Ohio hunters harvested a preliminary total of 2,227 bearded wild turkeys on the first day of the spring turkey-hunting season, which is open statewide through May 20, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. In 2011, a preliminary total of 2,646 wild turkeys were killed on opening day.
Top counties for wild turkeys killed on Monday were: Ashtabula-93, Coshocton-79, Tuscarawas-78, Muskingum-74, Guernsey-69, Adams-62, Highland-57, Knox-56, Brown-55 and Clermont-54.
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 23 to May 6. Hunting hours May 7-20 will be a half hour before sunrise to sunset. Ohio’s wild turkey population was estimated at 180,000 prior to the start of the spring season.
Only bearded wild turkeys may be taken during the spring hunting season. A hunter is required to check in their turkey by 11:30 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 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:
- Online at wildohio.com or ohiogamecheck.com;
- By telephone at 877-TAG-ITOH (877-824-4864). This option is only available to those who are required to have a turkey permit to hunt turkeys; and
- 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 including holidays. License agents’ locations will be available for turkey check-in during normal business hours. Hunters can call the license agent for specific hours of operation. All turkeys must be checked in by 11:30 p.m. the day of kill.