Wild turkey hunters successful on opening day


COLUMBUS – Hunters checked 2,430 birds during Ohio’s opening day of wild turkey hunting season in the south zone on Monday, April 20, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Hunters harvested 2,979 wild turkeys during the 2019 south zone opening day.

In addition to those results, youth hunters harvested 1,843 during Ohio’s youth season on April 18-19. The state has two zones for spring turkey hunting: the south zone and the northeast zone. The south zone opening day was Monday, April 20. The northeast zone, which includes Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Trumbull counties in Ohio’s snow belt, began Monday, May 4.

In Fulton County, 21 turkeys were checked compared to 16 in 2019.

The top 11 counties for wild turkey harvest during opening day of the 2020 south zone include: Harrison (93); Belmont (89); Guernsey (80); Tuscarawas (73); Jefferson (70); Monroe (69); Columbiana (65); Meigs (65); Washington (65); Brown (64) and Coshocton (64).

Ohio offers more opportunities for hunters of all ages to pursue wild turkeys. For 2020, the south zone is open to Sunday, May 17. The northeast zone dates are from Monday, May 4, to Sunday, May 31. Find complete details in the 2019-2020 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.gov. For summaries of past turkey seasons, visit wildohio.gov/turkeyharvest.

Hunting hours for May 4-10 in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon. Hunting hours from April 27-May 17 in the south zone and May 11-31 in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.

The spring turkey season bag limit is two bearded wild turkeys. Hunters may harvest one bearded turkey per day, and a second spring turkey permit may be purchased at any time throughout the spring turkey season. Turkeys are required to be checked no later than 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest. All hunters are required to report their turkey harvest using the automated game-check system, which is available online, by phone or at a participating license agent.

Hunters may hunt wild turkeys with shotguns or archery equipment. 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.