Ohio’s Youth Hunters Check 1,785 Wild Turkeys; Local Girl Tags Hers


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Youth wild turkey hunters in Ohio checked 1,785 birds during the special youth-only hunting weekend on April 13-14, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

The three-year average for wild turkeys taken during the two-day youth season (2021-2023) is 1,466 birds. In 2023, youth hunters harvested 1,823 turkeys on the corresponding weekend.

The season was open to hunters 17 years old and younger, and participants were required to be accompanied by a non-hunting adult. As of April 14, the ODNR Division of Wildlife has issued 6,539 youth turkey permits, which can be used throughout the 2024 wild turkey hunting season. The season limit is one bird, and only bearded turkeys may be harvested.

The top 10 counties for wild turkey harvest during the 2024 youth season were: Tuscarawas (62), Noble (60), Washington (59), Monroe (58), Jefferson (55), Belmont (53), Gallia (52), Muskingum (52), Coshocton (47), and Meigs (45).

Local girl, Ada Archer, 10 years old, of Bellefontaine, got her 1st turkey during Logan County’s youth turkey season last weekend. Sitting at 24 pounds, with a 10″ beard, and 7/8″ spurs, Archer has lots to be proud of.

Turkey hunting for those of all ages begins Saturday, April 20, and Saturday, April 27 in the northeast zone (Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, and Trumbull counties). The season is open until Sunday, May 19, while the northeast zone’s season concludes on Sunday, May 26. Find complete details in the Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet.

In the spring of 2023, the top five counties for wild turkey harvest by the end of the season were Ashtabula (454), Gallia (428), Muskingum (420), Monroe (410), and Tuscarawas (408). More information about previous seasons can be found in the 2023 spring wild turkey report.

Hunters are required to have a valid hunting license in addition to a spring turkey permit unless exempted. Successful hunters are required to game-check their turkeys no later than 11:30 p.m. on the day of harvest. Game checks, licenses, and permits are available on the HuntFish OH app, on the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System, or at a participating license agent. Game checks can also be done by phone at 1-877-TAG-IT-OH (877-824-4864).

Anyone interested in learning to hunt or becoming a mentor to a new hunter can visit the Wild Ohio Harvest Community page for information on how to get started, hunting-related workshops, as well as special hunting opportunities for new hunters.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.

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.