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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 Spring Turkey Season Underway

Kalkoen Turkey

Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH – 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.

EDITORS NOTE – Below is a list of preliminary wild turkey harvest results for the 2011 spring season opening day:

Adams – 88; Allen – 7; Ashland – 24; Ashtabula – 70; Athens – 69; Auglaize – 4; Belmont – 73; Brown – 71; Butler – 30; Carroll – 41; Champaign – 14; Clark – 4; Clermont – 54; Clinton – 9; Columbiana – 56; Coshocton – 79; Crawford – 15; Cuyahoga – 1; Darke – 3; Defiance – 19; Delaware – 20; Erie – 8; Fairfield – 21; Fayette – 0; Franklin – 4; Fulton – 9; Gallia – 64; Geauga – 42; Greene – 6; Guernsey – 94; Hamilton – 30; Hancock – 5; Hardin – 8; Harrison – 67; Henry – 4; Highland – 59; Hocking – 44; Holmes – 30; Huron – 31; Jackson – 43; Jefferson – 62; Knox – 79; Lake – 11; Lawrence – 29; Licking – 67; Logan – 24; Lorain – 15; Lucas – 3; Madison – 0; Mahoning – 24; Marion – 4; Medina – 11; Meigs – 69; Mercer – 3; Miami – 5; Monroe – 55; Montgomery – 1; Morgan – 54; Morrow – 31; Muskingum – 81; Noble – 31; Ottawa – 0; Paulding – 7; Perry – 38; Pickaway – 4; Pike – 46; Portage – 29; Preble – 10; Putnam – 3; Richland – 53; Ross – 58; Sandusky – 3; Scioto – 36; Seneca – 22; Shelby – 6; Stark – 27; Summit – 4; Trumbull – 47; Tuscarawas – 85; Union – 7; Van Wert – 3; Vinton – 33; Warren – 17; Washington – 72; Wayne – 15; Williams – 24; Wood – 4; Wyandot – 14. Total – 2,646.

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