It isn’t a coincidence that wild turkey hunting season takes place during Thanksgiving each year. While not as popular an eating bird as its domestic cousin, it still has edible meat.
This year, the take of turkeys was down slightly across the state. Ohio hunters checked 1,063 wild turkeys during the 2020 fall hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The 2020 fall wild turkey season was open in 70 counties between October 10 to November 29. The 2020 total represents a 1% decrease from the average harvest during the past three years.
The top 10 counties for wild turkeys taken during the fall 2020 hunting season include: Ashtabula (52), Coshocton (37), Trumbull (36), Guernsey (28), Licking (28), Clermont (27), Geauga (27), Gallia (26), Holmes (26), and Tuscarawas (26).
Wild turkeys were extirpated from Ohio by 1904 and were reintroduced in the 1950s by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Ohio’s first modern day wild turkey season opened in the spring of 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. Fall turkey season first opened in 19 counties in 1996.
Richland County hunters checked 22 turkeys, as compared to an average of 23 birds taken in the years 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.