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Ohio Spring Turkey Season Begins April 22

English: Eastern Wild Turkey

English: Eastern Wild Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COLUMBUS, OH – The start of spring ushers in Ohio’s annual wild turkey hunt, and hunters can enjoy the warmer weather in pursuit of this popular game bird. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), the 2013 Ohio spring hunting season opens Monday, April 22, with the youth wild turkey season opening Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21.

“Ohio has a good population of wild turkeys and offers some great opportunities for a spring hunt,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “The wild turkey is a true conservation success story in Ohio, and we hope to continue to build on our turkey hunting tradition.”

The 2012 hatch should produce more jakes (1-year-old male turkeys) this year and will help offset the poor 2011 hatch. However, the woods may be quieter with fewer 2-year-old toms (male turkeys). These turkeys are generally the most vocal gobblers and readily located by hunters.

Hunters harvested 17,657 wild turkeys during the 2012 youth and spring turkey seasons. The total checked in 2011 was 18,162 wild turkeys.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife anticipates as many as 70,000 licensed hunters, not counting exempt landowners hunting on their own property, will enjoy Ohio’s popular spring wild turkey season before it comes to a close on Sunday, May 19. The spring and youth turkey seasons are open statewide with the exception of Lake La Su An Wildlife Area in Williams County, which requires a special hunting permit.

In a new tagging procedure implemented this year, hunters will need to make their own game tag to attach to a wild turkey. Game tags can be made of any material (cardboard, plastic, paper, etc.) as long as it contains the hunter’s name, date, time and county of the kill. Go to the Turkey Hunting Resources page at wildohio.com for more information on changes to the game check process.

All hunters must report their turkey harvest using the automated game check system. Hunters have three options to complete the game check:

Game-check transactions are available online and by telephone seven days a week and during holidays. Landowners exempt from purchasing a turkey permit, and any other person not required to purchase a turkey permit, cannot use the phone-in option.

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.

The youth-only turkey hunt is April 20-21 for those possessing a valid youth hunting license and youth turkey permit. Youth hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 18 years of age or older.

Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon from April 22-May 5. Hunting hours from May 6-19 will be a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. Legal hunting hours are one half-hour before sunrise to sunset during the two-day youth season.

Hunters may use shotguns, longbows and crossbows 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 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 turkey breeding activity is primarily controlled by the increasing amount of daylight. Hens typically start incubating eggs around May 1 in Ohio. Ohio’s current wild turkey population is approximately 180,000.

Ohio’s first modern day wild turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The total number of checked turkeys topped 1,000 for the first time in 1984. Turkey hunting was opened statewide in 2000.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

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Ohio Spring Turkey Season Opens April 23rd

COLUMBUS, OH – This year’s spring wild turkey season opens in all 88 Ohio counties on Monday, April 23 and continues through Sunday, May 20,

Despite its distinct appearance, the Wild Turk...

Despite its distinct appearance, the Wild Turkey is actually a very close relative of pheasants (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

“Ohio has again experienced a record low wild turkey hatch, with last year’s nesting season negatively impacted by rainfall and flooding,” said ODNR Wildlife Biologist Mike Reynolds. “The early onset of spring-like weather and green vegetation could make it harder for hunters to see and hear turkeys, creating challenging hunting conditions this season.”

Wild turkey breeding activity is largely controlled by the increasing amount of daylight.  Typically in southeast Ohio, hens start incubating nests on May 1.

Hunters harvested 18,162 wild turkeys during last year’s youth and spring turkey seasons. Ohio’s current wild turkey population is more than 180,000. ODNR anticipates as many as 70,000 licensed hunters, not counting private landowners hunting on their own property, will enjoy Ohio’s popular spring wild turkey season.

A special youth-only turkey hunt for those possessing a valid youth hunting license and youth turkey permit will be held April 21-22. Young hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 18 years of age or older. The young hunter’s turkey season is open statewide with the exception of Lake La Su An State Wildlife Area in Williams County, which requires a special hunting permit. Legal hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset each day during the two-day youth season.

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

Game-check transactions will be available online and by telephone seven days a week and during holidays. Landowner hunters who are not required to purchase a fall turkey permit must use the website or a license agent to check their turkey, but cannot use the phone-in method.

Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon from April 23 to May 6.  Hunting hours from May 7-20 will be a half-hour before sunrise to sunset.  An incorrect start date for the all day turkey hunting hours was printed in the 2011-12 Hunting Regulations booklet. The first day for all day hunting is May 7.

Hunters are required to have a hunting license and a spring turkey-hunting permit. They can also take one bearded turkey per day. A second spring turkey permit can be purchased allowing hunters to take a limit of two bearded wild turkeys. Turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest.

Hunters may use shotguns, longbows and crossbows to hunt wild turkeys; however, 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.

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

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Ohio Fall Turkey Season: Might be a Bad Year

Wild turkey in flight.

Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH – Fall wild turkey hunting opens in 48 Ohio counties on Saturday, October 8, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The season continues through Sunday, November 27.

