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

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.

Posted on 2/2/14

In Other News...

Covenant Community Church Hosts Annual Eggstravaganza

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (03/29/2015) — A fire truck siren sounded Saturday at the Madisonville City Park, but not because… Read More

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - April 1, 2015

Crime Stoppers of Hopkins County Top Most Wanted has issued a new list. Read More

Most Read This Week

March 27, 2015 6184

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 25, 2015 5614

Fazoli's, Roses Coming to Madisonville

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 5301

One Dies, Another Injured in Mortons Gap Traffic…

by Deputy Heath Owens
March 25, 2015 5233

Grand Jury Finds No Criminal Wrongdoing in Bean…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 30, 2015 5015

Man Charged with Child Abuse After Allegedly…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 24, 2015 4368

UPDATE: One Injured in Hopkinsville Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

March 09, 2015 14388

Multi-Agency Drug Bust Results in $1 Million Meth…

by KSP DESI
March 02, 2015 11732

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

April 01, 2015 3710

Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on Collision…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 31, 2015 2406

Man Charged for Driving While under Influence of…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 01, 2015 1867

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 1,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers
April 01, 2015 1530

Couple Charged on Multiple Drug Offenses, Child…

by Sheriff Matt Sanderson
March 31, 2015 1457

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 31, 2015 1375

Covenant Community Church Hosts Annual…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 31, 2015 1244

Hopkins County Misdemeanor Indictments

by Karen McKnight
March 31, 2015 1217

Madisonville Police Reports Released - March 31,…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 31, 2015 999

Glema Center April Schedule Features Jo Dee…

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
April 01, 2015 955

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - April 1, 2015

by Crime Stoppers