Ohio Wild Turkey Hunting Seasons Begin in April | News, Sports, Jobs

COLUMBUS — One of the joys of an Ohio spring is hearing a wild turkey swallow. Starting in April, hunters have the chance to experience this phenomenon up close when turkey hunting seasons open up, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division.

The season limit is one gobbler.

The 2022 Ohio Youth Wild Turkey hunting season is April 9-10. After the youngster season, Ohio is divided into two zones for the remainder of the spring hunt: a southern zone, which opens to hunters on April 23, and a northeast zone, which opens to hunters on April 30.

“The spring wild turkey hunting season is one of the most exciting times in Ohio, and we expect 50,000 licensed hunters to participate this year,” said Kendra Wecker, head of the Wildlife Division. “As a reminder, the 2022 spring season limit is one gobbler for all hunters.”

Hunters in Ohio harvested 14,546 wild turkeys in the spring of 2021. This total includes the 1,463 turkeys checked during the two-day young season. The eastern and southern counties generally have the highest number of birds harvested.

The top 10 counties in 2021 were: Columbiana (454), Belmont (444), Meigs (437), Tuscarawas (417), Jefferson (408), Monroe (408), Ashtabula (401), Washington (398), Guernsey ( 378) and Muskingum (373).

The next youth turkey season is open to holders of a valid hunting license and turkey license. Young hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult aged 18 or over. Hunting hours during the two-day young season are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.

Wild turkeys disappeared from Ohio in 1904 and were reintroduced in the 1950s by the Division of Wildlife. Ohio’s first modern 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.

The spring turkey hunt opened statewide in 2000, and Ohio hunters checked more than 20,000 turkeys for the first time that year.

The 2022 spring wild turkey season ends May 22 in the south zone and May 29 in the northeast zone (Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties). The spring and youth seasons are open statewide, with the exception of Lake La Su An Wildlife Preserve in Williams County, which requires a special hunting permit.

The spring hunting season limit is one bearded wild turkey. A turkey must be verified no later than 11:30 p.m. on harvest day using the Automated Game Verification System, which is available at wildohio.gov, through the HuntFish OH app, by phone at 877-TAG-IT -OH (877-824-4864), or at a participating licensing agent.

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