The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

April 28, 2013

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Youth hunters find success

Many young hunters found success during Ohio’s 2013 youth spring wild turkey season after 1,784 birds were harvested, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Hunters age 17 and under were eligible to participate in the two-day season, April 20-21. The total harvest was a 90percent increase from 2012, when 1,632 wild turkeys were checked.

The counties that reported the most checked wild turkeys during the 2013 youth spring season were: Monroe (56), Muskingum (54), Ashtabula (52), Jefferson (52), Coshocton (51), Belmont (49), Knox (48), Guernsey (48), Tuscarawas (48) and Washington (47). Surrounding counties were at, Lake: 4 (5): Geauga: 22 (20) and Trumbull: 43 (39).

All participants were required to possess a valid Ohio youth hunting license and youth spring turkey permit, and must have been 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 spring turkey season closes Sunday, May 19. The spring turkey season is open statewide except for Lake La Su An Wildlife Area. Find more information in the 2012-13 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations, available where licenses are sold, and at www.wildohio.com.

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.

Watch Governor John Kasich and ODNR Director James Zehringer share a message to hunters for the start of wild turkey season here: http://bit.ly/WildTurkeyHuntingWelcome/.

Opening day

For the opening day of Ohio’s 2013 spring wild turkey season, hunters harvested 2,762 wild turkeys, according to the Division of Wildlife. The 2013 opening day total is a 24-percent increase from the 2012 opening day tally when 2,227 turkeys were killed.

This year, Ashtabula County had the most checked wild turkeys of the opening day with 114. Ashtabula County also had the largest number of turkeys harvested during the 2012 opening day.

The Division of Wildlife estimates that more than 70,000 people will hunt turkeys during the four-week season. Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon through May 5. Hunting hours May 6-19 will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Ohio's wild turkey population was estimated at 180,000 prior to the start of the spring season.

Only bearded wild turkeys may be killed during the spring hunting season. A hunter is required to check their turkey by 11:30 p.m. on the day of harvest. Hunters with the proper permits may kill a limit of two bearded gobblers during the four-week season, but not more than one wild turkey per day.

A new tagging procedure implemented this year allows hunters to make their own game tag to attach to a wild turkey. Game tags can be made of any material (cardboard, plastic, paper, etc.) as long as it contains the hunter’s name, date, time and county of the kill. Go to the Turkey Hunting Resources page at www.wildohio.com for more information on changes to the game check process.

All hunters must report their turkey harvest using the automated game-check system. Hunters have three options to complete the game-check:

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