Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cold, wet, windy weather hurts NEO turkey hunting

Northeast Ohio’s on-going poor weather likely won’t do much for the spring turkey season’s first week.

The season began Monday and continues through May 15.

And while southern Ohio basked in general sunshine with relatively mild temperatures, Northeast Ohio saw a raw temperatures and wintry mix that included cold rain, ice, sleet and wet snow flakes.

All of which probably didn’t enhance hunters’ chances here, though actual first-day figures won’t be available until later today.

The rest of the week isn’t looking very favorable, either.

“Absolutely, the weather will impact the hunting even though the turkeys are still out there,” said Mike Reynolds, the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s turkey management administrator. “The birds are likely to stay on the roost longer and won’t call as much but hunters don’t want to be out in this either.”

Thus, this year’s first week is shaping to mirror that seen in 2009, Reynolds says.

“But we made up for the slow season later on,” Reynolds said. “Turkey hunters are a pretty dedicated bunch. They don’t always do it to harvest a bird but to hear birds gobbling and see them strutting and coming in,”

As for the impact the rainy, cold weather may have on poult production that is probably minimal - at least for now, Reynolds says.

“There are hens laying right now but it’s too soon to say “It’s quite common for hen turkeys to renest,” he said.

This story will be augmented later this afternoon by an opening day harvest wrap-u.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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