Department of Natural Resources - Hunting and Trapping - Wild turkey regulations.


Published: 2021-07-01

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(A) Season dates

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take wild turkeys at any time except in accordance with this rule or any provisions of this rule:

(a) The northeast zone for turkey shall be defined as Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties. Spring wild turkey season is open in the northeast zone from April 30, 2022 through May 29, 2022.

(b) The south zone for turkey shall be the remaining eighty-three counties not included in the northeast zone. Spring wild turkey season is open in the south zone from April 23, 2022 through May 22, 2022

(c) Youth spring wild turkey season is open on April 9 and 10, 2022 for persons seventeen years of age and younger. All spring wild turkey season rules apply to these dates.

(d) Fall wild turkey season is open from the second Saturday of October through the Sunday immediately following Thanksgiving in the following counties: Adams, Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Butler, Carroll, Champaign, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Defiance, Delaware, Erie, Fairfield, Franklin, Fulton, Gallia, Geauga, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Huron, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lake, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Medina, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Paulding, Perry, Pike, Portage, Preble, Putnam, Richland, Ross, Scioto, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Williams and Wyandot counties.

(B) Bag limits

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to take or possess a wild turkey during the spring wild turkey season that does not have a visible beard.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, take or possess more than one wild turkey per day.

(3) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, take or possess more than two bearded wild turkeys during the spring wild turkey season, only one of which may be hunted on or taken from any state-owned or administered lands designated as public hunting areas in rule 1501:31-15-04 of the Administrative Code.

(4) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, take or possess more than one wild turkey of either sex during the fall wild turkey season.

(C) Hunting implements

(1) Archery:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take a wild turkey with any archery equipment except:

(i) A longbow and arrow.

(ii) A crossbow and arrow.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt wild turkey while being in possession of, or take a wild turkey with, explosive or poisoned arrows.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take wild turkey with a longbow having a draw weight less than forty pounds, or with a crossbow having a draw weight less than seventy-five pounds.

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take a wild turkey with a broadhead having less than two cutting edges measuring less than three quarters inch wide.

(2) Firearms:

It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take wild turkeys with any firearm except:

A shotgun using shot.

(3) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess more than one hunting implement, singly or in the aggregate, to include a firearm, longbow or crossbow while hunting wild turkey.

This paragraph does not prohibit a person from carrying a concealed firearm under the authority of a valid Ohio concealed carry license issued pursuant to sections 2923.125 and 2923.1213 of the Revised Code or a valid conceal carry license from a state with a reciprocity agreement with Ohio to carry concealed handguns, or who comply with federal legislation HR218, "The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004."

(D) Hunting methods and hours

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person during the spring wild turkey season to hunt or take a wild turkey at any time other than from one half hour before sunrise to twelve p.m. during the period of April 30, 2022 through May 8, 2022 in the northeast zone.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any person during the spring wild turkey season to hunt or take a wild turkey at any time other than from one half hour before sunrise to twelve p.m. during the period of April 23, 2022 through May 1, 2022 in the south zone.

(3) It shall be unlawful for any person during the spring wild turkey season to hunt or take a wild turkey at any time other than from one half hour before sunrise to sunset during the period of May 9, 2022 through May 29, 2022 in the northeast zone.

(4) It shall be unlawful for any person during the spring wild turkey season to hunt or take a wild turkey at any time other than from one half hour before sunrise to sunset during the period of May 2, 2022 through May 22, 2022 in the south zone.

(5) It shall be unlawful for any person during the spring youth wild turkey season to hunt or take a wild turkey at any time other than from one half hour before sunrise to sunset.

(6) It shall be unlawful for any person during the fall wild turkey season to hunt or take a wild turkey at any time other than from one half hour before sunrise to sunset.

(7) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take a wild turkey by the aid of baiting or on or over any baited area.

(8) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take a wild turkey by the use or aid of live birds as decoys.

(9) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess or use any electronic calling device capable of producing recorded turkey or other wild animal calls or sounds, or recorded and/or electronically amplified imitations of turkey or other wild animal calls or sounds, while hunting wild turkey.

(10) It shall be unlawful for any person to take a wild turkey when it is in a tree.

(11) It shall be unlawful for any person during the spring wild turkey season to hunt or take a wild turkey with the aid of a dog, except wounded wild turkeys may be tracked using a dog that is leashed.

