Spring Wild Turkey Season opening statewide for hunters April 17

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky Fish & Wildlife proudly announces that spring is upon us and it is bringing back another highly anticipated season of wild turkey hunting in Kentucky. The general statewide season begins April 17 and continues through May 9, 2021.

Resident and non-resident turkey hunters in Kentucky will have their sights set on a healthy wild turkey population and abundant hunting opportunities statewide. Hunters will want to start with scouting for birds before the season opens.

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Zak Danks, wild turkey program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, recommends taking advantage of online tools to virtually scout ahead of time and become familiar with preferred hunting grounds.

Virtual scouting comes in handy, though Danks also urges hunters to head afield to scout for bird sightings and droppings, as well as brood behavior. For first-time turkey hunters, Danks always recommends talking to veteran hunters and going afield with a mentor.

Kentucky’s spring hunting season is structured to give turkeys enough time to breed before subjecting the birds to hunting pressure. The department monitors turkey reproduction on a statewide scale through annual summer brood surveys.

Wild turkey harvest numbers in Kentucky have stayed fairly consistent over the past decade. Last spring, hunters harvested more than 31,700 birds, with Logan County producing the highest harvest of all counties at 655 turkeys.

Both an annual hunting license plus a spring turkey permit are required for hunting turkeys during the spring season. Resident sportsman’s type licenses are a great value and include both, in addition to permits for deer, fall turkey, migratory birds, along with fishing license and trout permit.

All spring turkey permits cover two male or bearded turkeys, the statewide bag limit for the spring season. Youths under age 12, and landowners/legal dependents hunting on their own lands, are license exempt. Licenses and permits are available at fw.ky.gov and at many sporting goods retailers.

All wild turkey harvests must be reported using the department’s “Telecheck” big game check-in system. This can be done online or via telephone at 800-245-4263 (800-CHK-GAME). Telecheck helps ensure lawful harvests and records important biological data for monitoring harvest trends.

Visit the Spring Turkey Hunting page on Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s website for more information about season dates, the Kentucky Spring Hunting Guide, important reminders, available public land and other turkey hunting resources in Kentucky. A new feature on the turkey hunting page is a “Learn to Turkey Hunt” video playlist with how-to’s on pursuing spring gobblers.