Youth season kicks off turkey hunting

This spring’s turkey registration was down roughly 10 percent from last spring. Certainly some of those dips were due to weather, early hunting period snowfalls during Period A, and during the youth hunt. But to what extent?

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Many young hunters found success during Ohio’s 2018 youth spring wild turkey season, with 1,860 birds harvested, according to the Ohio DNR.

Hunters age 17 and under were eligible to participate in the two-day season, April 21-22. In 2017, youth hunters checked 1,895 wild turkeys during the two-day season.

All participants were required to possess a valid Ohio youth hunting license, a spring turkey permit and be accompanied by a non-hunting adult. The youth turkey season was open statewide, with the exception of Lake La Su An State Wildlife Area in Williams County, which required a special hunting permit.

The youth spring turkey season is one of four special youth-only hunting seasons designed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife to offer a safe and productive early hunting experience for young hunters. Special seasons are also set aside for upland game, white-tailed deer and waterfowl hunting opportunities.

The state has been divided into two zones for spring turkey hunting: a south zone, which is open to hunters from Monday, April 23, through Sunday, May 20, and a northeast zone, which is open to hunters from Monday, April 30, to Sunday, May 27. The spring turkey season is open statewide except for the Lake La Su An Wildlife Area. Hunters can view the 2018 spring turkey season zone map and harvest regulations at wildohio.gov.

Ohio’s first modern day wild turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The total number of harvested turkeys topped 1,000 for the first time in 1984. Turkey hunting was opened statewide in 2000.

The 2018 harvest by counties (2017 total in parenthesis):

Adams: 28 (35); Allen: 8 (10); Ashland: 34 (25); Ashtabula: 35 (50); Athens: 29 (28); Auglaize: 6 (5); Belmont: 54 (40); Brown: 25 (36); Butler: 18 (14); Carroll: 36 (40); Champaign: 5 (5); Clark: 3 (2); Clermont: 24 (38); Clinton: 2 (4); Columbiana: 27 (26); Coshocton: 68 (63); Crawford: 9 (5); Cuyahoga: 0 (0); Darke: 9 (10); Defiance: 22 (36); Delaware: 10 (13); Erie: 1 (7); Fairfield: 4 (6); Fayette: 1 (0); Franklin: 1 (4); Fulton: 11 (13); Gallia: 31 (46); Geauga: 13 (19); Greene: 0 (4); Guernsey: 63 (46); Hamilton: 5 (2); Hancock: 0 (2); Hardin: 7 (8); Harrison: 66 (58); Henry: 9 (6); Highland: 28 (34); Hocking: 35 (15); Holmes: 36 (39); Huron: 13 (16); Jackson: 41 (44); Jefferson: 35 (34); Knox: 38 (32); Lake: 1 (4); Lawrence: 35 (44); Licking: 43 (35); Logan: 8 (10); Lorain: 9 (12); Lucas: 9 (8); Madison: 0 (0); Mahoning: 10 (15); Marion: 2 (5); Medina: 11 (10); Meigs: 60 (46); Mercer: 3 (3); Miami: 2 (5); Monroe: 81 (71); Montgomery: 1 (1); Morgan: 44 (47); Morrow: 19 (19); Muskingum: 90 (82); Noble: 74 (55); Ottawa: 0 (0); Paulding: 6 (8); Perry: 50 (30); Pickaway: 2 (0); Pike: 12 (26); Portage: 20 (26); Preble: 9 (8); Putnam: 9 (8); Richland: 31 (36); Ross: 36 (40); Sandusky: 0 (1); Scioto: 15 (20); Seneca: 12 (11); Shelby: 6 (2); Stark: 21 (21); Summit: 2 (1); Trumbull: 26 (42); Tuscarawas: 59 (56); Union: 4 (10); Van Wert: 2 (5); Vinton: 42 (32); Warren: 8 (11); Washington: 60 (58); Wayne: 13 (11); Williams: 19 (30); Wood: 0 (2); Wyandot: 4 (8). Total: 1,860 (1,895).

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