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County increases turkey harvest

COLUMBUS — The first week of wild turkey hunting in Ohio ended with 7,873 birds checked through Sunday. Hunters harvested 8,908 wild turkeys during the same time frame in 2019.

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

Columbiana County saw 184 birds taken, up from 162 the year before. In Mahoning, 97 birds were taken which was up from 83 in 2019.

In addition to the first full week of hunting, youth hunters harvested 1,843 wild turkeys during Ohio’s youth season on April 18-19. The state has two zones for spring turkey hunting: the south zone and the northeast zone. The south zone opening day was Monday, April 20. The northeast zone, which includes Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties in Ohio’s snow belt, begins Monday, May 4. Ohio offers more opportunities for hunters of all ages to pursue wild turkeys. For 2020, the south zone is open to Sunday, May 17. The northeast zone dates are from Monday, May 4, to Sunday, May 31.

Hunting hours from May 4-10 in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon. Hunting hours from April 27-May 17 in the south zone and May 11-31 in the northeast zone are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.

The spring turkey season bag limit is two bearded wild turkeys. Hunters may harvest one bearded turkey per day, and a second spring turkey permit may be purchased at any time throughout the spring turkey season. Turkeys are required to be checked no later than 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest. All hunters are required to report their turkey harvest using the automated game-check system, which is available online, by phone or at a participating license agent.

Note: A county list of all wild turkeys checked by hunters during the first week of the 2020 south zone is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2020, and the 2019 numbers are in parentheses. Harvest numbers below are raw data and subject to change.

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)

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