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Harvest down 21%

Ohiosam

*Supporting Member*
10,885
166
Mahoning Co.
Ohio's 2011 Spring Turkey Season Concludes
Ashtabula County again leads the harvest

COLUMBUS, OH - Hunters checked 18,485 wild turkeys during Ohio's four-week, statewide spring turkey hunting season that ended May 15, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

The preliminary total represents a 21 percent decrease over last year's harvest number of 23,421 -- the second-highest all-time.

“I expected to see at least a 10% decline in this year’s spring turkey harvest as a result of the poor hatch in 2009” said Mike Reynolds. “However, the wettest April on record in Ohio hampered turkey hunting and resulted in a lower than expected harvest this season.”

Ashtabula County again led the state in the number of turkeys killed with 712. Counties with additional high harvest numbers were: Tuscarawas-583, Knox-513, Adams and Guernsey-507, Harrison-483, Muskingum-462, Coshocton and Highland-447, and Belmont and Monroe-444.

Ohio’s game check system performed as expected this spring turkey season. Only a few minor modifications have been suggested for the fall season, but since the new automated game check system is built on a web-based platform making needed modifications to the system can be accomplished. The Division of Wildlife will continue to monitor the game check and licensing systems and make changes as needed for customer convenience.

Hunters had three options to complete the new automated game check:

- On the Internet at wildohio.com

- By telephone at 1-877-TAG-ITOH (1-877-824-4864). This option is only available to those who are required to have a turkey permit to hunt turkeys.

- At all license agents. A list of these agents can be found at wildohio.com

All three check-in methods were used, with 44 percent of hunters choosing the phone method. Hunters checking at a license agent location and on the Internet were both at 28 percent.

Questions to 1-800-WILDLIFE about the new game checking process were also monitored. A mere 10 percent of call center volume, 30 of 300 phone calls, on opening day of turkey season was in reference to the new automated game check system, with hunters successfully checking 2,646 birds that day.

The Division of Wildlife estimates that more than 70,000 people hunted turkeys during the season. Prior to the start of the spring hunting season, state wildlife biologists estimated the wild turkey population in Ohio to be more than 200,000 birds.

Wild turkeys were nearly extirpated in Ohio before being reintroduced in the mid-1950s by the Division of Wildlife. The first spring turkey hunting season opened in 1966. Wild turkeys are now present in all 88 counties.

Turkey hunters are reminded that hunting licenses purchased now are also valid during the 2011 fall hunting season. Spring turkey permits are good for spring season only. Those participating in the fall turkey season will need to buy a fall turkey permit. The 2011-2012 licenses will not be printed on weatherproof paper. Sportsmen and women should protect their licenses and permits from the elements by carrying them in a protective pouch or wallet.

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at ohiodnr.com.

- 30 -

EDITOR'S NOTE: Preliminary Spring Turkey Season Results for 2011 Followed by (2010) Final Totals

Adams-507 (745); Allen-47 (36); Ashland-230 (276); Ashtabula-712 (1,030 ); Athens-369 (435); Auglaize-36 (43); Belmont-444 (563); Brown-435 (615); Butler-203 (216); Carroll-352 (377); Champaign-90 (128); Clark-18 (23); Clermont-425 (590); Clinton-75 (79); Columbiana-399 (458); Coshocton-447 (522); Crawford-86 (102); Cuyahoga-4 (6); Darke-43 (46); Defiance-228 (325); Delaware-132 (160); Erie-52 (57); Fairfield-92 (123); Fayette-5 (4); Franklin-23 (16); Fulton-93 (112); Gallia-376 (640); Geauga-301 (423); Greene-31 (21); Guernsey-507 (635); Hamilton-142 (139); Hancock-31 (34); Hardin-74 (87); Harrison-483 (581); Henry-36 (55); Highland-447 (540); Hocking-289 (375); Holmes-218 (283); Huron-164 (219); Jackson-300 (391); Jefferson-392 (447); Knox-513 (528); Lake-59 (96); Lawrence-265 (446); Licking-434 (429); Logan-161(240); Lorain-186 (221); Lucas-44 (55); Madison-5 (8); Mahoning-230 (268); Marion-53 (57); Medina-118 (157); Meigs- 401 (501); Mercer-17 (24); Miami-26 (16); Monroe-444 (558); Montgomery-17 (18); Morgan- 343 (364); Morrow-212 (271); Muskingum-462 (623); Noble-310 (424); Ottawa-2 (12); Paulding-82 (120); Perry-260 (324); Pickaway-28 (52); Pike-274 (403); Portage-227 (285); Preble-71 (92); Putnam-58 (66); Richland-415 (426); Ross- 362 (554); Sandusky-17 (21); Scioto- 261 (422); Seneca-164 (184); Shelby-41 (54); Stark-223 (246); Summit-28 (44); Trumbull-416 (584); Tuscarawas-583 (664); Union-37 (33); Van Wert-21 (20); Vinton- 258 (356); Warren-125 (111); Washington-407 (472); Wayne-108 (110); Williams-250 (353); Wood-21 (29); Wyandot-108 (123) Totals: 18,485 (23,421)
 

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
36,271
235
Not enough squirrels got squashed on the road, which led to competition over the acorn crop between the species, and the turkeys lost out...

