Spring turkey season under way
COLUMBUS - Seneca County hunters took 17 bearded wild turkeys on the first day of the spring season Monday, five fewer than opening day last year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
Statewide, hunters harvested a preliminary total of 2,227 turkeys, a decrease of about 400 from 2011. In adjacent counties, Crawford hunters took 10 birds, compared to 15 on 2011's opening day; Hancock, 3 (5); Huron, 16 (31); Sandusky, 1 (3); Wood, 3 (4); and Wyandot, 13 (14).
Top counties were Ashtabula, 93; Coshocton, 79; Tuscarawas, 78; Muskingum, 74; Guernsey, 69; Adams, 62; Highland, 57; Knox, 56; Brown, 55; and Clermont, 54.
The Division of Wildlife estimates more than 70,000 people will hunt turkeys during the four-week season. Legal hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until noon through May 6 and a half-hour before sunrise until sunset May 7-20.
Seneca County's young hunters get 18 turkeys
COLUMBUS - Young hunters in Seneca County harvested 18 wild turkeys during a special two-day season last weekend, an increase from 14 in 20011, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
Statewide, hunters ages 17 and younger took 1,632 turkeys, compared to 1,490 last year. In adjacent counties, young hunters in Crawford County got 9 birds, compared to 4 in 2011; Hancock, 1 (2); Huron, 23 (18); Sandusky, 2 (1); Wood, 1 (3); and Wyandot, 6 (8).
Counties reporting the largest number of turkeys checked were Ashtabula, 73; Muskingum, 60; Tuscarawas, 53; Carroll and Monroe, 49 each; Highland, 48; Washington, 46; Jackson, 42; Harrison, 41; and Knox and Trumbull, 39 each.
Details on youth hunting opportunities and hunting seasons can be found in the 2011-2012 Ohio Hunting Regulations, available where licenses are sold. It can also be viewed online at wildohio.com.
Food banks get 104,000 pounds of free venison
COLUMBUS - Ohio deer hunters donated more than 104,400 pounds of venison to food banks through the 2011-12 deer hunting season, according to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
The donation equals about 417,600 meals from the 2,088 deer donated. Last year, 2,503 deer were donated, and numbers in past years were 2,336 in 2009-10, 1,096 in 2008-09 and 418 in 2007-08.
Donated venison must be processed by a federal-, state- or locally inspected and insured meat processor that is participating with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. Hunters wishing to donate deer to a food bank are not required to pay for the processing as long as the program has funds available to cover the cost. There are 77 participating meat processors across the state. A list is provided at www.fhfh.org.
There are 34 local FHFH chapters across the state. Anyone interested in becoming a local program coordinator or a participating meat processor should visit the "Local FHFH" page at www.fhfh.org.