Precautions can make a safe sport even safer
PRATT -- 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 will be 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 certified courses conducted by KDWP may be found on the agency's website, Click Hunting/Hunter Education/Hunter Education/Class Schedule for a list of currently-scheduled courses. 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.

For more information, contact the nearest office of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks or visit the agency's website,