Turkey harvest takes a slight dive for first week

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(Photo courtesy of Bob “Greenie” Grewell)

Ohio’s 2020 first week south zone-only turkey season kill number took a 12% hit when compared to its 2019 counterpart.

For the period Monday, April 20 to Sunday, April 26, turkey hunters in Ohio’s south zone shot 7,873 birds. Last year for the first week, hunters in the south zone killed 8,908 bearded wild turkeys, a difference of 1,035 turkeys or about 12%.

The decline in the turkey kill actually comes during a period of substantial turkey permit sales increases, however. As of April 27, the Ohio Division of Wildlife had issued 58,854 turkey-hunting permits of all kinds. This figure represents a roughly 9.5-percent gain over the 53,228 permits issued for the same to-date period in 2019.

Fueling the turkey tag increase were those sold to adults as well as youths. To-date as of April 27 the Wildlife Division had sold 45,459 adult turkey-hunting licenses, a gain of 6,175 permits from the 39,284 tags the agency issued for same 2019 to-date period. Thus, the gain was about 12.5%.

Youth to-date turkey tags numbers were 10,063 for this year, and 7,224 for the same to-date period in 2019. That is an increase of 2,839 tags, or about 28%.

Down, however, were the number of reduced cost senior citizen turkey tags.Here, the to-date 2020 number was 1,110 while its 2019 counterpart was 2,159. That difference represents a drop of 49%.

Of course, sales of non-resident turkey tags also were down, owing to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s order a couple of weeks back to cease sales of these permits. This, in order to discourage travel into the state during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

This year the Wildlife Division had issued 1,315 non-resident tags up until such sales were prohibited. Last year through April 27 the Wildlife Division had issued 4,306 non-resident turkey-hunting tags.

The top 10 counties for wild turkey harvest during the first week of the 2020 south zone wild turkey-hunting season include: Belmont (266), Guernsey (250), Meigs (243), Tuscarawas (227), Harrison (224), Monroe (221), Brown (217), Coshocton (215), Muskingum (213) and Highland (206).

Data supplied by the Ohio Division of Wildlife also shows that 27 of the south zone’s 83 counties saw first week gains with four counties posting identical 2019-to-2020 first week kill numbers. The remaining 52 counties saw declines.

The northeast zone, which includes Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties begins Monday, May 4th and runs through Sunday, May 31st.

Here is a county-by-county preliminary breakdown of all wild turkeys checked by hunters during the first week of the 2020 south zone-only season. Their respective 2019 figure are in parentheses: Adams: 201 (215); Allen: 41 (31); Ashland: 85 (92); Athens: 183 (260); Auglaize: 23 (17); Belmont: 266 (287); Brown: 217 (205); Butler: 101 (93); Carroll: 176 (202); Champaign: 55 (48); Clark: 7 (8); Clermont: 181 (183); Clinton: 43 (35); Columbiana: 184 (162); Coshocton: 215 (272); Crawford: 26 (31); Darke: 28 (28); Defiance: 98 (88); Delaware: 67 (48); Erie: 17 (26); Fairfield: 58 (56); Fayette: 6 (3); Franklin: 10 (9); Fulton: 57 (43); Gallia: 191 (225); Greene: 10 (11); Guernsey: 250 (284); Hamilton: 77 (40); Hancock: 22 (16); Hardin: 49 (44); Harrison: 224 (239); Henry: 17 (33); Highland: 206 (193); Hocking: 127 (155); Holmes: 108 (136); Huron: 64 (64); Jackson: 180 (216); Jefferson: 191 (222); Knox: 146 (173); Lawrence: 112 (141); Licking: 155 (188); Logan: 59 (53); Lorain: 59 (62); Lucas: 17 (32); Madison: 4 (4); Mahoning: 97 (83); Marion: 26 (11); Medina: 50 (66); Meigs: 243 (289); Mercer: 16 (11); Miami: 9 (11); Monroe: 221 (297); Montgomery: 14 (16); Morgan: 159 (224); Morrow: 70 (67); Muskingum: 213 (302); Noble: 190 (247); Ottawa: 1 (3); Paulding: 33 (39); Perry: 133 (159); Pickaway: 15 (7); Pike: 92 (116); Portage: 118 (142); Preble: 57 (61); Putnam: 25 (30); Richland: 95 (143); Ross: 158 (158); Sandusky: 13 (9); Scioto: 134 (152); Seneca: 49 (73); Shelby: 22 (23); Stark: 127 (135); Summit: 26 (33); Tuscarawas: 227 (257); Union: 18 (27); Van Wert: 10 (6); Vinton: 149 (171); Warren: 51 (57); Washington: 204 (308); Wayne: 58 (46); Williams: 88 (113); Wood: 9 (10); Wyandot: 40 (33). 2020 total: 7,873 2019 total: (8,908).

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Ohio – Jeffrey Frischkorn, Turkey

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