Regular season April 11-May 31;
youth/disabled season April 6-8; archery-only season April 1-10
PRATT -- The 2007 spring turkey season runs April 11-May 31, and hunters across the state are already making preparations. Turkey permits allow hunters to use either a shotgun or a bow, and this year, hunters have the additional opportunity of an archery-only season that runs April 1-10. In addition, youth and disabled hunters may hunt April 6-8.

Downloadable turkey permit applications and online spring turkey permits are available on the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us. Hunters will also be able to apply online for resident-only, limited-draw permits in Unit 4 (application deadline Feb. 16).

April 6-8, anyone 16 years old or younger and those with disability permits may hunt. Hunters younger than 16 are not required to have hunter education certification to hunt if they are supervised by a person 18 or older, but they must have a turkey permit. Persons age 12 through 15 must have hunter education to hunt without adult supervision. Hunter education certification may not be obtained until age 11, and all hunters younger than 12 must have adult supervision to hunt. Hunters younger than 14 must have bowhunter education to hunt turkey with archery equipment.

Wild turkeys were reintroduced into Kansas in the 1960s, and the program has been an unqualified success. Today, huntable populations of turkeys exist in nearly every county. This growth of turkey populations is reflected in a modification of unit boundaries this year. Because turkey populations in central and northcentral Kansas continue to increase, the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission has approved a boundary change. This change moved several counties or portions of counties in central and northcentral Kansas from Unit 4, where permits are limited, and Unit 1, where additional turkey game tags are unavailable, to Unit 3, in which unlimited permits are available and additional turkey game tags may be purchased.

The Rio Grande turkey subspecies dominates the western two-thirds of the state. The eastern subspecies is common in the eastern regions, where numbers have grown dramatically in recent years. Hybrid Rio Grande/eastern birds are found where the two ranges converge. With birds being abundant in most areas of the state and a long season that runs from April 11 through May 31, there is ample opportunity to bag one of the state’s eastern, Rio Grande, or hybrid toms.

Online license and permit sales makes preparation easier than ever. Online license and permit sales are available at the KDWP website under "License/Permit Sales" at the top of the home page. Based on 2006 permit sales, it is anticipated that 42,600 permits and 14,600 second turkey game tags will be issued for the spring 2007 season.

A spring turkey atlas showing all public hunting lands and spring Walk-In Hunter Access program lands will be available at KDWP office and online at www.kdwp.state.ks.us in early March. Click "Hunting" at the top of the home page, "Turkey" in the left hand column, then " Spring Turkey Atlas" in the middle of the page.