Ohio's fall wild turkey hunting opens in 48 counties on Oct. 9, and prospects are fair for this seven-week season, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
“Summer brood observation data are still being analyzed, but the 2010 hatch appeared to be a little better than last year,” said Mike Reynolds, division biologist who oversees the turkey program.
However, he added, “acorns appear to be abundant in much of eastern Ohio this year. Good acorn crops usually result in lower fall turkey harvests because flocks are widely scattered feeding on acorns in forested areas. Hunters who spend time scouting feeding areas will be more likely to locate flocks of birds this fall.”
The season continues through Nov. 28.
Hunters harvested 2,180 wild turkeys last fall season. Reynolds added that Ohio's wild turkey population is around 230,000. He anticipates as many as 20,000 people, not counting private landowners hunting on their own property, to participate in the season.
Only one turkey of either sex may be taken during the season. A fall turkey hunting permit is required.
Hours are a half hour before sunrise to sunset. Shotguns, using shot, crossbows and longbows are permitted. Turkeys must be checked in the county where taken by 8 p.m. on the day the bird is shot.
Additional details can be found in Publication 85, the digest of Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations, or at wildohio.com.
Wild turkeys officially have taken up residence within Toledo's city limits.
Jennifer Berk, a naturalist with the Metroparks of the Toledo Area, lives on five acres of parkland along Swan Creek in South Toledo between Reynolds and Holland-Sylvania roads, and she confirms observing a bird several times this year.
“I have seen a single turkey three times at the Belt [Metroparks] property. The first time would have been at some point in May, the second time in maybe June and most recently on Sept. 11 in the late afternoon.” She said the bird is “flighty,” unlike deer that frequent the property.
That all enthuses Skip Markland, regional director of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
“This is a great testimony to the cooperative work between the Ohio Division of Wildlife, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and more importantly all of the hunters and fishermen who purchase annual licenses who have helped pay for this wildlife comeback,” he said.
Ohio began a trapping and relocation program in 1956, using turkeys captured in other states. As the state's population built up, turkeys were relocated throughout Ohio's forests.
Turkey biologist Reynolds once noted that his records indicate that more than 5,100 turkeys have been stocked in 85 of Ohio's 88 counties, and all but 153 of those birds were captured and re-released.
On Jan. 18, 2000, seven jakes [immature males], 10 adult hens, and eight juvenile hens were released in the Oak Openings Preserve Metropark just north of Monclova and Girdham roads. This was the only release in Lucas County, but now turkeys are established in Swanton, Providence, Waterville, Monclova, Springfield, Harding, Spencer, and Sylvania townships, according to Reynolds.
For a long time no one thought they would do well in farm country. But they never asked the turkeys.
In 1994 the wildlife division began experimental stocking of birds in some of the more heavily wooded northwest and western Ohio counties, hoping the birds would adapt to river and creek corridors. They did — big-time.
By early in 2000, the remaining turkey-less northwest and western counties were stocked, including parts of Lucas, Ottawa, Wood, Sandusky, Allen, Putnam, and Van Wert counties The birds, so to say, never looked back.
Also on the turkey front, the Wood County Callers Chapter of NWTF has set its hunting heritage dinner for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Victory Inn & Suites, 1630 East Wooster St., Bowling Green. Gun raffles and silent and live auctions will follow dinner. For tickets call Brett Askins, 419-575-2813.
• An open house with refreshments is at the CMP North store at Camp Perry from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
“We just want to say ‘thank you' to our current customers and say ‘hello' to new customers,” said Mike Conrad, CMP North store manager.
CMP denotes the Civilian Marksmanship Program, one of the organizers of the annual National Rifle and Pistol matches at Camp Perry on State Rt. 2 west of Port Clinton.
The CMP North store recently reopened following an inventory organization period following the 2010 National Matches. The store sells surplus M-1 Garand rifles to qualified buyers along with ammunition, books, clothing, memorabilia and a limited supply of .22 caliber rifles, air rifles and accessories. An e-store and ongoing Internet auction are at thecmp.org.
For more information, see odcmp.com or call 419-635-2141, Ext. 1505.
• Trappers are invited to bid on eight separate units at Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area for the season.
The units will be available for viewing from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday. A public bid opening is Oct. 12 at the Magee Marsh Check Station, 13229 West State Rt. 2, Oak Harbor, OH 43449.
Bids may be entered in person or mailed. All bid packages must be received prior to 3 p.m. Oct. 12.
Contact Steve Pollick at: email@example.com or 419-724-6068.