(E) Permits

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take a wild turkey during the spring wild turkey season without possessing a valid electronic or printed spring turkey permit.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or take a wild turkey during the fall turkey season without possessing a valid electronic or printed fall turkey permit.

(3) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess or use a spring turkey permit or a fall turkey permit of another while hunting wild turkey.

(4) It shall be unlawful for any person, during the spring wild turkey season, to hunt or take wild turkey or aid another person in the hunting or taking of wild turkey, while having in their possession a hunting implement, while being solely in possession of a spring turkey permit for which a game check confirmation number has been issued or the date, time and county of kill have been written on the spring turkey permit.

(5) It shall be unlawful for any person, during the fall wild turkey season, to hunt or take wild turkey or aid another person in the hunting or taking of wild turkey, while having in their possession a hunting implement, while being solely in possession of a fall turkey permit for which a game check confirmation number has been issued or the date, time and county of kill has been written on the fall turkey permit.

(F) Tagging and game check

(1) It shall be unlawful, after killing a turkey, to fail to immediately complete a spring turkey permit, fall turkey permit, or landowner turkey tag, with the hunters name, date, time, and county of kill prior to moving the carcass from the place where it fell or fail to game check your turkey prior to moving the carcass from the place it fell.

(2) It shall be unlawful to leave a turkey that has been killed unattended without first attaching a completed spring turkey permit, fall turkey permit or landowner turkey tag with the hunters name, date, time and county of kill to the turkey, or attaching a game check confirmation number to the turkey.

(3) It shall be unlawful to remove a spring turkey permit, fall turkey permit or a landowner turkey tag from any turkey until the turkey has been game checked and a valid game check confirmation number has been affixed to the turkey.

(4) It shall be unlawful for any person to attach a spring turkey permit, fall turkey permit or a landowner turkey tag, or a game check confirmation number to any wild turkey or parts thereof which was taken by another person.

(5) It shall be unlawful to attach or use a turkey permit on or for any turkey that was taken before the permit was purchased or otherwise obtained.

(6) It shall be unlawful to manufacture, counterfeit, sell, trade, distribute, forge and/or falsify a spring turkey permit, fall turkey permit, landowner turkey tag, or game check confirmation number for a turkey.

(7) It shall be unlawful to possess, attach, affix or otherwise use a counterfeit or falsified or invalid spring turkey permit, fall turkey permit, landowner turkey tag, or game check confirmation number on or for any turkey.

(8) It shall be unlawful to possess any turkey, or part thereof, which has attached or affixed a counterfeit or otherwise falsified spring turkey permit, fall turkey permit, landowner turkey tag or game check confirmation number.

(9) It shall be unlawful to fail to immediately attach your spring turkey permit, fall turkey permit, or landowner turkey tag with the hunters name, date, time and county of kill, or the game check confirmation number to a harvested turkey upon arrival at a personal or temporary abode.

(10) It shall be unlawful to use or attempt to use an invalid or voided turkey permit to obtain a game check confirmation number through the game check process.

(11) It shall be unlawful to attach, affix or otherwise use a game check confirmation number for a turkey, or parts thereof, other than for the turkey the game check confirmation number was issued to at the time of game checking.

(12) It shall be unlawful for any person to leave the state of Ohio with a turkey that was taken by hunting that has not been game checked and the game check confirmation number permanently attached.

(13) It shall be unlawful to attach a game check confirmation number from a spring wild turkey permit to a wild turkey taken during the fall wild turkey season.

(14) It shall be unlawful to attach a game check confirmation number from a fall wild turkey permit to a wild turkey taken during the spring wild turkey season.

(15) It shall be unlawful to remove the feet, beard and feathers of a turkey until the turkey has been game checked and tagged with a valid game check confirmation number.

(16) It shall be unlawful for each person who kills a wild turkey to fail to game check and permanently attach the game check confirmation number to the turkey, regardless of the season, by eleven-thirty p.m. on the same day the wild turkey is killed.

(17) It shall be unlawful, while at any personal or temporary abode, for any person to fail to immediately and permanently attach their valid game check confirmation number to the turkey after it as been game checked.

(18) It shall be unlawful to provide any false information or data when game checking any turkey.

