COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s young hunters checked 1,843 wild turkeys during the 2020 two-day spring youth season, April 18 and 19, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Young hunters harvested 1,331 wild turkeys during the same weekend in 2019.
Youth hunters were required to be accompanied by a non-hunting adult during the two-day season. Learning from an experienced hunter is key to developing the skills to successfully harvest a wild turkey.
Top 11 counties for wild turkey harvest during the 2020 youth season include: Monroe (71), Tuscarawas (68), Muskingum (63), Meigs (57), Washington (55), Noble (51), Guernsey (48), Belmont (47), Coshocton (45), Columbiana (44) and Harrison (44).
Ohio offers more opportunities for hunters of all ages to pursue wild turkeys. The state has two zones for spring turkey hunting: the south zone and the northeast zone. For 2020, the south zone hunting dates are from Monday, April 20, 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 from April 20-26 in the south zone and May 4-10 in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon. Hunting hours from April 27 to 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.
Photo credit: Erich Long