COLUMBUS — Biologists with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife recommended a major reduction to the 2022 fall wild turkey hunting season during the Ohio Wildlife Council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday.

Under the proposal, the season would fun on Oct. 15-Nov. 13, a reduction of three weeks when compared to the 2021 fall season.

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 following several years of below average reproductive success. The proposed reduction in the fall hunting season 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 (2018-20) was 1,079 birds.

Additional 2022-23 hunting seasons dates that were proposed Wednesday include small game, furbearers and waterfowl and include the traditional start dates of squirrel and mourning dove on Sept. 1, furbearer hunting and trapping on Nov. 10, and rabbit and pheasant on Nov. 4.

Waterfowl hunting dates in the Lake Erie marsh zone were proposed to begin on Oct. 15. The north zone and south zone waterfowl openers were proposed for Oct. 22.

White-tailed deer hunting seasons will be presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Feb. 9.

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all Ohio Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. Council meetings are held virtually and open to the public. Individuals interested in providing comments are asked to call 614-265-6304 at least two days prior to the meeting to register. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.

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