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Ohio Hunters Harvest 3,100+ Wild Turkeys on Opening Day
April 26, 2017

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COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio hunters in the south zone checked 3,123 wild turkeys on the first day of the spring wild turkey hunting season, April 24, 2017. New for the 2017 season, the state has been divided into two zones: a south zone, which opened April 24, and a northeast zone, which opens May 1. This two-zone season structure was established following a hunter survey and a two-year study of hens in the northeastern part of Ohio. Hunters can view the 2017 spring turkey season zone map and harvest regulations at wildohio.gov.

See below for county-by-county results from Ohio's 2017 wild turkey hunting season.

Ohio's spring wild turkey season is divided into two zones: a south zone, which is open from April 24 to May 21, and a northeast zone, which is open from May 1 to May 28.

In 2016 hunters checked 2,511 wild turkeys on opening day state-wide (in 2017, the northeast zone opens May 1)

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 in the south zone are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon from April 24-May 7 and 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset from May 8-21. Hunting hours in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon from May 1-14 and 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset from May 15-28.

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 Ohio Department of Natural Resources (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 turkeys were extirpated in Ohio by 1904 and were reintroduced in the 1950s by the ODNR 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.

Editor's Note: A list of all wild turkeys checked by hunters in the south zone on opening day of the spring turkey hunting season is shown below. The first number following the county's name shows the harvest numbers for 2017, and the 2016 numbers are in parentheses. An * designates a northeast zone county, which was open on the first day of the spring wild turkey season in 2016, but does not open until May 1 in 2017. The harvest by counties: Adams: 92 (56); Allen: 8 (11); Ashland: 41 (24); Ashtabula: * (85); Athens: 61 (42); Auglaize: 8 (8); Belmont: 81 (73); Brown: 66 (47); Butler: 36 (27); Carroll: 91 (53); Champaign: 19 (12); Clark: 4 (2); Clermont: 75 (56); Clinton: 9 (9); Columbiana: 54 (50); Coshocton: 123 (72); Crawford: 8 (15); Cuyahoga: * (2); Darke: 5 (4); Defiance: 47 (50); Delaware: 17 (11); Erie: 4 (8); Fairfield: 16 (14); Fayette: 4 (0); Franklin: 4 (3); Fulton: 19 (15); Gallia: 69 (47); Geauga: * (36); Greene: 2 (4); Guernsey: 108 (67); Hamilton: 18 (18); Hancock: 6 (5); Hardin: 14 (13); Harrison: 92 (67); Henry: 8 (8); Highland: 86 (49); Hocking: 66 (46); Holmes: 58 (40); Huron: 31 (17); Jackson: 57 (48); Jefferson: 54 (60); Knox: 85 (52); Lake: * (6); Lawrence: 45 (38); Licking: 81 (46); Logan: 27 (13); Lorain: 22 (20); Lucas: 8 (13); Madison: 1 (3); Mahoning: 32 (30); Marion: 4 (8); Medina: 19 (18); Meigs: 84 (63); Mercer: 7 (2); Miami: 4 (1); Monroe: 83 (57); Montgomery: 5 (4); Morgan: 66 (32); Morrow: 37 (30); Muskingum: 89 (67); Noble: 72 (42); Ottawa: 0 (0); Paulding: 19 (17); Perry: 48 (48); Pickaway: 4 (2); Pike: 37 (38); Portage: 38 (30); Preble: 14 (22); Putnam: 9 (8); Richland: 39 (43); Ross: 70 (53); Sandusky: 4 (4); Scioto: 53 (32); Seneca: 27 (21); Shelby: 5 (12); Stark: 43 (31); Summit: 7 (9); Trumbull: * (72); Tuscarawas: 115 (69); Union: 6 (9); Van Wert: 7 (4); Vinton: 70 (33); Warren: 16 (12); Washington: 78 (58); Wayne: 21 (18); Williams: 41 (39); Wood: 2 (0); Wyandot: 18 (8). Total: 3,123 (2,511).

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