Hunters Prepare for Ohio's 2016 Wild Turkey Season
March 31, 2016 - 12:55 PM
COLUMBUS – For many hunters, spring brings the
unmistakable sound of gobbling wild turkeys as Ohio’s annual hunt of this popular
game bird begins. The 2016 Ohio spring hunting season opens on Monday, April
18, and the youth wild turkey season is Saturday and Sunday, April 16-17,
according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
The ODNR Division of Wildlife anticipates approximately 65,000
licensed hunters, not counting exempt landowners hunting on their own property,
will enjoy Ohio's popular spring wild turkey season before it ends on Sunday,
May 15. The spring and youth turkey seasons are open statewide with the
exception of Lake La Su An Wildlife Area in Williams County, which requires a
special hunting permit.
Hunters are required to have a hunting license and a spring
turkey hunting permit. The spring season bag limit is two bearded turkeys.
Hunters can harvest one bearded turkey per day, and a second spring turkey
permit can be purchased at any time throughout the spring turkey season.
Turkeys must be checked no later than 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest.
All hunters must report their turkey harvest using the
automated game-check system. Game-check is available online, by phone or at a
license agent. A complete list of participating license agents can be found at wildohio.gov. Visit the Turkey Hunting
Resources page at wildohio.gov,
or call 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) for more information about the game-check
The youth-only turkey season is April 16-17 for youth
possessing a valid youth hunting license and a turkey permit. Youth hunters
must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 18 years of age or older. Only two
wild turkeys may be checked by a youth hunter during the two-day season. Additionally,
if two turkeys are harvested in the youth season, no additional birds may be
taken by the youth hunter for the duration of the spring turkey season.
Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon from
April 18-May 1. Hunting hours from May 2-15 will be 30 minutes before sunrise
to sunset. Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset during the
two-day youth season.
Hunters may use shotguns or archery equipment to hunt wild
turkeys. It is unlawful to hunt turkeys using bait, live decoys or electronic
calling devices or to shoot a wild turkey while it is in a tree. The ODNR
Division of Wildlife advises turkey hunters wear hunter orange clothing when
entering, leaving or moving through hunting areas in order to remain visible to
Wild turkey breeding activity is primarily controlled by the
increasing amount of daylight. Hens typically start incubating eggs around May
1 in Ohio. Ohio’s current wild turkey population is approximately 175,000.
Wild turkeys were extirpated in Ohio by 1904 and were
reintroduced in the 1950s by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Ohio’s first modern
day wild turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12
birds. The wild 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 wild turkeys for the first time that year.
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