Ohio Turkey Hunting Seasons – 2017

Wild turkeys were completely eliminated from the state of Ohio in 1904. They were reintroduced to the state in the 1950’s. Today there are estimated to be over 180,000 turkeys in the state. The 2015 spring hunt harvested 16,652 gobblers.

Ohio Turkey Hunting Season – 2017 Dates

  • April 22, 23, 2017 – spring youth turkey hunting
  • April 24 – May 21, 2017 – spring turkey hunting (south zone)
  • May 1-28, 2017 – spring turkey hunting (northeast zone – 5 counties)
  • Oct. 14 – Nov. 26, 2017 – fall turkey hunting (in 67 of Ohio’s 88 counties)

From the ODNR press release:

A special northeast zone and dates were added to the 2017 spring turkey season. After hearing concerns expressed by hunters in the snowbelt, the ODNR Division of Wildlife conducted a two-year study to examine if turkeys were nesting later than in other regions of the state. Biologists found that hens in the snowbelt counties nested nearly two weeks later than hens in the southeastern counties. As part of the public input process, turkey hunters from the northeast were surveyed. The results of the study were presented, and a two-zone approach was discussed at the Wild Turkey summit in August 2015.

Turkey hunting is permitted on certain public lands on limited dates with a proper permit. This includes parts of Wayne National Forest, most state forests, select parts of select state parks, most state wildlife areas, and select county parks.

In our TrekOhio Guide to Parks & Preserves (see regional menu tabs on top of page), we have listed parks by county and we indicate which parks allow hunting. Once you identify a park that looks interesting, please see the park’s official website for specific limitations. Hunters must comply with all state and local hunting regulations.

  • During the youth spring turkey hunt held April 22-23, 2017, hunters aged 17 and under harvested 1,895 turkeys. This is an increase of 21% over last year when 1,564 wild turkeys were checked. For details see Youth Hunters Find Success during 2017 Youth Wild Turkey Season.
  • Ohio hunters harvested 17,793 turkeys during spring 2016 turkey hunting season. See details here.
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Just look at the grin on this young, hunter’s face. 🙂

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and TrekOhio.com 2012 to 2021

5 thoughts on “Ohio Turkey Hunting Seasons – 2017

  1. I have a friend coming in to hunt turkey this spring 2014 on my private land. Does he need a permit or anything special to hunt turkey this spring in April on my private property.

    1. Susan, our website is not affiliated with the Ohio’s Division of Wildlife. With that said, I tried to see if I could find an answer to your question. It looks like the licensing exemptions only hold for the property owners themselves, as well as their children and their grandchildren who are under 18 (see this page: License Exemptions). Quoting from their website as of this writing (March 26, 2014):

      • Ohio resident landowners, spouses, and their children are not required to have a hunting license, fur taker permit, either-sex deer permit, antlerless deer permit, spring or fall turkey permit, or Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp when they are hunting or trapping on land they own.
      • Ohio resident landowners’ grandchildren who are under 18 years old are not required to have a hunting license or an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp while hunting on their grandparent’s land. All other licenses and permits are required.

      Since I could find no specific exemption for guests of the landowner (as well as the fact that even the landowner’s adult grandchildren apparently have to buy a permit), I think that your guest will be expected to purchase one.

      The Ohio Division of Wildlife has created a form that landowners can use to document the fact that they have given their permission to allow someone to hunt on their land (see the form here). If you look at the form, you can see that it is useful in that it also clears up liability in the event of an accident while your guest is hunting. However the form itself has a space where the guest hunter is supposed to enter his hunting license number. So it really looks to me as though your guest is expected to purchase a turkey permit.

      Hope this helps!

    2. Yes he will need a license and turkey permit. Only landowners and their children/grandchildren under 18 are able to hunt without these.

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