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

e-max.it: 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.

Posted on 2/2/14

Most Read This Week

August 24, 2015 11106

Teen Reports Slasher Attempted to Attack Him on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 6145

Alleged Burglar Calls 911 to Report Fire

by SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 5071

UPDATE: Four Dead, Two Survive Boating Accident

by SurfKY News
August 27, 2015 4611

All is Well after MNHHS Lockdown

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 4308

MPD Coducting Sobriety Checkpoints

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

August 06, 2015 16305

Muhlenberg Woman Reportedly Suffers Violent…

by SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 11106

Teen Reports Slasher Attempted to Attack Him on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

August 30, 2015 2239

UPDATED: 'He Fought the Law ... but, the Law Won'

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 1303

UK Part of First Study on Marijuana Compound…

by SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 1160

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Following Week

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 1074

All Occasions Formals to Host Celebration to…

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 29, 2015 958

Kentucky State Park Camping Deal Offered in…

by SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 908

UK Student Gaming System to Support Learning for…

by SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 795

Police Searching for Suspect for Attempted ATM…

by SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 470

Keeping the Faith - 'The Wisdom to Wait'

by SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 421

Hooked on Science - 'Inertia Antenna'

by SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 363

Dave Says - Aug. 30, 2015

by SurfKY News