Precautions can make a safe sport even safer

The regular Kansas spring turkey season begins April 11, and Kansas hunters realize that two words exemplify the perfect hunt: safety and safety. Responsible hunters are sure of their targets before firing, and they hunt defensively to protect themselves from the mistakes of others.

The following are just a few defensive safety tips to follow when pursuing America's largest game bird:

  • set up against a stump, tree, or rock that is wider than your shoulders and higher than your head;
  • never wear or carry the colors red, white, light blue, or black -- the colors of a wild turkey gobbler -- when turkey hunting;
  • eliminating movement is the key to success, not concealment, so setting up in open timber rather than thick brush is a good idea;
  • avoid imitating the sound of a gobbling turkey;
  • watch other game and listen for the alarm cries of blue jays, crows, squirrels, or woodpeckers that can tip you off to the presence of another hunter;
  • assume the noise you hear is another hunter; and
  • never move, wave, or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence, but remain still and call out in a loud, clear voice to announce your presence.

With the addition of an archery-only season, April 1-10, Kansas hunters are now able to hunt for two full months. The Kansas youth and persons with disabilities spring turkey season runs April 6-8, and the regular season opens April 11 and runs through May 31. The accompanying adult may not hunt during the April 6-8 youth season. No hunting license is required for resident hunters 15 and younger, but a valid Kansas turkey permit is required.

For those required to have hunter education but have yet to take a course, time is running short. A list of scheduled courses is available here . Anyone born on or after July 1, 1957, must successfully complete an approved course in hunter education before hunting in Kansas, with the following exception: hunters 15 years old and younger may hunt without hunter education certification provided they are under direct supervision of an adult 18 or older.