Final turkey totals

Hunters checked 17,891 wild turkeys during Ohio’s 2020 spring hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. In 2019, hunters harvested 19,168 wild turkeys during the same time.

The state has two zones for spring wild turkey hunting: the south zone and the northeast zone. The northeast zone includes Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties, while the south zone covers the rest of the state. South zone hunting ended May 17. Northeast zone hunting ended May 31.

The top 10 counties for wild turkey harvest during the 2020 spring hunting season include: Belmont (533), Monroe (532), Tuscarawas (528), Guernsey (508), Meigs (503), Muskingum (499), Washington (484), Harrison (458), Coshocton (450) and Ashtabula (449).

Hocking Hills starting to re-open

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources met with members of the Hocking Hills Tourism Association recently to outline a plan to reopen most of the currently closed areas of Hocking Hills State Park, including the campground, cabins, and Old Man’s Cave, in time for the Independence Day holiday weekend. Currently, Rock House, Cantwell Cliffs and several areas of the Hocking Hills State Forest are scheduled to open June 15.

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft will modify most of the Hocking Hills State Park trails system to better accommodate social distancing. ODNR will re-route trails and direct hikers to one-way travel, where the landscape permits trail modification. One-way trails have the added benefit of protecting the delicate ecological systems in the area.

ODNR’s Hocking Hills Reopening Plan includes new trail patterns, signage, and maps. Limiting parking to existing spaces will be enforced. If a parking lot is full, visitors will need to move on to a different area or come back at a different time. Parking outside of marked, existing parking spaces will not be allowed.

The campground and cabin areas will be open to customers with existing campground and cabin reservations with arrivals of July 2 or later. ODNR is accepting new reservations for the campground and cabin areas with an arrival date of July 15 or later.

For more information on Ohio’s state park system, please visit www.ohiostateparks.gov.

Outdoor notes

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