Davis Motor Sales banner ad

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 www.wkoutdoors.com

© 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.

In Other News...

Endowment Partners with Cheri for Free Screenings of Unique Film

MURRAY, Ky. (3/1/15) — On Thursday, March 26, audiences in Murray can attend free screenings of “Alive Inside” at Cheri… Read More

Marshall County among Work Ready in Progress

FRANKFORT, Ky. (3/2/15) — Governor Steve Beshear today announced that Fleming County has been certified as a Kentucky… Read More

Most Read This Week

March 02, 2015 8814

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 25, 2015 8000

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 24, 2015 7818

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 7660

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 25, 2015 6246

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 23, 2015 5589

Fire Departments Respond to Wester's Body Shop

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Shawn Freels

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 09, 2015

Police Pursue Man after Fight at Taco Bell

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 02, 2015 8814

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 03, 2015 4248

Three Arrested during Traffic Stop

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 02, 2015 3416

HCSO, MPD Join to Bust Alleged Drug Trafficking…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
March 02, 2015 2442

Officers Respond to Complaint of Drug Use; Arrest…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 02, 2015 2103

Job Fair Tomorrow in Madisonville

in Hopkins News by Kentucky Career Center
March 02, 2015 1953

UPDATE: Escapee Apprehended

in Top News For All Sites by Stu Recke
March 02, 2015 1861

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 2, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
March 02, 2015 1572

Greenville Police Department Reports Released;…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Wes Miller
March 02, 2015 1536

Dawson Springs Man Charged Multiple Offenses Plus…

in Hopkins News by Melissa Heflin
March 02, 2015 1471

Locals Flock to Yoga for Unique Wellness Technique

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News