Ohio’s wild turkey hunting season underway


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Ohio hunters harvested 3,315 wild turkeys during the opening weekend of the south zone spring hunting season on April 23-24, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Of the 3,315 wild turkeys, one was checked in Fayette County.

This is the second year that spring turkey season began on a Saturday instead of the traditional Monday opener. Ohio hunters checked 3,875 turkeys during the 2021 opening weekend. The average harvest during the first two days of the previous three seasons is 3,974 birds.

The top 10 counties for wild turkey harvest reported during the opening weekend of the 2022 south zone include: Guernsey (110), Harrison (104), Tuscarawas (104), Carroll (101), Belmont (93), Meigs (92), Adams (89), Brown (88), Jefferson (88), and Muskingum (86).

The Division of Wildlife has issued 38,971 wild turkey permits that are valid throughout the spring hunting season. In addition to the opening weekend results, youth hunters harvested 1,103 wild turkeys during Ohio’s youth season on April 9-10.

Wild turkey hunting in Ohio’s south zone is open until Sunday, May 22. Hunting in the northeast zone, comprised of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Trumbull counties in Ohio’s snow belt, is open from Saturday, April 30 to Sunday, May 29. Find additional information in the current hunting regulations.

The spring hunting season limit is one bearded wild turkey. 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.

The free HuntFish OH mobile app provides convenient resources while out in the field. HuntFish OH is available for Android and iOS users through the app store. Wild turkey hunters can use the app to check a harvest, even without a connection. When a hunter checks game without a clear signal, information is recorded and stored until moving to a location with better reception. Users can also purchase licenses and permits and view wildlife area maps through the app.

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.

Wild turkeys were extirpated in Ohio by 1904 and were reintroduced in the 1950s by the Division of Wildlife. Ohio’s first modern-day turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The turkey harvest topped 1,000 for the first time in 1984. Spring turkey hunting opened statewide in 2000, and Ohio hunters checked more than 20,000 turkeys for the first time that year. More information about previous turkey seasons can be found in the Spring Turkey Harvest Summary.

The following list shows the wild turkeys checked per county — 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:

Adams: 89 (104); Allen: 22 (13); Ashland: 43 (41); Athens: 74 (102); Auglaize: 8 (9); Belmont: 93 (132); Brown: 88 (104); Butler: 49 (50); Carroll: 101 (98); Champaign: 25 (20); Clark: 8 (2); Clermont: 62 (82); Clinton: 19 (18); Columbiana: 79 (107); Coshocton: 65 (107); Crawford: 14 (13); Darke: 13 (16); Defiance: 41 (41); Delaware: 21 (31); Erie: 12 (9); Fairfield: 32 (26); Fayette: 1 (2); Franklin: 1 (5); Fulton: 19 (28); Gallia: 80 (97); Greene: 12 (5); Guernsey: 110 (135); Hamilton: 28 (26); Hancock: 5 (10); Hardin: 20 (23); Harrison: 104 (115); Henry: 9 (15); Highland: 65 (92); Hocking: 60 (67); Holmes: 43 (54); Huron: 19 (30); Jackson: 51 (94); Jefferson: 88 (106); Knox: 54 (78); Lawrence: 52 (50); Licking: 65 (84); Logan: 39 (29); Lorain: 25 (29); Lucas: 13 (13); Madison: 1 (2); Mahoning: 46 (47); Marion: 11 (8); Medina: 21 (26); Meigs: 92 (122); Mercer: 5 (5); Miami: 11 (6); Monroe: 75 (116); Montgomery: 3 (8); Morgan: 67 (84); Morrow: 46 (31); Muskingum: 86 (114); Noble: 72 (97); Paulding: 13 (15); Perry: 55 (69); Pickaway: 1 (5); Pike: 42 (52); Portage: 42 (52); Preble: 47 (29); Putnam: 10 (11); Richland: 44 (55); Ross: 72 (80); Sandusky: 5 (7); Scioto: 50 (65); Seneca: 26 (31); Shelby: 11 (15); Stark: 56 (62); Summit: 18 (16); Tuscarawas: 104 (113); Union: 15 (11); Van Wert: 7 (4); Vinton: 47 (70); Warren: 23 (23); Washington: 69 (114); Wayne: 33 (26); Williams: 50 (50); Wood: 7 (4); Wyandot: 11 (17).

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.

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