Biologists with the Ohio Division of Wildlife recommended a major reduction to the 2022 fall wild turkey hunting season during the Ohio Wildlife Council’s meeting last week. Ohio’s fall wild turkey season would begin on Saturday, Oct. 15 and conclude Sunday, Nov. 13.
The fall turkey hunting proposal was part of a larger package of season dates that were presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council, and includes small game, waterfowl, and furbearers.
Wild turkey populations have declined throughout Ohio after several years of below average reproductive success. The proposed reduction in the fall hunting season length goes along with a reduced limit for the spring season.
Ohio hunters harvested 695 wild turkeys during the 2021 fall season that was open in 70 of 88 counties. The average harvest during the three previous years (2018 to 2020) was 1,079 birds.
Other proposals include the traditional start dates of squirrel and mourning dove on Thursday, Sept. 1, furbearer hunting and trapping on Thursday, Nov. 10, and rabbit and pheasant on Friday, Nov. 4.
Waterfowl hunting dates in the Lake Erie marsh zone were proposed to begin on Saturday, Oct. 15. The north zone and south zone waterfowl openers were proposed for Saturday, Oct. 22.
White-tailed deer hunting seasons will be presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday, Feb. 9. A statewide hearing on all proposed rules will be held on Thursday, March 24, at 9 a.m.