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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 Furbearer Hunting and Trapping Seasons


Muskrat
Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio hunters and trappers preparing to pursue furbearers will find good populations of these animals during the 2011-2012 season. The season begins for most furbearing species on November 10, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

“Food sources and habitat conditions for furbearers remain good this year across Ohio,” said Division of Wildlife biologist Suzie Prange. “Fur takers can expect another good season for most species.”

For the seventh year, 43 counties will be open for river otter trapping from December 26 to February 29. River otters were reintroduced into four Ohio watersheds between 1986 and 1993 and have increased their range in the state. They were removed from the state endangered species list in 2002. Full details of open counties, checking and permit requirements can be found in the Ohio River-Otter Trapping Regulations.

In most regions of Ohio, hunting and trapping seasons for fox, raccoon, opossum, skunk and weasel open November 10 and close January 31. The trapping season for mink and muskrat is open November 10 through February 29. Exceptions are Erie, Ottawa and Sandusky counties, and in Lucas County east of the Maumee River where raccoon, opossum, skunk, weasel, mink and muskrat trapping seasons will remain open through March 15,

Ohio’s beaver-trapping season opens statewide December 26 and ends February 29.

There are no daily bag limits or restrictions on hours for hunting and trapping furbearers, with the exception of river otters, where bag limits are dependent on the county where the trapping occurs. Special hunting regulations for coyotes apply during the one-week, statewide deer-gun season, November 28-December 4, and the deer-gun weekend of December 17-18.

A fur-taker permit is required in addition to a valid Ohio hunting license to hunt or trap furbearing animals, except for coyotes, which may be hunted or trapped year round without a fur-taker permit. A special ODNR Division of Wildlife permit is required to trap beaver and otters on state public hunting areas.

Otters that are accidentally captured, either in excess of bag limits or in closed counties, must be released unharmed. Otters that cannot be released must be turned over to the Division of Wildlife.

Beaver trappers in particular are advised to watch for otter sign and modify set placements where necessary. The Ohio State Trappers Association and the Division of Wildlife have published aguide on how to recognize otter sign and use various otter avoidance techniques while trapping for beaver in areas closed to otter trapping. A copy of the publication and reports about observing otters in Ohio can be ordered by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

Ohio is among the nation’s leading producers of raw furs. Currently, there are 70 licensed fur dealers and more than 11,000 licensed fur takers in the state.

Additional hunting information is contained in the 2011-2012 Ohio Hunting Regulationsbrochure, available where Ohio hunting licenses are sold, on the Internet at wildohio.com or by calling toll-free 1-800-WILDLIFE.

 

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