Youth Hunters Harvest 1,103 Wild Turkeys During Special Weekend



 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s youth wild turkey hunters braved blustery spring weather with rain and snow showers to check 1,103 birds during the special hunting weekend on April 9-10, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The three-year average for turkeys taken during the two-day youth season is 1,545. In 2021, youth hunters harvested 1,473 turkeys.

The two-day season was open to hunters 17 years old and younger, and participants were required to be accompanied by a nonhunting adult. As of April 10, the Division of Wildlife has issued 5,707 youth wild turkey permits, which can be used for the remainder of the 2022 spring hunting season. The 2022 spring season limit is one bearded turkey for all hunters.

The top 10 counties for wild turkey harvest during the 2022 youth season include Monroe (41), Coshocton (38), Jefferson (34), Harrison (32), Tuscarawas (32), Muskingum (32), Noble (31), Columbiana (31), Gallia (28), Guernsey (28).

Ohio offers many more opportunities for hunters of all ages to pursue wild turkeys. The state has two zones for spring wild turkey hunting following the youth season: the south zone and the northeast zone. The 2022 season dates for the south zone are from Saturday, April 23 to Sunday, May 22. The northeast zone is open from Saturday, April 30 to Sunday, May 29. Hunters are required to have a hunting license in addition to a spring permit. Find complete details in the 2021-22 Ohio hunting and trapping regulations booklet.

In 2021, the top five counties for total spring turkey harvest were Columbiana (454), Belmont (444), Meigs (437), Tuscarawas (417), and Jefferson (408). More information about previous turkey seasons can be found in the 2021 spring wild turkey report.

A turkey is required to be checked no later than 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest using the HuntFish OH mobile app, the automated game-check system, by phone at 877-TAG-IT-OH (877-824-4864), or at a participating license agent.

In the fall of 2021, the Ohio Wildlife Council approved a reduction to the spring wild turkey season limit from two bearded birds to one. Wild turkey numbers have slowly declined in many areas around the state following several years of below-average reproductive success. The statewide wild turkey reproductive index recorded a positive turn in summer 2021 was 3.1 poults per hen, which is above the 10-year average of 2.7 poults per hen.

Anyone interested in learning to hunt or becoming a mentor to a new hunter can visit the Wild Ohio Harvest Community page for information on how to get started, hunting-related workshops, as well as special hunting opportunities for mentors and new hunters.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

 

Editor’s Note: A county list of all wild turkeys checked by youth hunters during the 2022 youth turkey season is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2022, and the three-year average from 2019 to 2021 is in parentheses. A three-year average provides a better overall comparison to this year’s harvest numbers, eliminating year-to-year variation because of weather, misaligned season dates, and other unavoidable factors. Numbers below are raw data and are subject to change.

Adams: 22 (31); Allen: 5 (9); Ashland: 14 (23); Ashtabula: 25 (35); Athens: 14 (24); Auglaize: 4 (4); Belmont: 25 (43); Brown: 24 (35); Butler: 8 (15); Carroll: 16 (28); Champaign: 4 (6); Clark: 2 (2); Clermont: 12 (25); Clinton: 4 (8); Columbiana: 31 (39); Coshocton: 38 (44); Crawford: 2 (2); Darke: 15 (11); Defiance: 18 (27); Delaware: 6 (7); Erie: 0 (3); Fairfield: 8 (7); Fayette: 1 (3); Franklin: 1 (1); Fulton: 14 (14); Gallia: 28 (33); Geauga: 10 (14); Greene: 1 (1); Guernsey: 28 (50); Hamilton: 3 (4); Hancock: 3 (3); Hardin: 9 (7); Harrison: 32 (40); Henry: 3 (11); Highland: 24 (33); Hocking: 18 (17); Holmes: 24 (31); Huron: 6 (8); Jackson: 20 (27); Jefferson: 34 (38); Knox: 17 (29); Lake: 3 (6); Lawrence: 17 (21); Licking: 22 (24); Logan: 8 (10); Lorain: 8 (9); Lucas: 4 (5); Madison: 0 (1); Mahoning: 14 (16); Marion: 0 (3); Medina: 5 (10); Meigs: 24 (45); Mercer: 1 (2); Miami: 4 (3); Monroe: 41 (63); Montgomery: 2 (2); Morgan: 20 (29); Morrow: 8 (15); Muskingum: 32 (46); Noble: 31 (51); Paulding: 8 (7); Perry: 21 (27); Pickaway: 1 (3); Pike: 16 (13); Portage: 16 (20); Preble: 6 (6); Putnam: 3 (8); Richland: 12 (19); Ross: 15 (23); Sandusky: 1 (2); Scioto: 7 (18); Seneca: 10 (12); Shelby: 2 (3); Stark: 26 (15); Summit: 3 (5); Trumbull: 22 (34); Tuscarawas: 32 (54); Union: 3 (4); Van Wert: 3 (2); Vinton: 17 (27); Warren: 5 (9); Washington: 23 (45); Wayne: 6 (10); Williams: 15 (16); Wood: 2 (3); Wyandot: 11 (8).

2022 total: 1,103
Three-year avg: (1,545)

 

Information courtesy of the Ohio Division of Wildlife