Spring turkey hunting season underway

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Spring turkey hunting season underway

Mackenzie Jones

Mackenzie Jones

Mackenzie Jones

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Turkeys in the tri-state area are tucking tail and running away as hunters begin to swarm into the woods. Spring turkey season kicked off April 15 and will conclude May 11 for West Virginia and will be April 22 through May 19 for Ohio.

“Turkeys are one of the toughest hunts,” Jeremy Watson, a local Ohio hunter, said. “You have to wear full camouflage, try your best not to move or make a lot of noises and you have to be very skilled with turkey calls.”

In West Virginia, Ohio and surrounding states, any caliber shotgun is allowed for the turkey season, as long as it has the correct ammunition for turkey hunting.

“Most people will use shotguns because you don’t want to shoot a turkey and lose most of it due to the blow of the gun,” Watson said. “However, some use special muzzleloaders that are made specifically for the turkey season.”

In Ohio, hunters are allowed to kill two turkeys a day, but only one male turkey. In West Virginia,  hunters are allowed two turkeys the entire season and only one male.

“Maintaining the population is important during any season,” said Tyler Cole, a hunterand student. “You want the males to be able to repopulate, without one specific male doing all the repopulations. That would cause issues within the genetic makeup of the animal(s) and allow diseases. They have less restrictions on the females because that helps keep the population down, which is the whole point of the hunting season.”

While rules and restrictions are already part of hunting season, there are other things individuals should consider and know before they walk into the woods on opening day, according to Watson and Cole.

Both hunters said it is important to remember that people will be out hunting in camouflage, especially during turkey hunting season, because hunters do not wear orange, like in deer season.

“This poses a bigger risk, so you need to make sure that you’re actually shooting a turkey and not a person,” Cole said.

Mackenzie Jones can be contacted at j[email protected]

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