Ohio’s turkey season nearly ready to start

Water and Wings by Ken Parrott

‪Ohio’s hunters have the opportunity to pursue wild turkeys during a six-week season from Saturday, Oct. 13, through Sunday, Nov. 25. Gobblers and hens are legal game during the fall wild turkey season.‬

Seventy Ohio counties are open for fall turkey hunting, including three counties open to fall turkey hunting for the first time. Additional details regarding fall wild turkey hunting can be found in the 2018-2019 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.gov.‬

Only one turkey of either sex may be harvested during the entire fall season, and a valid hunting license and fall turkey hunting permit are required. Hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. Shotguns using shot, as well as crossbows and longbows, are permitted. Hunting turkeys over bait is prohibited, and turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. on the day the bird is harvested. The ODNR Division of Wildlife advises turkey hunters to wear hunter orange clothing when entering, leaving, or moving through hunting areas to remain visible to others.‬

Hunters are required to make their own game tag to attach to a turkey. Game tags can be made of any material (cardboard, plastic, paper, etc.) as long as it contains the hunter’s name, date, time, and county of the kill. Go to the Turkey Hunting Resources page at wildohio.gov for more information.‬

All hunters must report their turkey harvest using the automated game-check system. Game-check transactions are available online and by phone seven days a week, including holidays. Hunters with a turkey permit have three options to complete the game check: Online at ohiogamecheck.com; Call 877-TAG-ITOH (877-824-4864); or Visit a license agent. A list of agents can be found at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).‬

Landowners exempt from purchasing a turkey permit, and others not required to purchase a turkey permit, cannot use the 877-TAG-ITOH option. Instead, those hunters have to option to call 866-703-1928 for operator-assisted landowner game-check (a convenience fee of $5.50 applies). Landowners may also visit a license agent.‬

• Individuals interested in the basic skills needed to trap are encouraged to attend informational workshops provided by the Ohio State Trappers Association. The workshop will be held at multiple locations across the state. In central Ohio workshops will be held at the following locations on Oct. 27- 28: Big Island Wildlife Area- 5389‬ ‪LaRue-Prospect Road. New Bloomington Ohio 43341. Contact Bill Davis (330) 465-8762; Deer Creek Wildlife Area- ‬12552 Post Road Mt. Sterling Ohio 43143‪. ‬Contact Mark Stackhouse (740)335-1466 or (740) 606-1568; Killbuck Wildlife Area- 1691 Centerville Rd, Shreve, OH 44676. Contact Josh Wengerd (330) 464-4861.

All first-time trappers must successfully complete a hunter and a trapper education course offered through the ODNR Division of Wildlife before purchasing a hunting license and fur taker permit to trap furbearers. Many of the OSTA workshops will offer the trapper education course. Ask the instructor if this is offered at the workshop you plan to attend.‬

The workshops are free of charge, but pre-registration is required. For class times and to register please call the contact listed for each class location. Do not register with the ODNR Division of Wildlife or at the location of the class. For information on trapping in Ohio please visit wildohio.gov. For a complete listing of trapping courses offered by OSTA please visit ohiostatetrapper.org/.‬

• Ohio trappers are invited to participate in a special‬ ‪drawing on Saturday, Oct. 13, for public land beaver and river otter trapping opportunities.‬ A list of public land trapping opportunities available at this lottery is posted at wildohio.gov under Controlled Hunting and Trapping Events. Interested trappers will be required to come to one of the five wildlife district offices. Registration begins at 11 a.m., with the drawing to begin at 12 p.m.

There is no fee to apply. Successful applicants must be present when drawn to be eligible. Trappers must bring a valid 2018 hunting license and fur taker permit. Questions can be directed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to any Wildlife District Office: District One: 614-644-3925; District Two: 419-424-5000; District Three: 330-644-2293; District Four: 740-589-9930; and District Five: 937-372-9261.‬

• Outdoor‬ ‪enthusiasts interested in learning to field dress and butcher a white-tailed deer are encouraged to attend a free informational workshop on Thursday, Oct. 18.‬ The workshop will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Fitchville Conservation League Club House located at 2623 Jennings Road, New London 44851. The workshop is free of charge, but preregistration is required by October 16, as space is limited. Interested individuals can register by calling Andrea Altman at 419-429-8321.

Trained professionals from the ODNR Division of Wildlife and Fitchville Conservation League will partner to cover topics including field dressing, skinning, and butchering. This workshop is hands-on and portions will be held outdoors. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the workshop and for the weather.‬

Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!‬


Water and Wings by Ken Parrott

Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.

Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.