Columbus, OH – Fall wild turkey hunting opens in 48 Ohio counties on Saturday, October 8, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The season continues through Sunday, November 27.
“Record rainfall and regional flooding during the nesting season negatively affected wild turkey production this year,” said Wildlife Biologist Mike Reynolds. “Some renesting may have helped to offset early nest failures, but hunters will likely find fewer turkeys this fall. Brood production in two of the last three years (2009 and 2011) has been the lowest on record.”
Hunters harvested 1,425 wild turkeys during last year’s fall season. Reynolds added that Ohio’s current wild turkey population is approximately 180,000. He anticipates as many as 15,000 people, not counting private landowners hunting on their own property, will enjoy Ohio’s fall wild turkey season.
Only one turkey of either sex may be taken during the entire fall season. A Fall Turkey Hunting Permit is required. Hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Shotguns using shot, crossbows, and longbows are permitted. Hunting turkeys over bait is prohibited. Turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. on the day the bird is shot.
All hunters must still report their harvest of turkeys, but they are no longer required to take their turkey to a check station for physical inspection. Hunters will have three options to complete the automated game check:
- On the Internet at www.wildohio.com or www.ohiogamecheck.com
- By telephone at 1-877-TAG-ITOH(1-877-824-4864). This option is only available to those who are required to purchase a turkey permit to hunt turkeys.
- At all license agents
Game-check transactions will be available online and by telephone seven days a week and during holidays. Landowner hunters who are not required to purchase a fall turkey permit must use the Internet or any license agent to check their turkey. Hunters who tag their turkey as a landowner harvest cannot use the phone-in method. All authorized license sales agents will also check in your game. A list of these agents can be found at www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/dow/regulations/vendor.aspx or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.
The 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.
Additional details regarding fall wild turkey hunting and safety information can be found in Publication 85, Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations, or online at wildohio.com.