Seriously.. I think this one can honestly be called weather. We had like 2 days of sunshine in April..
 

DJK Frank 16

Senior Member
Supporting Member
9,359
121
Hardin County
Agreed on weather, it took a pretty dedicated turkey hunter to stay after it up in this area. I know a few guys that aren't real big turkey hunters, but go out for the fun of it, that after the first few days called it quits. I think if it would have been sunny at least half the days the numbers would have been pretty close compared to last year. I don't think this actually reflects declining turkey numbers.
 

Ohiosam

*Supporting Member*
10,885
166
Mahoning Co.
Both Mahoning and Columbiana counties were down but I saw more birds this year in those 2 counties then I'd see in the last 2 years. Lots of jakes around this year, should make for a good season next year. Though this cool, wet weather is cause for concern for this year's hatch.
 

JPN

Junior Member
618
82
coshocton
Both Mahoning and Columbiana counties were down but I saw more birds this year in those 2 counties then I'd see in the last 2 years. Lots of jakes around this year, should make for a good season next year. Though this cool, wet weather is cause for concern for this year's hatch.

I saw a lot this year in coshocton county too...the first week or so I couldnt go anywhere without calling in a group of jakes. I think weather definitley played a part in the decrease.
 

huntn2

Super Moderator
Super Mod
6,060
132
Hudson, OH
Ashtabula lead the way yet had a 31% decrease...

Call me crazy cause I know how shitty the weather was, but with all the rain, I figured there would have still been a good harvest as the birds hit the fields. Figured if they were there, they would perhaps become more visible hanging out in fields with all the rain.
 

Schu72

Well-Known Member
3,864
113
Streetsboro
This was my worst season ever. I think I hunted 9 days and only saw a handful of birds. Only had one bird within range the entire season.
 

huntn2

Super Moderator
Super Mod
6,060
132
Hudson, OH
I should add that including scouting I heard only one bird this year. Luckily he needed a ride in the back of a truck.
 

finelyshedded

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
28,731
199
SW Ohio
Not enough squirrels got squashed on the road, which led to competition over the acorn crop between the species, and the turkeys lost out...

Seriously.. I think this one can honestly be called weather. We had like 2 days of sunshine in April..
Dang it Joe! You beat me TOO it! Honestly, it was the weather and work schedule for me. I could have shot some jakes but other than that I was only out 4 times total and got skunked on the last three hunts.
 

Mountaineer

Banned
661
0
WV
Its has got to be the weather..We spent the first 4 days in S. Ohio and we only got to hunt 2 of them...severe wind and rain plagued us. Thursday of the first week was the best day for us..clear and sunny..However..I didnt hear a single bird.

I did miss a bird at 15 yards the first morning and my buddy got one..But it was def a tough week to hunt based on the weather.

Let me put it this way..If all 3 of us couldnt tag out with 2 birds each in those 4 days, then there had to be an outside force causing us to come home with our tails between our legs.
 

bowhunter1023

Administrator
Staff member
46,683
249
Appalachia
I don't know jack about turkey hunting, but I know that rain puts the damper (literally) on all kinds of stuff in life, including wildlife and their movement. There's no doubt in my mind that the wet spring did little to help, and far more to hurt the turkey hunting. Even if it didn't effect the turkeys in any manner, it keeps people out of the woods and that along will drop numbers. For once, I'll drink the DNR's Kool-Aid...
 

Huckleberry Finn

Senior Member
15,973
135
I'd agree with weather. I hunted the first week and had 1 picture perfect day for hunting...and it was 40 degrees. Yes you can kill birds in cold, wind, and rain; but you're not going to convince me that it keeps hunters from going out and hampers those who are.
 

Beentown

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
15,757
142
Sunbury, OH
What were the numbers of tags purchased compared to last year? They really should make tags transferable into the fall. I didn't buy a tag this year partly because of this.

Beentown
 

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
36,271
235
What were the numbers of tags purchased compared to last year? They really should make tags transferable into the fall. I didn't buy a tag this year partly because of this.

Beentown

I agree. Especially since they are for the same species in the same year.
 

Schu72

Well-Known Member
3,864
113
Streetsboro
Turkey hunters are reminded that hunting licenses purchased now are also valid during the 2011 fall hunting season. Spring turkey permits are good for spring season only. Those participating in the fall turkey season will need to buy a fall turkey permit. The 2011-2012 licenses will not be printed on weatherproof paper. Sportsmen and women should protect their licenses and permits from the elements by carrying them in a protective pouch or wallet.

This was from the ODNR.....