Ohio and Pennsylvania's spring gobbler seasons are just around the corner, and all indications are that hunters should find good but challenging hunting opportunities when they head afield in both states.
Pennsylvania's one-day youth spring gobbler season will be April 23; the general spring gobbler season will run from April 30 to May 28. In both seasons, shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon.
In Ohio, special pre-season youth hunts are on April 16-17, and the regular spring gobbler season runs April 18 through May 15.
Although successive cold, wet springs have hindered Pennsylvania's wild turkey population from augmenting its records numbers in recent years, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials believe hunters will have satisfying hunting opportunities when the four-week spring gobbler season opens.
Pennsylvania's statewide final 2004 fall turkey harvest was about 25,868 birds (27,400 in 2003); the spring 2004 harvest was 41,017 (43,900 in 2003). The 10-year spring harvest average is 43,286; the 10-year fall harvest average is 32,560.
In Ohio, state wildlife officials expect between 15,000 and 20,000 gobblers to be harvested this year. Dan Kramer, a wildlife supervisor for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, said about 90,000 Ohio hunters are expected to be afield for the spring hunt.
There have been some changes, as well, for checking stations in Ohio for the spring season. The following area stations have been added: Gateway Bait & amp; Tackle in Andover and Mesopotamia Hardware and Filing Station, state routes 87 and 534.
Stations that no longer check turkeys include Andover Hardware in Andover, P.J.'s Village Gun Shop in Jefferson and the Army Navy Discount Supplies Store in Ravenna.