Ohio Turkey Season in Full Swing

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Ohio hunters harvested a preliminary total of 2,646 bearded wild turkeys on the first day of the spring turkey-hunting season, which is open statewide through May 15, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

Top counties for wild turkeys killed on Monday were: Guernsey – 94; Adams – 88; Tuscarawas – 85; Muskingum – 81; Coshocton and Knox – 79; Belmont – 73; Washington – 72; Brown – 71; and Ashtabula – 70.

The Division of Wildlife estimates that more than 70,000 people will hunt turkeys during the four-week season. Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon from April 18 to May 1, 2011. Hunting hours May 2-15 will be a half hour before sunrise to sunset. Ohio's wild turkey population was estimated at 200,000 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 16-17. Young hunters killed 1,455 birds statewide. Top reporting counties were: Ashtabula – 49; Brown and Tuscarawas – 47; Highland – 46; Licking – 45; Muskingum – 44; Carroll – 42; Jackson – 40; and Adams and Washington – 38.

Only bearded wild turkeys may be taken during the spring hunting season. A hunter is required to check in their turkey by 11 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.

Hunters must still report their turkey harvest, but they are no longer required to take their turkey to a check station for physical inspection. Instead, hunters have three options to complete the new automated game check:

  • On the Internet at wildohio.com or ohiogamecheck.com
  • By telephone at 1-877-TAG-ITOH (1-877-824-4864). This option is only available to those who are required to have a turkey permit to hunt turkeys.
  • At all license agents. A list of these agents can be found at wildohio.com

Game-check transactions will be available online and by telephone seven days a week and during holidays. License agents’ locations will be available for turkey check-in during normal business hours. Please call the license agent for specific hours of operation. All turkeys must be checked in by 11 p.m. the day of kill.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.