“Record rainfall and regional flooding during the nesting season negatively affected wild turkey production this year,” said Wildlife Biologist Mike Reynolds. “Some renesting may have helped to offset early nest failures, but hunters will likely find fewer turkeys this fall. Brood production in two of the last three years (2009 and 2011) has been the lowest on record.”

Hunters harvested 1,425 wild turkeys during last year’s fall season. Reynolds added that Ohio’s current wild turkey population is approximately 180,000. He anticipates as many as 15,000 people, not counting private landowners hunting on their own property, will enjoy Ohio’s fall wild turkey season.

Only one turkey of either sex may be taken during the entire fall season. A Fall Turkey Hunting Permit is required. Hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Shotguns using shot, crossbows, and longbows are permitted. Hunting turkeys over bait is prohibited. Turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. on the day the bird is shot.

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

Game-check transactions will be available online and by telephone seven days a week and during holidays. Landowner hunters who are not required to purchase a fall turkey permit must use the Internet or any license agent to check their turkey. Hunters who tag their turkey as a landowner harvest cannot use the phone-in method. All authorized license sales agents will also check in your game. A list of these agents can be found at www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/dow/regulations/vendor.aspx or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

The 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.

Additional details regarding fall wild turkey hunting and safety information can be found in Publication 85, Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations, or online at wildohio.com.

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


 

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Northeast Ohio Blows Away Those Turkeys

Male wild turkey in Brookline, Massachusetts, ...
Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH- Ohio’s fall wild turkey season ended November 28 with 1,336 birds killed during the seven-week season. Ashtabula County led the state with 75 birds taken, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.  Last year, 2,180 birds were taken.

“The decline in the fall turkey harvest we observed from 2009 to 2010 was not unexpected. Acorn mast crop failures like we observed in 2009 typically result in increased hunter success and higher fall turkey harvests because turkeys feed in open areas, such as agricultural fields and pastures,” said Wildlife Biologist Mike Reynolds. “Bumper acorn crops like we’ve experienced in 2010 often lead to reduced hunting success and harvests because turkeys are feeding on acorns in the forest, and are often widely scattered and difficult for hunters to locate.”

The fall turkey season which ran October 9 through November 28, allowed hunters the choice of pursuing a bird with a shotgun, muzzleloading shotgun, bow or crossbow. Hunters had 48 counties in which to pursue a wild turkey of either sex.

Before the start of this fall’s hunting season, Ohio’s estimated wild turkey population was around 230,000. As many as 20,000 people, not counting private landowners hunting on their own property, enjoyed Ohio’s fall wild turkey season.

The top 10 counties for fall turkey harvest were: Ashtabula-75, Licking-57, Trumbull-56, Knox-55, Coshocton-54, Highland-52, Tuscarawas-49, Clermont-48, Ashland-46 and Geauga-45.

Hunters who wish to share their success can submit a photo of themselves and the turkey they killed this year to wildohio.com.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources 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.

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When Deer Collide: Motorist Safety

HARRISBURG –Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today urged motorists to stay alert and slow down when driving after dusk and before dawn to reduce their risk of colliding with a .

“Each spring, deer congregate on the grassy areas along the state’s busy highways, and cover greater distances in search of food,” Roe said.  “This activity makes vehicle collisions with deer all but inevitable.

“For the sake of public safety, the Game Commission is asking motorists to watch for deer and to drive defensively after dark and before sunrise, which is when deer are most active.  Your efforts can help to keep accidents to a minimum, which, in turn, will reduce or eliminate hardships to your family and other Pennsylvanians.”

Roe noted that being more knowledgeable about deer can help Pennsylvanians steer clear of a deer-vehicle collision. For instance, in spring, young deer – last year’s fawns – are on the move as does chase them away to prepare to give birth to this year’s fawns. Yearling does usually travel no farther than necessary and will often later reunite with the doe after her new fawns begin traveling with her. However, young bucks typically disperse farther to set up their own home range.

“Unfortunately, these young deer make tragic mistakes when crossing roads in spring and moving through areas unfamiliar to them,” said Roe. “They’re no longer following the leader, they’re moving independently. And that increases the potential for an accident, especially in areas harboring large deer populations.”

If a deer steps onto a road, Roe said, motorists should slow down and come to a controlled stop as soon as possible, and turn on their hazard flashers.  Stopping may not be an option on busy highways, unless the driver can reach the shoulder of the road.

“Don’t risk trying to drive around a deer,” Roe said.  “Since deer usually move in single file, more deer may be following, so you should stop, or at least slow down, to make sure all deer have passed.

“Also, deer sometimes abruptly reverse their direction right after crossing a road.  This is a defensive mechanism that often kicks in when deer are startled, and they retrace their footsteps to other deer they’re traveling with or return to an area they’ve already checked for danger.”

Deer in northern counties spend a good deal of time in spring feeding on the tender shoots in grassy areas alongside busy highways. Motorists should slow down immediately whenever they see grazing deer along roads.  While deer dining next to busy highways and interstates are often not bothered by the traffic, deer along rural roads seem less tolerant and are more edgy.

