave Swanson, turkey management researcher for the ODNR Division of Wildlife. "Ohio's wild turkey population has experienced three years of below average reproductive success because of cold, wet weather during the primary hatching period in late May through early June."
Fall hunters are able to hunt turkeys in 35 counties. Ashland, Richland and Scioto were added this year for the first time. A new archery-only season for turkey will open October 28 and run through December 1.
Fall wild turkey season hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. The bag limit is one turkey of either sex per hunter, per season. A fall turkey permit is required in addition to a current Ohio hunting license. All turkeys killed must be taken to an official turkey checking station by 8 p.m. of the day of harvest.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife reminds hunters that the season will partially overlap the Special Area Primitive Season (October 21-26) deer hunt on three state-owned areas: Wildcat Hollow, Salt Fork Wildlife Area, and Shawnee State Forest. Turkey hunting will not be allowed on these areas during the primitive deer hunting season.
According to the ODNR Division of Wildlife, more than 250,000 wild turkeys now populate the state. More than 24,000 hunters pursued wild turkeys in Ohio last fall. The first fall wild turkey hunting season in Ohio was in 1996.