Ohio hunters enjoy spring wild turkey season


COLUMBUS — Hunters checked 17,891 wild turkeys during Ohio’s 2020 spring hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. In 2019, hunters harvested 19,168 wild turkeys during the same time.

“Hunting wild turkeys is one of the most cherished and challenging activities for outdoor recreation in Ohio,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “Our wild turkey population remains strong thanks to the generous support of hunters and many others who contribute to conservation in the Buckeye State.”

The top 10 counties for wild turkey harvest during the 2020 spring hunting season include: Belmont (533), Monroe (532), Tuscarawas (528), Guernsey (508), Meigs (503), Muskingum (499), Washington (484), Harrison (458), Coshocton (450) and Ashtabula (449).

In Fulton County, 118 turkeys were checked compared to 117 in 2019.

Young hunters harvested 1,843 wild turkeys during Ohio’s youth season on April 18-19. The youth season results are included in the final harvest tally.

The state has two zones for spring wild turkey hunting: the south zone and the northeast zone. The northeast zone includes Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties, while the south zone covers the rest of the state. South zone hunting ended May 17. Northeast zone hunting ended May 31.

The spring turkey season bag limit was two bearded wild turkeys. Hunters could harvest one bearded turkey per day. All hunters were required to check in their harvest using the game-check system. A turkey could be harvested with a shotgun or archery equipment.

The Ohio Division of Wildlife began an extensive program in the 1950s to reintroduce wild turkeys to the Buckeye State. Ohio’s first modern day wild turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The total number of harvested turkeys topped 1,000 for the first time in 1984. Turkey hunting was opened statewide in 2000. The record Ohio wild turkey harvest was in 2001, when hunters checked 26,156 birds.