Good news for Ohio turkey hunters

[Editor’s Note: In the video above see some unusual animals spotted in Ohio.]

(WJW) – Ohio’s turkey hunting season is ready to step-off in parts of Northeast Ohio and experts predict turkey hunters could have a bountiful season ahead.

That’s because hunters are about to benefit from three years of above-average turkey hatches, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Each summer, the Division of Wildlife collects information on young wild turkeys, called poults. Surveys in 2021, 2022 and 2023 show above-average results, which should mean a larger wild turkey population this spring, according to the ODNR.

VIDEO: Giant ‘dancing’ birds appearing in Ohio

Ohio’s regular turkey hunting season opens to hunters in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties on Saturday, April 27. The season already started for other Ohio counties.

According to the Ohio Division of Wildlife, opening weekend, Ohio hunters checked 4,367 bearded wild turkeys. That’s nearly 300 more than last season.

“The restoration of the wild turkey in Ohio is among the state’s most notable wildlife success stories,” read a press release. “Wild turkeys were extirpated around 1904, and the Division of Wildlife began reintroducing wild turkeys to the Buckeye State in the 1950s. For the next five decades, the wild turkey population grew and expanded rapidly, facilitated by trap-and-transfer efforts. By 1999, wild turkeys were found in all 88 counties.”

During the 2023 spring turkey season, hunters harvested 15,673 birds, according to officials.

The counties with the most success in 2023 are listed below:

  • Ashtabula: 454

  • Gallia: 428

  • Muskingum: 420

  • Monroe: 410

  • Tuscarawas: 408

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Turkey hunters are required to have a valid hunting license and spring turkey permit. Find more information, here.

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