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Hunters harvest nearly 10,300 wild turkeys

Published: May 10, 2017 12:00 AM

Ohio hunters checked 10,280 wild turkeys during the first week of the wild turkey hunting season (April 24-30), including 321 in Guernsey County and 253 in Noble County.

Last year, hunters in Guernsey County harvested 216 turkeys and Noble County hunters 153.

New for the 2017 season, Ohio has been divided into two zones -- a south zone, which opened April 24, and a northeast zone, which opened May 1. This two-zone season structure was established following a hunter survey and a two-year study of hens in the northeastern part of Ohio.

Hunters can view the 2017 spring turkey season zone map and harvest regulations at wildohio.gov.

■ In 2016 hunters checked 8,629 wild turkeys statewide during the first week of the season.

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■ Ohio's spring wild turkey season remains open in the south zone until Sunday, May 21, while the northeast zone is open until Sunday, May 28.

■ Hunters are required to have a hunting license and a spring turkey hunting permit. The spring season bag limit is two bearded turkeys. Hunters can harvest one bearded turkey per day, and a second spring turkey permit can be purchased at any time throughout the spring turkey season. Turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest.

■ Hunting hours in the south zone are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon from April 24-May 7 and 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset from May 8-21. Hunting hours in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon from May 1-14 and 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset from May 15-28.

■ Hunters may use shotguns or archery equipment to hunt wild turkeys. It is unlawful to hunt turkeys using bait, live decoys or electronic calling devices or to shoot a wild turkey while it is in a tree.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife advises turkey hunters to wear hunter orange clothing when entering, leaving or moving through hunting areas in order to remain visible to others.

Wild turkeys were extirpated in Ohio by 1904 and were reintroduced in the 1950s by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Ohio's first modern day wild turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The wild turkey harvest topped 1,000 for the first time in 1984. Spring turkey hunting opened statewide, except for Lake La Su An Wildlife Area, in 2000, and Ohio hunters checked more than 20,000 wild turkeys for the first time that year.


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