Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ohio's fall turkey harvest results (Gobble 'em up)

It was a good fall turkey season for Ohio, particularly in the northeast corner of the state.

The fall season ran from Oct. 10 through Nov. 29 and was allowed in 48 of the state's 88 counties. This year's harvest saw a kill of 2,180 birds, both males and females. That figure is up from the 2,012 turkeys taken during the fall, 2008 season.

Dropping from first place to second place, however, was Ashtabula County with 127 birds killed. This compares to the 130 turkeys shot in Ashtabula County during the fall, 2008 season.

A big gainer was Geauga County. Here, hunters killed 58 turkeys compared to just 22 birds shot there during last year's fall season.

Lake County also saw a gain: To 23 turkeys from the 17 shot in 2008.

Lorain County likewise was up in the harvest. Here, 39 turkeys were shot this season while 34 were taken during the 2008 fall season.

Down, however, was Cuyahoga County. Way down, in fact. During this year's fall season just one turkey was reported as being killed. Last season that figure was 12 turkeys.

The Top 10 counties were, with the fall, 2008 figures in parentheses: Tuscarawas - 135 (112), Ashtabula - 127 (130), Jackson - 91 (52), Trumbull - 73 (82), Guernsey - 72 (60), Coshocton - 70 (83), Hocking - 68 (23), Medina - 67 (33), Ross - 65 (47), and Knox - 63 (57).

It was estimated by the Ohio Division of Wildlife that about 20,000 people participated in this year's fall turkey season hunt. Division biologists further believe that many of these participants were opportunistic hunters, or those sports who bought a license in the hope they'd shoot a turkey while pursuing other game such as deer.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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