Kansas Fall Turkey Hunting: Time for the Big Birds

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Wild turkeys offer special fall hunting opportunity
The wild turkey was once extirpated from Kansas, but today, wild turkey populations have been growing for years, offering hunters the opportunity to pursue them in fall and spring. While the season opened Oct. 1, it runs long enough to add this traditional game bird to the Thanksgiving and Christmas tables.

All of Kansas except Unit 4 (westcentral and southwestern Kansas) is open to fall hunting, and the seasons are long. This year, the seasons run Oct. 1-Nov. 29, Dec. 12-31, and Jan. 9-31, 2012. One turkey permit per hunter is allowed, valid in Unit 1 (northwestern Kansas), Unit 2 (the eastern one-half of the state), and Unit 3 (central Kansas). In addition, hunters may purchase as many as three additional turkey game tags valid in Unit 2 only. One turkey of either sex may be taken with each permit or tag. Hunters may use legal shotguns or archery equipment.

Unit descriptions may be found in the 2011 Kansas Hunting & Furharvesting Regulations Summary, available at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) website — www.kdwpt.state.ks.us — KDWPT offices, and license vendors.

October offers some of the best hunting. Turkeys are in small groups, and many young birds have never been hunted. Often, a hunter can stalk the birds or break up a group, then hide and call them back. Public wildlife areas and Walk-In Hunting Access lands often hold large numbers of turkeys in October before hunting pressure moves them to private land.

The combination of good turkey populations, uncrowded hunting, and mild fall weather make October an excellent time to go turkey hunting, or keep a permit in hand while hunting upland game or deer. It's also a good time to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner.


Retired2hunt's picture

  A lot of news of kansas in


A lot of news of kansas in the outdoor news lately.  Great job Kansas on the turkey hunts being offered this year!

Walk-in access lands is also a high priority of mine since moving out west.  The state provides payment to the rancher for the acreage to be used in small game or large game or both being made available to the general hunting public... and at not extra cost to the hunter.  Not like the big game access program Colorado has that cost a hunter an extra $40 in a special permit to hunt all of these areas.

Good luck to all of the Kansas gobbler hunters and I hope you fill your tags this season!


numbnutz's picture

Sounds like fun. I haven't

Sounds like fun. I haven't hunted turkeys yet. Well I hunted for a day this past spring but I would really call it hunting. It's a great story how wild turkeys have made suck a great comeback in Kansas. The state must provide a great enviroment for the birds. I am planning on buying a fall turkey tag for my home state of Oregon this year. I have a buddy from work who owns some land in one of the best turkey hunting areas in the state. He has been inviting me for the past 3 years but it just hasn't worked out. But I'm making it work this fall so it should be fun. In Oregon we are allowed 3 turkeys a year. We can have a spring tag and also a fall tag and once the fall tag is filled you can purchase a bonus tag. I'm looking forward to learning about this new game bird for me and hopefully get a chance to shoot one with my bow.