Regular season April 9-May 31;
youth/disabled, archery seasons April 1-8
PRATT -- The 2008 spring turkey season runs April 9-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, the archery-only and youth/disabled seasons run concurrently, April 1-8.

Turkey permits for units 1, 2, and 3 may be purchased online in late January from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us. Hunters may apply online for resident-only, limited-draw permits in Unit 4, with an application deadline of Feb. 15. Printed applications are also available at KDWP offices and license vendors.

Archery hunters, anyone 16 years old or younger, and those with disability permits may hunt April 1-8. (All youth must have an adult supervisor during the youth season.) 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. (Except during the youth season, persons age 12 through 15 may hunt without adult supervision if they have completed a certified hunter education course.) Hunter education certification may not be obtained until age 11, and all hunters younger than 12 must have adult supervision to hunt at any time.

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. 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, there is ample opportunity to bag one of the state’s eastern, Rio Grande, or hybrid toms.

Online license and permit purchasing 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. Permits may also be purchased over the counter, and second turkey game tags are available in units 2 and 3. Last year, KDWP sold 44,114 Spring Turkey permits and 20,218 Second Turkey game tags.

A spring turkey atlas showing all public hunting lands and spring Walk-In Hunter Access program lands will be available at KDWP offices and online at www.kdwp.state.ks.us in mid-March.