ODNR releases Ohio’s wild turkey hunting season results through April 28


COLUMBUS – Wild turkey hunters across Ohio have harvested 10,574 birds so far during the 2024 spring season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Hunters checked an average of 9,214 turkeys during the same period in the previous three seasons (2021 to 2023). Hunters harvested 10,351 birds through the same time in the spring of 2023. This year’s total includes results from the two-day youth season April 13-14, nine days of hunting in 83 counties following the season opener on April 20, and the first two days of hunting in the northeast zone (Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Trumbull counties), which opened April 27.

The 10 counties with the most wild turkeys checked so far in 2024 are Belmont (342), Monroe (330), Tuscarawas (322), Muskingum (295), Washington (296) Gallia (291), Meigs (285), Jefferson (282), Guernsey (279), and Noble (267).

In Clinton County, 55 turkeys have been checked in comparison to the previous three-year average (2021-24) of 36. In Fayette County, eight turkeys have been checked in comparison to the previous three-year average (2021-24) of five.

The Division of Wildlife has issued 47,293 spring turkey permits that are valid throughout the 2024 season. Hunting is open in 83 counties comprising the south zone until Sunday, May 19. The northeast zone (Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Trumbull counties) remains open until Sunday, May 26. The season bag limit is one bearded turkey. Complete details can be found in the 2023-24 hunting and trapping regulations.

Hunters are required to have a valid hunting license in addition to a spring turkey permit, unless exempted. Successful hunters are required to game-check their turkey no later than 11:30 p.m. on the day of harvest. Game check, licenses, and permits are available on the HuntFish OH app, via the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System, or at a participating license agent. Game check can also be completed by phone at 1-877-TAG-IT-OH (877-824-4864).

Each summer, the Division of Wildlife collects information on young wild turkeys, called poults. Brood surveys in 2021, 2022, and 2023 showed above average results that will benefit Ohio’s wild turkey population numbers this spring. The average poults per hen observed was 2.8 in 2023, 3.0 in 2022, and 3.1 in 2021, with a long-term average of 2.7. Ohio’s turkey biologists have found that spring turkey hunting success is closely tied to the hatch productivity two years prior.

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 took 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.

Find more information about Ohio’s wild turkey hunting at wildohio.gov.

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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