“The only thing predictable about whitetails is that they’re definitely unpredictable,” Roe said. “The moment you think you have them figured out, they start showing you something new.

“However, we also know that deer are creatures of habit. If you see a deer-crossing sign posted along a road you’re traveling, it’s a good idea to slow down especially around dawn and dusk. These signs are placed in areas where deer have been crossing roads for years. Ignoring these signs is asking for trouble.”

Drivers who hit a deer are not required to report the accident to the Game Commission. If the deer dies, only Pennsylvania residents may claim the carcass.  To do so, they must call the Game Commission for a permit number within 24 hours of taking possession of the deer.

However, to report a dead deer for removal from state roads, motorists can call the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation at 1-800-FIX-ROAD.

The permit number issued by the agency lets meat processors and law enforcement officials know that possession of the deer is legal, and not the result of poaching.  Antlers from bucks killed in vehicle collisions must be turned over to the Game Commission.

If a deer is struck by a vehicle, but not killed, drivers are urged to stay their distance because some deer may recover and move on.  However, if a deer does not move on, or poses a public safety risk, drivers are encouraged to report the incident to a Game Commission regional office or other local law enforcement agency.  If the deer must be put down, the Game Commission will direct the proper person to do so.

Other tips for motorists:

  • Stay alert and don’t count on deer whistles or deer fences to deter deer from crossing roads in front of you. Deer can’t hear ultrasonic frequencies and there is no scientific evidence that deer whistles are effective.
  • Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for deer silhouettes on the shoulders of roads. If anything looks slightly suspicious, slow down.
  • Slow down in areas known to have a large deer population; where deer-crossing signs are posted; places where deer commonly cross roads or are struck by motorists; areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forests; and whenever in forested areas between dusk and dawn.
  • Deer do unpredictable things. Sometimes they stop in the middle of the road when crossing. Sometimes they cross and quickly re-cross back from where they came. Sometimes they move toward an approaching vehicle. Assume nothing. Slow down, blow your horn to urge the deer to leave the road. Stop if a deer stays on the road; don’t try to go around it.
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Ohio Spring Turkey Season Harvest So Far: Ashtabula Leads

Is a photo of a wild turkey
Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio hunters killed 11,152 wild turkeys in the first seven days of the spring hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Last year, 9,054 birds were harvested during the season’s first week.

So far this season, the counties reporting the highest numbers of turkeys checked are: Ashtabula-397, Clermont-378, Adams-354, Guernsey-318, Highland-316, Harrison-315, Monroe-311, Coshocton-296, Washington-293, Athens and Ross-291.

The season remains open through May 16.  Spring wild turkey hunters may hunt in all 88 counties (except at the Lake La Su An Wildlife Area inWilliams County). Turkey hunting is permitted a half-hour before sunrise until noon daily. Hunters may take two bearded turkeys per spring season. Shotguns using shot, crossbows and longbows are legal during this season. A spring turkey permit is required, along with an Ohio hunting license.

Turkey hunters are reminded that licenses purchased now are also valid during the 2010 fall hunting season. Spring turkey permits are good for spring season only.  Those participating in the fall turkey season will need to buy a fall turkey permit. Licenses are not printed on weatherproof paper.  Sportsmen and women should protect their licenses and permits from the elements by carrying them in a protective pouch or wallet.

For more information about Ohio’s spring wild turkey hunting season, visit wildohio.com.
The Department of Natural Resources 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.

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Ohio Turkey Season First Day Reports

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio hunters harvested a preliminary total of 2,874 bearded wild turkeys on the first day of the spring turkey-hunting season, which is open statewide through May 16. Last year’s opening day harvest number was 1,712 turkeys, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Top counties for wild turkeys killed were: Ashtabula-115, Guernsey and Meigs-94, Tuscarawas-93, Gallia-86, Harrison-83, Coshocton-82, Clermont-81, Adams-77, and Jackson-74.

The ODNR 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 19 to May 2 2010. New this year, hunting hours May 3-16 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 17-18. Young hunters killed 2,184 birds statewide. Top reporting counties were: Ashtabula-72, Harrison-70, Washington-68, Clermont and Coshocton-67, Guernsey-63, Trumbull-62, Ashland-57, and Lawrence, Monroe, and Ross-56. Last year, 1,814 birds were taken over the same two-day period.

Only bearded wild turkeys may be taken during the spring hunting season. A hunter is required to take a harvested turkey to an official check station for permanent tagging by 2 p.m. on the day of harvest from April 19 through May 2. From May 3 through May 16 the bird must be checked in any county by 2 p.m. the day following 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.

Turkey hunters are reminded that hunting licenses purchased now are also valid during the 2010 fall hunting season. Spring turkey permits are good for spring season only.  Those participating in the fall turkey season will need to buy a fall turkey permit. The 2010-2011 licenses will not be printed on weatherproof paper. Sportsmen and women should protect their licenses and permits from the elements by carrying them in a protective pouch or wallet.

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