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Ohio hunters harvest nearly 3,000 wild turkeys on opening day of 2019 season

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Apr 29, 2019 at 9:03 AM

Ohio hunters in the south zone checked 2,965 wild turkeys on the first day of the spring wild turkey hunting season on April 22.

Ohio’s spring wild turkey season is divided into two zones: a south zone, which is open from Monday, April 22 to Sunday, May 19, and a northeast zone, which is open from Monday, April 29 to Sunday, May 26.

In 2018, hunters in the south zone checked 3,316 wild turkeys on opening day.

In Huron County, hunters checked in 25 turkeys, which is five fewer than last year.

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.

Hunting hours from April 22 to 28 in the south zone and April 29 to May 5 in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon. Hunting hours from April 29 to May 19 in the south zone and May 6 to 26 in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.

Hunters may use shotguns or archery equipment 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 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 turkeys were extirpated in Ohio by 1904 and were reintroduced in the 1950s by the Division of Wildlife. Ohio’s first modern day wild turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The wild turkey harvest topped 1,000 for the first time in 1984. Spring turkey hunting opened statewide, except for Lake La Su An Wildlife Area, in 2000, and Ohio hunters checked more than 20,000 wild turkeys for the first time that year.

Below is a list of all wild turkeys checked by hunters in the south zone on opening day of the spring turkey hunting season. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2019, and the 2018 numbers are in parentheses.

Adams: 71 (53); Allen: 8 (6); Ashland: 36 (53); Athens: 76 (89); Auglaize: 5 (3); Belmont: 85 (128); Brown: 73 (54); Butler: 31 (32); Carroll: 77 (90); Champaign: 14 (18); Clark: 1 (1); Clermont: 59 (45); Clinton: 13 (4); Columbiana: 66 (57); Coshocton: 81 (149); Crawford: 9 (4); Darke: 13 (4); Defiance: 34 (33); Delaware: 16 (19); Erie: 11 (7); Fairfield: 16 (28); Fayette: 1 (2); Franklin: 1 (3); Fulton: 16 (14); Gallia: 66 (61); Greene: 3 (4); Guernsey: 86 (136); Hamilton: 14 (12); Hancock: 8 (4); Hardin: 23 (11); Harrison: 86 (133); Henry: 12 (8); Highland: 62 (59); Hocking: 55 (63); Holmes: 56 (56); Huron: 25 (30); Jackson: 66 (70); Jefferson: 74 (78); Knox: 60 (85); Lawrence: 37 (28); Licking: 63 (77); Logan: 21 (25); Lorain: 24 (18); Lucas: 14 (16); Madison: 2 (2); Mahoning: 35 (27); Marion: 3 (3); Medina: 15 (30); Meigs: 89 (110); Mercer: 3 (5); Miami: 0 (3); Monroe: 86 (126); Montgomery: 6 (5); Morgan: 71 (96); Morrow: 34 (20); Muskingum: 86 (117); Noble: 77 (69); Ottawa: 3 (0); Paulding: 12 (9); Perry: 57 (67); Pickaway: 2 (3); Pike: 44 (43); Portage: 38 (48); Preble: 21 (25); Putnam: 10 (5); Richland: 44 (50); Ross: 59 (58); Sandusky: 6 (3); Scioto: 61 (36); Seneca: 27 (26); Shelby: 11 (5); Stark: 39 (38); Summit: 10 (10); Tuscarawas: 94 (146); Union: 8 (8); Van Wert: 2 (4); Vinton: 52 (84); Warren: 17 (6); Washington: 96 (107); Wayne: 15 (18); Williams: 48 (25); Wood: 5 (3); Wyandot: 9 (6); Total: 2,965 (3,316).

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