Ohio hunters continue to enjoy the springtime pursuit of wild turkeys.
And why not, Ohio has the birds, hunters have the itch and there are few hunting challenges to match the excitement and skill sets that go along with tagging these wary game birds. Make no mistake, killing a mature gobbler is all about knowing how or being lottery-level lucky.
Ohio hunters get a month to accomplish the feat.
Young hunters under 18 get a special treat, a weekend of gobbler chasing before the regular spring season opens. Youth season follows the same rules as those for the regular season; it gobblers only and it’s not easy. But it’s a great learning experience because young hunters must be accompanied by an adult and that usually means a family member of close friend who knows what they are doing.
Indeed, this type of special season brings out soon-to- be-adult hunters who will represent the future of our hunting traditions.
Turkey hunt decrease
This year, young hunters killed 1,564 tom turkeys during the two-day weekend special youth season, a very slight decrease from last year’s 1,589 birds checked.
Adult season open
The regular spring gobbler season is open now, running April 18 through May 15.
Opening day results showed a significant increase over last spring’s first day harvest.
Hunters checked 2,511 gobblers this year compared to 2,335 last year.
Gobblers may be the wrong word because the actual rule is spring hunters can only kill bearded birds and yes, there is an occasional hen with a visible beard.
Ohio hunters can and often do kill two birds during the month long season.
Wild turkeys are nothing less than a perfect example of how given the right conditions, wildlife can be successfully introduced or reintroduced to an area.Ohio was once void of turkeys. In fact, by 1904 there was not a wild turkey to be found in Ohio.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife reintroduced turkeys by releasing the first birds in the 1950’s.
Fast forward to 1966 when Ohio’s first wild turkey season allowed hunting in just nine counties where 12 birds were harvested. The rest is history, as they say, with the harvest topping 1000 for the first time in 1984 and 20,000 in the year 2000.
First-time wild turkey hunters are usually hooked for life. It is that challenging and that rewarding.
STAY INFORMED. SIGN UP!
Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!