Ohio’s Spring 2021 Turkey Hunting Season Ends


COLUMBUS – Ohio’s spring 2021 wild turkey hunting season ended on May 30, with 14,541 birds captured, according to the Wildlife Division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Ohio’s spring wild turkey hunting season ended May 30 in the Northeast Zone and May 23 in the South Zone. In 2020, hunters harvested 17,894 wild turkeys during the spring hunting season.

Top 10 counties for the wild turkey harvest in the spring 2021 hunting season include Columbiana, with 454, Belmont, with 444, Meigs, with 437, Tuscarawas, with 417, Jefferson, with 408, Monroe, with 408 , Ashtabula, with 401, Washington, with 398, Guernsey, with 378, and Muskingum, with 373.

“Wild turkey populations appear to have declined across much of the eastern United States, including Ohio,” said Wildlife Division chief Kendra Wecker. “The Division of Wildlife, in consultation with the Ohio Wildlife Council, other state wildlife agencies, and our non-government wildlife partners will consider whether additional conservation measures are needed to stabilize and improve the population of Ohio wild turkeys. “

The young hunters harvested 1,473 wild turkeys during the Ohio youth season on April 17-18. The results of the youth season are included in the final tally.

Ohio has two areas for spring wild turkey hunting: the South Zone and the Northeast Zone. The northeastern area includes Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Trumbull counties, while the southern area covers the rest of the state. In the southern zone, 13,510 turkeys were harvested, with 941 turkeys checked in the northeast zone.

Adult male turkeys (greedy) accounted for 82% of the total 2021 harvest with 11,976 turkeys captured. The hunters checked 2397 young male turkeys (jakes), representing 16% of the harvest, and 173 female bearded turkeys (hens).

The Wildlife Division sold and distributed 61,135 wild turkey licenses during the spring hunting season. The 2021 spring turkey season limit was two bearded wild turkeys. Hunters could harvest a bearded turkey per day using a shotgun or archery equipment. All hunters were required to register their harvest using the game control system.

The Division of Wildlife initiated a large program in the 1950s to reintroduce wild turkeys to Buckeye State. The first modern Ohio wild turkey season opened in 1966, in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The total number of turkeys harvested exceeded 1,000 for the first time in 1984.

The turkey hunt began statewide in 2000. Ohio’s wild turkey harvest record dates back to 2001, when hunters checked 26,156 birds.

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