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Kansas Turkeys Are Gobbling

PRATT – The 2019 turkey season is upon us, and for many hunters, this is the best time of the year to be in the woods. To a turkey hunter, there’s nothing quite like the sound of a turkey gobble booming through the timber.

April 1 marked the opening of the season for youth and hunters with disabilities. On April 8, the archery season will open and the regular season opens April 17. During the regular season, which goes through May 31, anyone with a valid turkey permit may hunt with shotgun or archery equipment.

All turkey hunters must have a turkey permit, available for purchase over the counter and online, and a hunting license, unless exempt. Once the spring turkey permit is purchased, a hunter may also purchase one turkey game tag, allowing the hunter to kill two turkeys during the spring season. Only turkeys with visible beards are legal to take in the spring season. Permits are valid in turkey management units 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. A limited number of Unit 4 (southwest) spring turkey permits were issued through a lottery draw in March.

During the season for youth and hunters with disabilities (April 1-16, 2019) qualified hunters may use any legal equipment. If they don’t fill their tags, they may also hunt during the regular season. During the archery season (April 8-16, 2019), hunters may hunt only with archery equipment, which includes, long, recurve, and compound bows, and crossbows. During the regular season (April 17-May 31, 2019) all unfilled permits are valid and hunters my hunt with shotguns, using shot sizes 2-9, and archery equipment.

More than 300,000 acres are enrolled in the Spring Walk-in Hunting Access (WIHA) program and hunters are reminded that the atlas printed last fall also includes the spring WIHA tracts. Additional Spring WIHA acres, enrolled after the atlas was printed and can be viewed at ksoutdoors.com under “Where To Hunt.” An ArcGIS Explorer app for smartphones and tablets and Garmin GPS and Google Earth files, which include all WIHA tracts are available for download on the page, as well.

Be safe this turkey season. Always assume any sound you hear in the woods is made by another hunter. Never wave or motion to an approaching hunter; always yell or whistle to let them know of your position. One of the Ten Commandments of hunting safely is to always identify your target and what lies beyond it, and that is crucial for being safe but also being legal; only birds with visible beards are legal to harvest.

Kansas provides some of the best turkey hunting in the Midwest, and hunters can pursue two subspecies, the Eastern and the Rio Grande. And even if your calls don’t lure a bird within shotgun range on a morning hunt, you can still enjoy a beautiful spring day in the woods. Find all the information you need at www.ksoutdoors.com