Fall wild turkey hunting season reduced

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After near extinction in the late 1800s, wild turkeys have been successfully reintroduced to all 88 Ohio counties, including the areas of intensive agriculture in the northwest. Wildlife biologist Mark Wiley said they can survive in these areas by making their homes in wooded areas along creeks and streams, then taking advantage of the grain left in farm fields. (Tim Daniel, Ohio Division of Wildlife, photo) rOriginal Caption:

COLUMBUS — Biologists with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife recommended a major reduction to the 2022 fall wild turkey hunting season during the Ohio Wildlife Council’s regularly scheduled meeting Jan. 12. 

Under the proposal, Ohio’s fall wild turkey season would begin Oct. 15 and conclude Nov. 13, a reduction of three weeks when compared to the 2021 fall season. 

The fall turkey hunting proposal was part of a larger package of season dates that were presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council, and includes small game, waterfowl and furbearers. 

Wild turkey populations have declined throughout Ohio following several years of below average reproductive success. The proposed reduction in the fall hunting season length goes along with a reduced limit for the spring season. 

Ohio hunters harvested 695 wild turkeys during the 2021 fall season that was open in 70 of 88 counties. The average harvest during the three previous years (2018 to 2020) was 1,079 birds. 

Additional 2022-23 hunting seasons dates that were proposed include the traditional start dates of squirrel and mourning dove Sept. 1, furbearer hunting and trapping Nov. 10, and rabbit and pheasant Nov. 4. Waterfowl hunting dates in the Lake Erie marsh zone were proposed to begin Oct. 15. The north zone and south zone waterfowl openers were proposed for Oct. 22. 

White-tailed deer hunting seasons will be presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council Feb. 9. 

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all Ohio Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. Council meetings are held virtually and open to the public. Individuals interested in providing comments are asked to call 614-265-6304 at least two days prior to the meeting to register. All comments are required to be three minutes or less. 

A statewide hearing on all proposed rules will be held March 24 at 9 a.m.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Did Ohio hunters really need to harvest over a thousand turkeys 3 years in a row? And do human hunters need to gobble up squirrels & rabbits? And waterfowl & even mourning doves? What about all the factory farmed chickens & pigs & cattle & sheep, billions we’re able to gorge on. Cant we leave a little something for furbearers & all hungry predator animals incl. hawks & owls who need to eat too? Do we really need to selfishly take it all, our food & their food too? Besides, squirrels plant a lot of nuts & seeds helping forest regrowth, need lots of squirrels alive.

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