The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

October 8, 2012

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Gobble, gobble!

Hunters prep for Ohio’s fall turkey season

 Fall wild turkey hunting opens in 48 Ohio counties Saturday, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The season continues through Sunday, Nov. 25.

“The warm and dry spring resulted in better nest success and brood survival this year,” said ODNR Wildlife Biologist Mike Reynolds. “Although fall turkey hunting is not as popular as spring turkey hunting, more wild turkeys and a six-week season should provide ample opportunities for hunters to harvest a bird for a Thanksgiving feast.”

Hunter’s harvested 1,375 wild turkeys during last year’s fall season. According to Reynolds, Ohio currently has a population of approximately 180,000 wild turkeys. An estimated 15,000 people, not counting private landowners hunting on their own property, will enjoy Ohio’s fall wild turkey season.

Only one turkey of either sex may be taken during the entire fall season, and a Fall Turkey Hunting Permit is required. Hours are one half hour before sunrise to sunset. Shotguns using shot, crossbows and longbows are permitted. Hunting turkeys over bait is prohibited, and turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. on the day the bird is shot.

All hunters must still report their harvest of turkeys, but they are no longer required to take their turkey to a check station for physical inspection. Hunters will have three options to complete the automated game check:

n At www.wildohio.com or www.ohiogamecheck.com.

n By telephone at 1-877-824-4864. This option is only available to those who are required to purchase a turkey permit to hunt turkeys.

n At all license agent locations online.

Game-check transactions will be available online and by telephone seven days a week and during holidays. Landowner hunters who are not required to purchase a fall turkey permit must use the Internet or any license agent to check their turkey. Hunters who tag their turkey as a landowner harvest cannot use the phone-in method.

Game will be checked in by all authorized license sales agents. A list of these agents can be found at ohiodnr.com/wildlife/dow/regulations/vendor.aspx or by calling 800-WILDLIFE.

ODNR Division of Wildlife advises turkey hunters to wear hunter orange clothing when entering, leaving or moving through hunting areas in order to remain visible to others. Go to ohiodnr.com/wildlife/dow/regulations/hunting_turkey.aspx to view the counties that are open for hunting fall wild turkey.

Additional details regarding fall wild turkey hunting can be found in Publication 85, Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations, or online at www.wildohio.com.

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