Wild Turkey Population
Number of Licenses Sold Annually
Hunting license, $19; spring turkey permit, $31.20
Cost of Resident License and Permit
Hunting license, $180.96; spring turkey permit, $38.48
Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit
In recent years, Ohio turkey populations have declined in many areas after several years of below-average reproductive success. As a result, the Ohio Wildlife Council approved reducing the 2022 spring turkey season limit to one bird.
However, things are looking up for 2023. Biologists expect hunter success to increase after two consecutive years of above-average poult indices. Poult numbers were above average in all areas of the state in 2021, suggesting that hunters statewide will encounter a stronger class of 2-year-old gobblers this spring.
The ODNR began an extensive program in the 1950s to reintroduce turkeys to the Buckeye State. Ohio’s first modern turkey season opened in 1966 (nine counties). That season, hunters checked a dozen birds. Populations continued to increase. In 1984, the number of harvested turkeys topped 1,000 for the first time. Spring turkey hunting was opened statewide in 2000. The record Ohio turkey harvest occurred in 2001, when hunters checked 26,156 turkeys.
Ohio has some excellent public hunting opportunities, with more than 651,000 acres available. Huge tracts of ground, such as the Wayne National Forest (200,000-plus acres) in southern Ohio let hunters get away from the crowds. Smaller tracts, such as the Grand River Wildlife Area (7,400 acres) in Ashtabula County are also worth a try.
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