Hunters harvest more than 10K turkeys during spring season

Credit: Robert F. Bukaty

Credit: Robert F. Bukaty

Ohio wild turkey hunters have harvested 10,574 birds during the spring season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

Hunters checked an average of 9,214 turkeys during the same period in the previous three seasons (2021 to 2023). Hunters harvested 10,351 birds through the same time in the spring of 2023.

The 10 counties with the most wild turkeys checked so far in 2024 are Belmont (342), Monroe (330), Tuscarawas (322), Muskingum (295), Washington (296) Gallia (291), Meigs (285), Jefferson (282), Guernsey (279), and Noble (267).

Hunting is open in 83 counties comprising the south zone until Sunday, May 19. The northeast zone (Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Trumbull counties) remains open until Sunday, May 26.

Each summer, the Division of Wildlife collects information on young wild turkeys, called poults. Brood surveys in 2021, 2022 and 2023 showed above average results that will benefit Ohio’s wild turkey population numbers this spring.

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

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