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Ohio sees decline in fall turkey harvest numbers

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

-- Ohio's fall wild turkey season ended Nov. 28 with 1,336 birds killed during the seven-week season.

Ashtabula County led the state with 75 birds taken. Last year, 2,180 birds were taken.

"The decline in the fall turkey harvest we observed from 2009 to 2010 was not unexpected. Acorn mast crop failures like we observed in 2009 typically result in increased hunter success and higher fall turkey harvests because turkeys feed in open areas, such as agricultural fields and pastures," said Mike Reynolds, wildlife biologist. "Bumper acorn crops like we've experienced in 2010 often lead to reduced hunting success and harvests because turkeys are feeding on acorns in the forest, and are often widely scattered and difficult for hunters to locate."

The fall turkey season which ran Oct. 9 through Nov. 28, allowed hunters the choice of pursuing a bird with a shotgun, muzzleloading shotgun, bow or crossbow. Hunters had 48 counties in which to pursue a wild turkey of either sex.

Before the start of this fall's hunting season, Ohio's estimated wild turkey population was around 230,000. As many as 20,000 people, not counting private landowners hunting on their own property, enjoyed Ohio's fall wild turkey season.

The top 10 counties for fall turkey harvest were Ashtabula-75; Licking-57; Trumbull-56; Knox-55; Coshocton-54; Highland-52; Tuscarawas-49; Clermont-48; Ashland-46, and Geauga-45.

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