Outdoor Briefs, June 1

Seneca turkey hunters take 154 birds

COLUMBUS — Seneca County hunters checked 154 wild turkeys during the spring hunting season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, a few more than 2018’s 151 total.

In neighboring counties, numbers were:

• Crawford, 67 (63);

• Hancock, 34 (38);

• Huron, 118 (163);

• Sandusky, 19 (18);

• Wood, 21 (19);

• Wyandot: 84 (87).

Statewide, hunters checked 19,088 wild turkeys, compared to 22,635 in 2018.

Hunters reported 17,770 birds in the south zone and northeast zone hunting seasons compared to 20,775 birds in 2018. Youth hunters took 1,318 birds during the 2019 youth season compared to 1,860 in 2018.

The season was open April 22-May 19 in the south zone and April 29-May 26 in the northeast zone.

Wild turkeys were extirpated in Ohio by 1904 and were reintroduced in the 1950s by the Division of Wildlife. Ohio’s first modern-day wild turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The wild turkey harvest topped 1,000 for the first time in 1984. Spring turkey hunting opened statewide in 2000, and Ohio hunters checked more than 20,000 wild turkeys for the first time that year. Ohio’s record spring turkey harvest was reported in 2001, when 26,156 wild turkeys were checked.

Smokies national park: $953M in 2018 local visitor spending

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — A National Park Service report says that visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park spent $953 million in communities near the park last year.

A park news release says the spending came from the 11.4 million visitors to the park in 2018. The spending supported more than 13,700 jobs in the local area.

The numbers are included in a peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Egan Cornachione of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service.

According to the report, there was $20.2 billion spent directly in communities within 60 miles of a national park in 2018 by more than 318 million national park visitors.

Yellowstone National Park visitors spent $513M in 2018

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — A federal report shows visitors to Yellowstone National Park spent nearly $513 million in neighboring communities last year.

The report last week from the National Park Service indicates the spending by the park’s 4.1 million visitors supported nearly 7,100 jobs in the area in 2018.

According to the report, the more than 468,000 visitors to Devils Tower National Monument in northeast Wyoming spent $30 million last year, supporting more than 400 jobs.

The park service recorded more than 318 million visitors nationwide. The report shows they spent more than $20 billion in communities within 60 miles (96.5 kilometers) of parks to support 329,000 jobs.

Of the nationwide visitor spending, nearly $7 billion was on lodging expenses and $4 billion was on restaurants and bars.