Spring turkey hunters take 3,875 turkeys in first weekend

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COLUMBUS — For the first time, a Saturday opening day and weekend start to Ohio’s spring wild turkey hunting season resulted in 3,875 birds taken by hunters April 24-25, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

The 2021 spring wild turkey hunting season started on a Saturday instead of the traditional Monday, following a change approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council in 2020. Wild turkey hunting was open in Ohio’s south zone only beginning April 24. Hunting in the northeast zone, comprised of five counties in Ohio’s snow belt, opened May 1.

The top 10 counties for wild turkey harvest during the opening weekend of the 2021 south zone include Columbiana, with 149, Belmont, with 132, Guernsey, with 129, Meigs, with 124, Jefferson, with 117, Muskingum, with 117, Tuscarawas, with 113, Adams, with 112, Monroe, with 112, and Brown, with 107.

As of April 25, the Division of Wildlife issued 47,560 wild turkey permits, valid throughout the spring hunting season. In addition to the opening weekend results, youth hunters harvested 1,473 wild turkeys during Ohio’s youth season April 17-18.

In 2020, 3,566 birds were checked during the opening two days in the south zone. More information about previous turkey seasons can be found in the Spring Turkey Harvest Summary.

Hunting in the south zone is open until May 23. The northeast zone is open until May 30.

Hunters are required to have a hunting license in addition to a spring permit. Find complete details in the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulation Booklet.

The spring hunting season limit is two bearded wild turkeys, but hunters may harvest only one bearded turkey per day. Hunters can purchase a second permit at any time throughout the spring season.

Turkeys must be checked no later than 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest on the new HuntFish OH mobile app, the automated game-check system, by phone at 877-824-4864 or at a participating license agent.

Anyone interested in learning to hunt or becoming a mentor to a new hunter can visit the Wild Ohio Harvest Community page for information on how to get started, hunting-related workshops and special hunting opportunities for mentors and new hunters.

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