Posted on 2/2/14

wk outdoors 300WESTERN KY (3/22/13) – With opening day of the statewide season just three weeks away, Kentucky turkey hunters can look forward to encountering gobblers of all ages this spring.
"There will be a higher than average number of jakes (juvenile gobblers) compared to the 2-year-olds and older adult gobblers in our flocks," said Steven Dobey, wild turkey program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "We should have another good spring season."
Youth hunters ages 15 and younger have the first opportunity to hunt spring turkeys on April 6-7.
The general season opens the following weekend, always on the Saturday closest to April 15 and lasts 23 days. This year's general season dates are April 13 through May 5.
Kentucky's turkey flock is estimated to number about 250,000 birds.
"In many areas of the state, carrying capacities have been reached," said Dobey. "But there's still room for flocks to expand in eastern Kentucky, where there's available habitat and food resources. The mountain counties have good numbers of birds and fewer hunters."
During the last five seasons, hunters in Kentucky have taken on average about 31,486 birds each spring. "Kentucky ranked no. 1 among all seven surrounding states in 2012 for the number of birds taken per square mile of habitat, followed closely by Tennessee and Missouri," said Dobey.
Last spring hunters bagged 33,068 bearded turkeys, 89 percent of which had beards six inches or longer. It was the third year in a row that the harvest exceeded 30,000 birds. The record spring harvest total occurred in 2010, when hunters telechecked 36,097 birds.
Hunter success rates have remained consistent, too. "Over the past 10 years, about 35 percent of hunters have taken at least one bird during the spring season and 75 percent of our successful hunters typically telechecked one bird." said Dobey.
The bag limit for the spring season is two bearded turkeys.
Last year's drought had minimal impact on turkey reproduction since it intensified during the summer months, after nesting was completed.
"Statewide, our surveys rated nesting success as moderate to good, with 1.8 poults per hen. While I hoped to see a higher number, that was an improvement over 2011," said Dobey.
He said another indication of improved reproduction was a seven percent increase in the harvest of sub-adult male birds during the 2012 fall season.
Kentucky turkey hunters should have a productive spring season when they slip on their mesh face masks, get their slate calls scratched and ready and hit the turkey woods.
Art Lander Jr. has been writing about the outdoors since the 1970s. He is a staff writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine.

WK Outdoors
Information provided by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife
Visit the WK Outdoors website at your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Weather Sponsored by

1 DOW 17,798.49
-14.90 (-0.08%)    
2 S&P 2,090.11
+1.24 (0.06%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,127.52
+11.38 (0.22%)    

Stock Report Sponsored by


Most Read This Week

November 24, 2015 9997

Distillery to Operate in Old Graham School…

by SurfKY News
November 21, 2015 8753

Injuries Result from Beulah Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
November 23, 2015 7596

Relative Charged with Murder, Arson in Deaths of…

by SurfKY News
November 24, 2015 4611

Ohio County Most Wanted - Top 10 - November 24

by SurfKY News
November 24, 2015 3256

Man Injured When Vehicle Collides with Deer

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

November 17, 2015 15776

Ohio County Most Wanted - Top 10 - November 17

by SurfKY News
November 18, 2015 14463

Runaway Teen Returns on His Own

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

November 26, 2015 2352

Muhlenberg Sheriff's Office Makes Cocaine Bust

by SurfKY News
November 25, 2015 2327

Man Hospitalized after Early Morning Car Accident

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 1973

Madisonville Man Charged with Attempted Murder…

by SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 1528

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores…

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 921

First United Bancorp Set to Purchase Town &…

by SurfKY News
November 25, 2015 888

Thanksgiving is Peak Day for Cooking Fires

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 783

Hooked on Science - Pinecone Hygrometer

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 744

Farm City Breakfast Recognizes Importance of…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
November 26, 2015 648

Hopkins County Warriors Go to National…

by SurfKY News