Generous season and low hunting pressure provide high-quality opportunities
PRATT -- Fall turkey hunting is becoming increasingly popular. The season is long -- running Oct. 1-Dec. 2, Dec. 15-31, and Jan. 5-31, 2009. In addition, the fall season allows hunters to use dogs, much like upland game birds are hunted. (Use of dogs is not allowed during the spring season.) Hunters may take as many as four birds in eastern Kansas' Unit 2, which includes almost one-half the state. In the central and northwestern portions of the state, only one bird may be taken, and most of westcentral and southwest Kansas is closed.

Most fall turkey hunters use traditional methods, setting blinds near roosts and using decoys and calls to lure birds within range. Others may use dogs to scatter turkey flocks, then call birds into shotgun or bow range. Still others purchase turkey permits and game tags in hopes of bagging a turkey while archery deer or upland bird hunting.

Each hunter may obtain no more than one turkey permit, but residents and nonresidents who purchase a turkey permit ($22.50 for residents, $32.50 for nonresidents) may also purchase as many as three turkey game tags ($12.50 for residents, $22.50 for nonresidents) valid in Unit 2 only. A valid Kansas hunting license is also required, unless exempt by law.

Fall turkey permits and game tags are valid for both male and female turkeys and may be purchased through Jan. 30, 2009. The bag limit is one turkey per permit or game tag. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Legal equipment includes shotguns 20 gauge or larger using shot sizes 2-9 and long, recurve, and compound bows.

For detailed information on fall turkey hunting, including a map of unit boundaries, obtain a copy of the 2008 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary wherever licenses are sold or download it from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us.