Turkey hunting will open in local counties

And now people who want to harvest their Thanksgiving dinner will have some local opportunities to do so.

Butler, Hamilton and Warren counties have been added to Ohio's fall turkey hunting season, which starts on Monday and runs through Dec. 1. In total, 56 counties are open for fall turkey hunting.

Ohio has an estimated 180,000 wild turkeys, and about 10,000 people, not including private landowners hunting on their own property, will take part in the wild turkey season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Hunters harvested 1,345 wild turkeys during the 2012 fall season.

The department said only one turkey of either sex may be harvested during the entire fall season, and a fall turkey hunting permit is required.

Hunters can hunt one half hour between sunrise to sunset, and shotguns using shot, as well as crossbows and longbows, are permitted. Hunting over bait is not allowed.

Turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. on the day the bird is harvested. Hunting turkeys over bait is not permitted.

A tagging procedure administered by the state Division of Wildlife requires hunters to make their own game tag to attach to a turkey. Game tags can be made of any material, such as cardboard, plastic, paper, as long as it contains the hunter's name, date, time and county of the kill.

People can visit the Turkey Hunting Resources page at wildohio.com for more information on changes to the game check process.

All hunters must then report their turkey harvest using the automated game-check system. Hunters have three options to complete the game check. They can call 1-877-TAG-ITOH (824-4864). They can visit a license agent, a list of which can found at wildohio.com.

Finally, Ohio now provides a website -- ohiogamecheck.com -- that allows hunters a quick and simple way to check harvested turkeys with their smartphones, the department said.