Reduction of wild turkey hunting season proposed


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COLUMBUS, OhioBiologists with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife recommended a major reduction to the 2022 fall wild turkey hunting season during the Ohio Wildlife Council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 12.

Under the proposal received Wednesday, Ohio’s fall wild turkey season would begin on Saturday, Oct. 15 and conclude on Sunday, Nov. 13, a reduction of three weeks when compared to the 2021 fall season.

The fall turkey hunting proposal was part of a larger package of season dates that were presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council, and includes small game, waterfowl, and furbearers.

Wild turkey populations have declined throughout Ohio following several years of below average reproductive success. The proposed reduction in the fall hunting season length goes along with a reduced limit for the spring season. Ohio hunters harvested 695 wild turkeys during the 2021 fall season that was open in 70 of 88 counties. The average harvest during the three previous years (2018 to 2020) was 1,079 birds.

Further hunting season proposals

Additional 2022-23 hunting seasons dates that were proposed Wednesday include small game, furbearers, and waterfowl. Proposals include the traditional start dates of squirrel and mourning dove on Thursday, Sept. 1, furbearer hunting and trapping on Thursday, Nov. 10, and rabbit and pheasant on Friday, Nov. 4.

Waterfowl hunting dates in the Lake Erie marsh zone were proposed to begin on Saturday, Oct. 15. The north zone and south zone waterfowl openers were proposed for Saturday, Oct. 22.

White-tailed deer hunting seasons will be presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

Ohio Wildlife Council

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all Ohio Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. Council meetings are held virtually and open to the public. Individuals interested in providing comments are asked to call 614-265-6304 at least two days prior to the meeting to register. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.

A statewide hearing on all proposed rules will be held on Thursday, March 24, 2022 at 9 a.m.

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. The visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

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