The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

April 28, 2013

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Youth hunters find success

For the Star Beacon

— 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

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:

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 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:

Game-check transactions are available online and by telephone seven days a week, including  holidays. Landowners exempt from purchasing a turkey permit, and other people not required to purchase a turkey permit, cannot use the phone-in option.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife will update the total turkey harvest numbers on Monday, April 29, Monday, May 13, and Monday, May 20, at The turkey harvest numbers will be listed by county as well as statewide.

Archery festival

The Bristol High School will host the second annual Archery in the Schools festival on Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festival will take place at the Bristol High School, State Route 88, Bristolville, 44402 and is free to all students grades 4 through 12.

The scheduled events will include practice archery shooting followed by the tournament. The festival will conclude with awards given to the top shooters in each grade bracket for both boys and girls. All necessary equipment will be provided by Bristol High School. Genesis compound bows with Easton 1820 aluminum arrows will be the only equipment allowed for the tournament.

The Ohio’s Archery in the Schools program was introduced in 2004 with 12 pilot schools. Currently more than 400 schools participate in the program. Over 25,000 Ohio students participate in Archery in the Schools program as part of their Physical Education Curriculum. Trumbull County currently has 5 area schools participating in the Archery in the Schools program. Lordstown, Bristol, Maplewood, Matthews and Bloomfield all have an active in-school program.

Sponsors for this year’s festival will be the Trumbull County Federation of Conservation Clubs, Ohio Division of Wildlife and Bristol Schools.

The festival is FREE for any student living in Northeast Ohio.

For registration information, contact Tom Stith at (330) 637-5614 or email at

Sport-shooting fun

Amboy Rifle Club just finished up their in house Pistol League and a good friend of mine, Bob Humphreys, sent me a note and asked if it would be appropriate to put something positive in the news about firearms. Well, heck yeah, bud, let’s do it!

As secretary of the Amoy Rifle Club Pistol League, I would like to report the end-of-season results for all the teams that participated in the pistol league this past season.

The season started in October 2012 and ended in March 2013. We had a very nice banquet at the Crow’s Nest followed up by giving various awards to the winning teams and individual shooters.

Actual Winning Team with the most Wins during the Season: Team Sniper:  

Team members: Steve Lindsay, Frank Perry, JoAnne McGaha, Lynette Barnhart, Tim Kraus and Ron Wilkinson

Handicap Winning Team with the most Wins during the Season: Seal Team Six:

Team Members:  Scott Sutch, Myron Plats, Zack Laugen, Rick Fuller and Brian Wells.

Individual Top Score Winner: Chip Laugen, Most X’s or Bulls eye Winner: Chip Laugen, most Improved Shooter: Myron Plats.


Rock Creek Conservation Club will be holding yts 5th Annual Wild Game Dinner on Saturday, May 18 at Rock Creek Conservation Clubm located on Schaffer Road, a quarter-mile mile west of Route 45. Doors will open at 4, dinner will be served at 6 and the raffle will be held at 8. There will be a 50⁄50 raffle, gun raffles and a free youth raffle (16 and under). All are welcome, men, women and children. Ticket Donation cost is $20 per adult, $10.00 per youth 16 and under. Dinner ticket includes dinner, beverage and door prizes. For more information and to purchase tickets, call Keith Davidson at 563-9403 or Steve Laurenty at 275-1530.

Sunderlin is a freelance writer from Geneva. Reach him at