Oklahoma Gobbler Season Opens April 6

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Spring turkey season opens April 6, so prospective hunters should enroll now in one of several hunter education classes offered in the months of February and March by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

"We've got plenty of classes scheduled before turkey season opens," said Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Wildlife Department. "Taking a class is a great first step to getting prepared for turkey hunting, but people should be scheduling the most convenient classes now so they will be ready to go when the hunting season arrives."

Hunter education classes cover a variety of topics including firearms safety, water safety, survival, archery, muzzleloading, hunter responsibility and wildlife conservation, management and identification.

Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1971 must successfully complete a hunter education class before purchasing a hunting license, unless exempt. For a list of exemptions, consult the "2007 Oklahoma Hunting Guide." Youth under 18 years old have the option of participating in the spring youth turkey season open March 31-April 1. The limit is one tom turkey, which counts toward their regular spring season limit. Hunters under 16 years old are exempt from purchasing a hunting license and fishing and hunting legacy permit. Unless exempt, youth turkey hunters must possess a turkey license while in the field.

Hunter education classes are free and are available as either an eight-hour classroom course or home-study course. Classes are scheduled at locations all across the state during February and March, so hunters planning to hunt turkeys in April or early May still have time to enroll. To see a complete listing of available courses, log on to the Wildlife Department's Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com/hunted.htm.

Spring turkey season runs from April 6 to May 6 and offers a generous season limit of three tom turkeys. Hunters who are willing to travel can harvest their limit in one day, but they must be aware of which counties in Oklahoma have either a one- or two-tom limit. Turkeys thrive at many wildlife management areas across the state, giving hunters several choices on where to hunt.

For a complete listing of county harvest limits and spring turkey season regulations, consult the "2007 Oklahoma Hunting Guide."