(19) It shall be unlawful at any time to possess a wild turkey or wild turkey parts that were taken in violation of any Administrative Code rule or the Ohio Revised Code.

(20) With the exception of a hunter harvested turkey prior to reaching a personal or temporary abode, it shall be unlawful for any person to possess a dead wild turkey, or any part thereof, unless such wild turkey, or parts thereof, are accompanied by an attached valid permit, tag, seal, certificate of legal ownership, statement or receipt. For the purposes of this section a valid tag, seal, certificate for legal ownership, statement or receipt for any wild turkey, or part thereof, is any one or more of the following:

(a) A valid Ohio division of wildlife spring wild turkey permit, fall wild turkey permit, landowner turkey tag, permanent wild turkey tag, permanent wild turkey tag number or game check confirmation number.

(b) An Ohio division of wildlife tag or seal approved under the authority of section 1533.74 of the Revised Code if the wild turkey or parts thereof were sold for food.

(c) A signed statement or receipt, legible in the English language, which states the previous owners name, address and phone number and the valid commercial propagation permit number if the wild turkey or parts thereof were sold or given away under the authority of section 1533.71 of the Revised Code.

(d) A tag or certificate as described in section 1533.731 of the Revised Code.

(e) A signed statement or receipt, legible in the English language, which lists the owner or previous owners name, address and phone number, the state and county of kill, the date of kill and the assigned permanent wild turkey tag number or game check confirmation number, if applicable.

(f) An official tag, seal or other official documentation to show legal ownership and an accompanying valid hunting license issued by another state or province if the wild turkey was killed outside of Ohio.

(g) A certificate for legal ownership issued by a law enforcement officer within their jurisdiction.

(h) A valid tag, seal, permanent tag number, game check confirmation number, certificate for legal ownership, statement or receipt for the purposes of this rule is considered attached if it is physically affixed to the wild turkey, or parts thereof, in the following manner:

(i) The valid tag, seal, permanent tag number, game check confirmation number, certificate for legal ownership, statement or receipt must remain attached to the wild turkey until the wild turkey has been processed into a taxidermy product. At this time the valid tag, seal, permanent tag number, game check confirmation number, certificate for legal ownership, statement or receipt may be removed from the wild turkey and placed in another location on the taxidermy product which allows for visual inspection. However the tag, permanent tag number, game check confirmation number, seal, certificate for legal ownership, statement or receipt must remain affixed permanently to the taxidermy product.

(ii) If through the butchering process one or more packages of meat are produced the tag, game check confirmation number, seal, certificate for legal ownership, statement or receipt shall be maintained and available for inspection until the entire wild turkey is consumed.

(21) It shall be unlawful for any person to place or leave a wild turkey, or any part thereof, unattended or in the custody of another person for the purpose of skinning, processing, taxidermy, transportation, shipping, storage, including temporary storage, or any other reason, unless such wild turkey or parts thereof are accompanied by an attached valid permit, tag, permanent tag number, game check confirmation number, seal, certificate for legal ownership, statement or receipt.

(G) Sales of turkey parts

It shall be unlawful for any person to buy, sell or offer for sale any wild turkey, or part thereof, taken from the wild, except:

(1) Legally acquired and possessed turkey feathers, bones, spurs, feet, skin and beards may be bought and sold at any time individually or as a wildlife ornamental product by the legal owner.

(2) Wild turkey taxidermy products may be bought or sold at any time. At the time of the purchase or sale the taxidermy product must be accompanied by a signed statement or receipt, legible in the English language, which lists the previous owners name, address and phone number, the state of kill(s) and the assigned tag, game check confirmation number, seal, certificate for legal ownership or permit number(s), if applicable, and the number of wild turkey, from which the said wild turkey parts originated, that were sold during the transaction. This information must remain with the taxidermy product unless said product(s) are disassembled and manufactured into a wildlife ornamental product(s).

(H) Special areas

It shall be unlawful for any person eighteen years of age or older and not possessing a valid hunting license and turkey permit to hunt or take a wild turkey during the spring or fall wild turkey season on any area designated youth hunting only.

(I) All definitions set forth in rule 1501:31-1-02 of the Administrative Code shall apply to this rule.

Last updated October 14, 2021 at 12:05 PM