COLUMBUS -- Ohio hunters checked a total of 21,015 wild turkeys during the combined 2017 spring wild turkey south zone hunting season; northeast zone hunting season; and the youth wild turkey hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The totals included 564 in Guernsey County, up from 428 in 2016, and 482 in Noble County, an increase over 349 a year ago. In 2016, hunters checked a total of 17,793 wild turkeys.
Other area results for 2017 included Belmont County, 532; Coshocton County, 649; Harrison County, 550; Monroe County, 592; Morgan County, 426; Muskingum County, 612; and Tuscarawas County, 674.
Hunters checked 19,095 birds during the 2017 wild turkey south zone and northeast zone hunting seasons compared to 16,229 birds in 2016. Youth hunters checked 1,920 birds during the 2017 youth season compared to 1,564 in 2016.
Ohio's 2017 spring wild turkey season was open from Monday, April 24, to Sunday, May 21, in the south zone and from Monday, May 1, to Sunday, May 28, in the northeast zone. The youth season was April 22-23. Hunters can view the 2017 spring turkey season zone map and harvest regulations at wildohio.gov.
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.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.